Located in southern Sioux Falls, the Prairie Green Golf Course is the best of three terrific public layouts that are operated by Landscapes Golf Management on behalf of the Sioux Falls City Council. Elmwood is a 27-hole facility and Kuehn Park is a 9-holer, while Prairie Green is a mid-1990s 18-hole layout designed by Dick Nugent.
Extending to 7,179 yards from the back markers, the course at Prairie Green is laid out in two distinct circuits, with the front nine holes clustered together in one large compartment, then the back nine routed in a large circle around housing to the north of the clubhouse, with an underpass connecting the two properties.
The signature hole is the 566-yard 15th, which doglegs left from the tee to a peninsula green that juts out into a small lake. Bunkers pinch the fairway on both sides of the landing area then water threatens the approach to the green down the right hand side, with the hole narrowing towards the putting surface.
Prarie Green is a true public gem. While the course is high traffic at times and bears the maintenance burdens of public play, the layout is terrific. Despite winding its way through a ritzy neighborhood on the southside of Sioux Falls, the Front nine has the look of an inland links-style course. The main drawbacks of the front nine are the number of water hazards that come into play, owing to the fact the course was built on a wetland area. Holes two and three are two of the standouts, with excellent contouring and bunkering. The back nine plays almost the opposite of the front, with abundant elevation changes in the early part of the nine, easing back into the inland links-style by the end of the course. Holes 11, 12, 14, and 15 are all stand-out holes with demanding ball-striking required for success. The highlight of the course is its use of prairie grass to frame the holes, with bunkering and mounding to add texture. The downside, however, is that Prarie Green is a busy public course that winds its way through neighborhoods, disrupting any of the ambiances that the course design itself sought to create. Overall, well worth a play if you find yourself looking for a round in Sioux Falls.