Karsten Creek Golf Club was named after the founder of Ping, the late Karsten Solheim, and the course was fashioned by Tom Fazio. The 110-acre Lake Louise, named after Karsten’s wife, is a predominant back nine feature of the course, especially on the 555-yard downhill closing hole that requires a forced carry across the lake which then borders the entire length of the hole.
The Solheims were major backers of the Oklahoma State University golf teams in recent years and that support continues into the future with a high tech OSU private practice facility located close to the clubhouse.
The holes at Karsten Creek were hewn from thick forest and although most playing corridors are relatively wide, it goes without saying that more wayward shots will be harshly punished within the dense wooded areas that line the fairways.
In Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Courses You Can Play book by Brian McCallen, playing conditions are described thus: “The ball sits up nicely on the zoysia-grass fairways. Greens, surfaced in bentgrass, are subtly contoured and very fast. Many have been left open in front to encourage bump-and-run shots, a sound option when the prevailing southwest breeze stirs.
“Among the feature holes is the par three 11th , which plays straight up the throat of a sunken creek to a large, terraced green; and the rigorous 17th, a par four stretching to 464 yards with water guarding the entire left side. It’s one of the tougher holes on a layout that carries a course rating of 74.8 and a slope of 142 from the championship tees at 7,095 yards (par is 72).”
Karsten is an oasis of golf, tucked back into a wooded area in the sometimes treeless Oklahoma prairie. Other than holes finishing stretch of 18 through 18, each hole is nestled into own secluded environment. Fairways are of generous width, but beyond a narrow width of rough lies a what is likely an unplayable lie in the woods. Greens, are some of the consistently best in the surrounding area. When rolling quick, you better pay attention to which side of the pin your approach is playing into to avoid being above the hole or being shortsided. Inside the clubhouse is an amazing tribute to the dynasty of Oklahoma State Cowboys golf and includes accolades for all of the individual and team national championships as well as the Cowboys in amateur and professional ranks.