South Dakota

The Mount Rushmore State of South Dakota is situated in the Midwestern region of the United States. With a population of less than one million people living within its 77,000 square mile territory, it’s one of the least densely populated states in the country. South Dakota is probably most famous for the Mount Rushmore National Memorial that was carved out of the granite rock of the Black Hills near Keystone between 1927 and 1941, hence its adoption as the state nickname.

The South Dakota Golf Association has been organising competitions for golfers in the state since 1921. In the modern era, it’s now responsible for overseeing the golfing activities of over 100 clubs, from Lemon Country Club in the northwest to Dakota Dunes in the southeast of the state.

For a decade, Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay’s 1991 design at Dakota Dunes was undoubtedly the top track in the state then along came a couple of new courses in 2003 to shake things up a little at the top of the rankings. Both the Ron Farris-designed Red Rock course in Rapid City and Graham Marsh’s Sutton Bay layout near Agar are fine recent additions to the golfing landscape in South Dakota with the latter, in particular, now gaining deserved national recognition.

Our South Dakota Best In State Rankings were last updated in June 2016. Click the link to read the story.

Top 100 Golf Courses - South Dakota

Sutton Bay

1st South Dakota - Best in Area

Sutton Bay is South Dakota’s most exhilarating golf experience. The course is draped over the landforms of the Missouri River and it has many characteristics of a seaside links.


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Red Rock

2nd South Dakota - Best in Area

Opened for play in 2003, The Golf Club at Red Rock layout is set on the edge of the Black Hills National Forest with many of the fairways bounded by tall ponderosa pine trees.


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Dakota Dunes Country Club

3rd South Dakota - Best in Area

Bounded by the mighty Missouri River, Dakota Dunes Country Club lies within a 2,000-acre residential development. Designed by Arnold Palmer with Ed Seay, the golf course debuted in 1991...


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4th South Dakota - Best in Area

Situated along the Sioux River, the old course at Minnehaha Country Club was renovated by Bob Lohmann in 2014, allowing members to celebrate its centenary in some style.


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Hart Ranch

5th South Dakota - Best in Area

Unveiled in 1995, the 18-hole golf course at Hart Ranch employs additional forward tees which allow families to play a beginner-friendly short course within the existing golf facility.


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Prairie Green

6th South Dakota - Best in Area

Located in southern Sioux Falls, the Prairie Green Golf Course is the best of three terrific public layouts that are operated by Dakota Golf Management.

Southern Hills Golf Course

7th South Dakota - Best in Area

With half a dozen par threes on the scorecard, it’s no real surprise to learn the Southern Hills Golf Course at Hot Springs measures just over 5,900 yards from the back tees.


8th South Dakota - Best in Area

Host to the US Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in 1984, Meadowbrook Golf Course is a 1970s David Gill design that brings the waters of Rapid Creek into play at a handful of holes.

The Bluffs

9th South Dakota - Best in Area

Situated just a five-minute drive from downtown Vermillion, The Bluffs Golf Course is an upscale public facility that’s been serving golfers since 1996. With water in play at seven of the holes, the layout needs to be treated with respect.

Hillcrest Golf & Country Club

10th South Dakota - Best in Area

The course at Hillcrest Golf & Country Club is a semi-private facility that’s been welcoming golfers onto its fairways ever since it first opened in 1953.