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If you don’t consider Kansas when looking for great golfing experiences, you are definitely missing out on the great prairie courses in this state. Many of them are right on the border where bent grass and zoysia grass is used in the fairways, so you don’t have to travel far to experience both types of courses.
The designers on this list frequently use the rolling hills and prairie grass of the region to their advantage. There are also a lot of golf courses with few trees, meaning playing in windy conditions is a normal experience here in Kansas. If you go playing one of these great courses in Kansas, be sure to keep the ball low and hit it straight so you don’t have to go looking for it in the high grass areas. Below are the top fifteen golf courses in Kansas, a state that offers an incredibly deep list of quality tracks for the avid golfer.
Best Golf Courses in Kansas
The number one public golf course in the state of Kansas is located in Manhattan, home of the Kansas State Wildcats. You can’t miss the KSU pride at Colbert Hills, where it features a series of bunkers in the shape of a paw print and filled with purple sand on the 5th hole. Architects, Jeff Brauer and Jim Colbert, aimed to preserve the beauty of the Flint Hills and native tallgrass. On Monday through Thursday you’ll play 18 with a cart for $60 and Friday through Sunday will cost you $75.
Firekeeper is located in Mayetta, which is just north of Topeka. It’s the first signature golf course design of Notah Begay III, a PGA Tour winner and Golf Channel analyst. Begay, a full-blooded Native American, wanted to keep with the Potawatomi tradition when creating this golf course, aiming to create minimal disturbance to the native land. Firekeeper can play as long as 7,500 yards or as short as 4,500, making it a great course for players of all skill levels. Firekeeper is different than a lot of courses in that it will remain free of residential homes. They offer great stay & play packages at Firekeeper, costing $199 for two on Monday through Thursday and $269 on weekends.
Located in Hutchinson, just down the street from the number one private golf course in the state, Prairie Dunes Country Club. Cottonwood Hills definitely holds its own against the top golf courses in the state though. Designed by Sir Nick Faldo, who said that the rolling sand hills and dunes of Kansas reminded him of great Scottish golf courses. Faldo took advantage of the natural lay of the land and created a challenging and picturesque golf course that everyone will enjoy. This course is an incredible deal as well, costing only $45 on weekdays and $55 on weekends.
Sand Creek Station is located in Newton, which is about 30 minutes north of Wichita in central Kansas. The name comes from the towns railroad history that is featured throughout the course. They’ve recreated features from different famous holes including the green from the Road Hole, Redan from North Berwick, and other American railroad holes. One great hole is the 12th which is similar to the 4th at the National Golf Links of America. Sand Creek Station is a golf course where you can experience elements of other famous golf courses, but also its own unique holes. The rates here are fair as well, costing $34 on weekdays and $39 on weekends. It’s easy to see why this one is one of the best in the state of Kansas.
Buffalo Dunes Golf Course is located in Garden City, which is in western Kansas, fairly far from any large cities. Opening in 1976 and designed by Frank Hummel, Buffalo Dunes has long been one of the premier golf courses in the state. The course features few trees which adds a little bit of challenge with the southern Kansas wind. Rates here are only $40 on weekdays and $55 on weekends both including cart.
Located just outside of Kansas City in Leawood. Ironhorse is a Troon property, which means it’s always in great shape. The greens at this course are, perhaps, the best part. They are always rolling true and are really well taken care of. It’s a fairly wooded golf course, but also features tall natural grasses, which make keeping your ball in play difficult at times. Make sure you hit it straight at all times here at Ironhorse. Their online tee time booking system make it super easy for anyone to find a time to play.
Prairie Highlands is another top golf course that’s located just outside of Kansas City, this one in Olathe. Like many Kansas golf courses, they’ve tried to maintain the natural beauty of the rolling hills and prairie grasses when making this course. This golf course was designed to be extremely walkable, with short distances from green to tee box. Prairie Highlands features bent grass greens and zoysia fairways, so you’ll notice that your iron shots will generate a lot more spin than bent grass fairways in other areas of the country. The cost of playing here before 2pm is $45 on weekdays and $55 on weekends. Also, after 2pm they discount rates to $35 on weekdays and $45 on weekends.
This is the third Kansas City-area golf course on our list of best public golf courses in Kansas, this one in Spring Hill. It’s easy to see why we’ve featured this course as our number eight course. The rolling hills, nicely manicured course, and beautiful water features, make this golf course quite the experience. You won’t feel like you’re only minutes from a large city, but instead, you’ll feel like you’re in the country enjoying a nice, peaceful round of golf. Sycamore Ridge has bent grass fairways and greens, making it an incredibly lush golf course that’s almost always bright green. You can play Sycamore Ridge for $34-$49 on weekdays depending on the time of day, $37 to $55 on Fridays, and $37 to $60 on weekends and holidays.
Auburn Hills, located in Wichita, comes in at number nine on our list of greatest golf courses in Kansas. Designed by Perry Dye, this golf course will challenge golfers of all skills levels, but also provide an enjoyable experience all around. Auburn Hills is the location of a Web.com Tour event, so you know that it is a quality golf course. Like many Kansas golf courses, it features rolling hills, wetlands, and prairie grass throughout the course. You’ll find that this course is in incredible shape, especially for a public golf course. To play Auburn Hills, you’ll pay $27 on weekdays and $32 on weekends, making this course one of the best overall deals on our list.
Mariah Hills is located in Dodge City, in western Kansas. It’s a little bit isolated from big cities, but that provides a create backdrop for a nice, quiet, round of golf at Mariah Hills. Opening in 1974, this is our second course on this list designed by golf course architect, Frank Hummel. It’s a golf course that features bent grass greens and fairways to create a unified feel throughout the golf course. You’ll play Mariah Hills for only $20 on weekdays and $23 on weekends and holidays.
Built in 1990, Turkey Creek is located in McPherson, about 45 minutes north of Wichita. It’s a golf course that offers wide fairways and few trees that come in to play. This creates a great experience for all skill levels. Whether you’re a pro or just starting out, you’ll have a great time at Turkey Creek. The fairways here are bluegrass, but are well taken care of, so you’ll feel as though you’re playing on something much nicer. Rates for Turkey Creek are $20 on weekends and $24 on weekdays
Woodland Hills is located in Fort Scott, which is right on the border of Missouri and Kansas. This is a golf course that used to be a private club that has turned public, meaning, you can experience private course-level quality in a public golf course. The course became public in 2012. As the name suggests, it’s a course that is surrounded by trees, cutting down on the tough Kansas wind. For this reasons, the course is nice because it is a little different than a typical Kansas golf course. You’ll only play $13 on weekdays and $15 on weekends at this golf course.
Next on our list of best public golf courses in Kansas, we have Hidden Lakes Golf Club, located in Derby, right outside of Wichita. Hidden Lakes was designed by Floyd Farley and is made up of bluegrass fairways and bent grass greens. Every green on this golf course is protected by bunkers, which means your approach shots ad short game will be tested here. To play Hidden Lakes, you’ll pay about $26 on weekdays and $28 on weekends, making this a great bang for your buck.
Sugar Hills is located in Goodland, in northwest Kansas, only 3 hours from Denver, Colorado. They call this course “The Gem of the Prairie” because of its open layout and lush fairways. Everywhere you look around this golf course you’ll see open prairie, but there isn’t much, if any, tall prairie grass on the course to lose your ball in. Coming in at number 14 on our list of best Kansas golf courses because of its great value and isolated location, making it a great retreat from big city living. The rates here are $35 for weekdays or weekends.
The final course on our list of best golf courses in Kansas is Osawatomie Golf Course in Osawatomie, just southwest of Kansas City. This course is unique in the fact that it offers two pretty different nines. The first, built in 1941, requires players to hit their best approach shot into small, fairly flat greens. The back nine, built in 1972, offers larger greens with more undulations, meaning it’ll test a player’s short game a little more. Osawatomie has bentgrass greens and zoysia fairways. It’ll cost $30 to ride on weekdays and $34 on weekends and holidays.
There you have it, the best public golf courses in the state of Kansas that anyone can play. If you find yourself in this state, be sure you try to check off as many of these courses off your list. You won’t be disappointed by their quality and unique golfing experience. One thing is for sure, you’ll never look at Kansas golf the same again after hitting up these places. This state has great golf all throughout, from Kansas City to (almost) Denver. So, you also won’t have to travel far to get in a good round of golf.