Golf has been played on the grounds at Owatonna Country Club since at least 1919, beginning with a nine-hole loop. Although the architect’s name for that original nine has been lost to time, Minnesota standby Joel Goldstrand came during the early ‘70s and added an additional nine to complete the proper 18.
The most recent contribution to the club’s current layout was work handled by Gerry Pirkl, which resulted in three holes — nos. 2, 3 and 13 — being completely redesigned from tee-to-green. The final result is a comfortable round for membership, peaking at just 6,300 yards from the back tees. The majority of Pirkl’s work was with regards to maintenance, and his creation of numerous ponds has helped alleviate the flooding issues the club was facing.
One hole that certainly did not become less challenging because of those updates was No. 17: Despite playing at just 315 yards, there are now retention ponds on both sides of the fairway. You want to pull driver, but your wiser self may want to pump the brakes.