Featuring bluegrass fairways and bentgrass greens, Buffalo Dunes Golf Course has operated as a public facility since 1976. Staff loyalty here is such that there have only been four golf pros and four superintendents since the course first opened.
The 18-hole, par 72 course extends to 6,806 yards from the back markers. With just a few trees lining the fairways on a flat, open property, this offers little protection from the Southwest Kansas breezes that often get up in the afternoon.
Highlight holes include the par three 4th (where the green sits behind a sizeable irrigation pond), the right doglegging par four 10th (rated stroke index 2 on the card), and the 357-yard 18th, with two large bunkers protecting the front left and right side of the home green.
Since 2014, the club has hosted the Garden City Charity Classic for professional women and leading amateur female players on the LPGA’s development circuit, the Symetra Tour.
Buffalo Dunes is one of the coolest muni's I've ever seen. It's situated in the small town of Garden City in the far west stretch of the Kansas sandhills. I drove 13 hours from Chicago to play the course in the AJGA's Kansas Championship, and was amazed to see how much the course and that tournament meant to the town. There are only a few restaurants in Garden City, but every waiter will ask "are you in the tournament" when they greet you. The same sentiment goes to the course; the community really prides itself on what it is. Headed by Superintendent Clay Payne, and assisted by folks from the town, the course is in the process of reimagining the property into a true sand hills course like Ballyneal and Sand Hills. When I played it, the course featured tree lined fairways but an awesome routing over the tumbling dunes with tricky putting surfaces. Beyond the trees are native grasses where one might encounter a snake (as I did during the second round; shoutout the scummy AJGA rules officials for not allowing me to take relief). Payne and Crew are working to remove the trees, reimagine holes and build interesting, natural bunkers. The few pictures I've seen from the completed holes have been awesome and I hope to one day see it again. Once completed it will be one of the best courses in a region with tons of resort and private courses being built. The only difference is that this place will only cost you $20 to play it.