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Prairie Dunes

Prairie Dunes

Hutchinson, Kansas
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Patrick Koenig
Patrick Koenig
Hutchinson, Kansas

Prairie Dunes Country Club is an inland links jewel, which is set in the heart of America. The inland Kansas location is about as far away from the sea as you could possibly be but the course has many characteristics of a classic seaside links.

GalleryPatrick Koenig
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Patrick Koenig

The course, or at least 9 holes, opened for play in 1937 and Perry Maxwell laid them out. Maxwell believed absolutely that “the golf course should be there, not brought there,” and he surveyed the 480-acre site day after day for weeks before making any decision on the routing. Perry’s son, James Press Maxwell extended the course to 18 holes in 1956.

Naturally, the end result is a course that is natural, and although there’s no salty taste of the sea on your lips, there’s everything else that is essential to make a perfect day’s golf. First of all there is sand and sand to spare, secondly there is the ever present Kansas wind – the energy from which is being harnessed liberally across the state – thirdly the land pitches and rolls in a delightful seaside style and fourthly the holes are designed in a thoughtful, cunning and strategic fashion. The sum of this is pure golfing heaven.

Writing in Tom Doak's Little Red Book of Golf Course Architecture, the author commented as follows: "What makes Prairie Dunes special is the severity of the greens and the wonderful choice of green sites. Interestingly there are a lot of uphill approach shots, which a lot of people don't love and some don't like about my own work, but those green sites are what makes the course challenging. It's also a special place in terms of atmosphere... it takes some effort to get there, but they are always so hospitable to people who have made the trip to see them, and they are really humble about what a good course it is because they aren't there to impress anybody, they are there to enjoy it themselves."

Prairie Dunes is a private club and casual green fees are not accepted. If you want to experience this stunning inland links course (renovated by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw in 2004) and you are willing to make the long journey to Hutchinson Kansas, we suggest you ask your home club to prepare a letter of introduction. Who knows you might find yourself teeing it up at the 1st “Carey Lane”.


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Course Architect

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Coore & Crenshaw

Coore and Crenshaw Inc. was established in 1986, but five years passed before the partnership made a real architectural impact when the Plantation course at Kapalua burst onto the scene in 1991.

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