Red Rock - South Dakota - USA

The Golf Club at Red Rock,
6520 Birkdale Road,
Rapid City,
South Dakota (SD) 57702,
USA


  • +1 605 718 4710

  • Kevin Buntrock

  • Ron Farris

  • Jason Young

Designed by architect Ron Farris and opened for public play in 2003, the Golf Club at Red Rock golf course lies on the edge of the Black Hills National Forest, near the historic mining town of Rapid City.

Reputed to be the only course in South Dakota that remains open for play during every month of the year, the layout measures between a manageable 5,032 yards and a monster 7,114 yards (attracting a 138 slope rating), with multiple tee placements on every hole.

Rolling fairways are routed into, out of and over a series of canyons that occupy the dramatic landscape. Apart from a few small creeks, the only real water hazard of note is the pond that protects the front left side of the green on the par four 10th.

The dramatic elevation changes of the fescue fringed fairways, the degree of difficulty presented by the links-style bunkers and the challenge of the undulating USGA-spec greens presents golfers with a truly exhilarating Black Hills golf experience.

Feature holes at Red Rock include the par five 2nd – rated stroke index 1 – and the left doglegged par four 4th. On the back nine, the 155-yard 12th and 214-yard 15th offer contrasting tee length challenges from the back tee positions.
If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for Red Rock

Average Reviewers Score:
Description: Opened for play in 2003, The Golf Club at Red Rock layout is set on the edge of the Black Hills National Forest with many of the fairways bounded by tall ponderosa pine trees. Rating: 6.4 out of 10 Reviews: 5
TaylorMade
Andy Cocker

A visit to The Golf Club at Red Rock is a must if you're in the Black Hills. This undulating course poses plenty of challenges, variety of holes and strategic play options.

The conditioning throughout is excellent, the greens were undulating and quick, the fairways generous in width but the rough posed problems if you were off line. The greens in particular required you to have your green reading skills to the fore. Having not played the course before, local knowledge on making sure you didn't leave your approach shot above the hole would have been very helpful indeed.

The course has been in play for a number of years and in keeping with many US courses, housing development has continued to encroach. Whilst this is not uncommon in the US, I kept thinking that this is excellent layout would be so much better played in its natural beautiful surroundings without being planned around future housing. That said the properties did not intrude too much, simply the holes would have looked even better without them.

The 1st sets the tone on changes in elevation with a 340 yard downhill par 4. Even played off the back tees, the bunker up close to the green is in play. Avoid this and the other 2 bunkers dotted across the fairway and a birdie start awaits.

After this relatively easy opener, the course really gets going with a 586 yard, sweeping right to left, uphill par 5, with a raised green. A proper 3 shotter, with the odd tree creeping in towards the fairway which could catch that 2nd shot.

The 3rd is better for knowing. At 406 yards, this long par 4 requires accuracy off the tee. Stray left and you will be blocked out by trees, meaning a lay up on a downhill lie, with your approach shot to be played across a ravine to a 2 tier green. Stay right and a more routine approach is yoir reward.

The 4th is a wonderful blind short downhill par 4. The green however slopes left to right and from the front backwards, so positioning your short approach correctly is vital. Birdie awaits.

The 1st of 4 par 3's is at the 5th. And this is a strong one. Played downhill at 185 yards off the blue tees, admire the views before playing your shot. This isn't the longest of the par 3s. That is reserved for the 8th at 225 yards off the blacks. The 15th par 3 is also 214 yards as well!

There are 4 par 5s. My personal favourite was the 16th. The back tees provide a different perspective than the whites and golds and then there is a good strategy choice. Longer hitters can decide to ignore the fairway dogleg on the 2nd shot and go for the green through a narrow gap in the trees and across a small ravine. Shorter hitters will end up playing the dogleg.

It is a strong closing 3 hole stretch. The 16th is followed by a medium length par 4, but again position off the tee vital. Large trees block your view to the green and if you have hit your drive too far you could find your approach compromised.

The last is a lovely long par 4 sweeping left to right. The green is protected by bunkers, a slope downhill to the right of the green and knee length rough around the bunker and to the left for any errant approach. A fitting finish.

The course is pretty throughout, the routing excellent, the change in elevation and hole design constant throughout the round.

A very friendly welcome in the pro shop.and bar afterwards made for a very enjoyable experience. Just wish it was in countryside with no houses present, but that perhaps is a personal choice.

August 15, 2022
7 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Joe Egan

The uneven topography of the Black Hills is prominently featured at Red Rock, most notably on holes one, four, five, and 13. I almost guarantee the opening tee shot is one that you’ll look down at the green and say: “I can get it there”. Though the hole plays 340 yards, it is a severe downhill hole and a great opportunity to open your round with a three. The fourth is a slight dogleg left from the same mold. The fifth is one of the best par threes in South Dakota; enjoy the view up there for a moment before proceeding. The closing stretch of 16 through 18 is relatively strong; though this opinion may be in the minority, I love the look of the infinity green on the closing hole. 16, a par five, is a fun one because of its high-risk, high-reward nature. Where exactly should you hit that second shot? Left of the tree? Around it? Red Rock is lined with these types of holes. I believe the amount of homes they have decided to put in the routing since the course’s inception have really affected the look of Red Rock. That’s always a matter of opinion, though: I typically am in favor of as few houses on the golf course if possible. I also am not a fan on unpredictable bounces on the fairway; some approaches feel especially so if it is your first time here. I could absolutely see why one would get frustrated. A golfer could score very well here, but it may take a few times around the loop to fully understand the ricochets and backstops. Ultimately, the layout is highlighted by omnipresent ponderosa pines, rolling fairways, and well-conditioned, sloping greens. As far as South Dakota public golf courses are concerned, Red Rock should be revered as one of the state's premier options.

February 25, 2022
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Connor Sheehan

This is without a doubt one of the best courses in the South Dakota/North Dakota/Nebraska/Montana/Wyoming/Colorado region. It is a challenging course with many hills and non-flat lies. The greens are smooth, very fast, and very undulated. The course does a fantastic job of rewarding good shots and punishing bad shots; if you miss the green in the wrong spot you could easily be staring down a 3-putt. Each hole is unique and interesting; there are zero boring holes. Every time you play it will play differently that the previous based on the direction of the wind and the pin placement.

Out of all the courses I've played in my life I'd only choose Royal County Down over The Golf Club at Red Rock. It is a hidden gem nestled in the gorgeous Black Hills. If you are young and in shape then you can walk it, however most people will need a cart because it's long, hilly, and in high altitude.

September 24, 2021
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Colin Braithwaite

The Golf Club at Red Rock has a little bit of everything, except water hazards. The first hole is a welcoming downhill par four. Depending upon your tees the fairway bunker short of the green may be in play. It gets a little spicier on the par 5 dogleg left uphill 2nd. Definitely, a 3 shotter. For your second shot I would suggest favoring the right side of the fairway. What you see is not what you get on the slightly uphill par 4 3rd. There is a ravine about 130 yards out, it is possible, but not probable for a monster drive to reach it. The downhill dogleg left 4th is a penthouse or outhouse hole. It is tempting and doable to cut the corner to set up a flip wedge. However, there is not a large margin for error. A wee bit too far left and you will be looking at double bogey. Conversely, you could lay back and give yourself a 150 yard approach to a difficult green complex that does not hold well. Actually, that applies to just about all the green complexes. Lots of undulation without a lot of hold. The downhill par 3 6th looks easy on the card. There is a ridge that bisects the green about 1/3 of the way. The pin was just tucked over it. We escaped with 3 3 putts. There is also a pot bunker way right. Can’t be a lot of fun when the pin is over there. The 6th is a beast, the only good thing about it is the 7th is a driveable par 4. Favor the right off the tee as just about everything will go left. The 8th is almost a dogleg left par 3. To have a chance your tee shot needs to be short and well right of the flag. The front closes with a reachable par 5. Ideal tee shot is favoring the right side. This green is nestled below a knoll with a few moguls in front and bunkers right. One of our group went for it and did not hit it well. It barely crested the knoll and started trundling down the hill. Several times I thought it would stop. When it did, it was over the green, probably rolled 50-60 yards.

The dogleg left 10th has the only real water hazard protecting the green on the front and left. This hole also contours significantly left. The par 4 11th is straight forward and non-memorable. The 12th is the shortest par three, but it probably has the trickiest green. The 13th is an uphill par 4 dogleg right. Take an extra club on your approach. The green is perched on a ledge and protected by several bunkers. The long par 5 14th is the number one handicap hole. Your drive should favor the right and hopefully reach the top of the hill. Your second shot must be right or you are dead. Another elevated green that is well protected by bunkers. The 15th is a downhill par 3. The 16th is an uphill and then downhill par 5 dogleg left that is reachable. Off the tee be left of the fairway bunkers to give yourself a chance. On your 2nd shot and approach left is NG. The 17th and 18th run parallel. The 18th is longer and tougher. Disappointing finishing holes.

Overall a good course, but felt tricked up. Green complexes real challenging. I imagine if you play it enough you will get a feel where to be.

August 30, 2019
5 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
1 person found this review helpful

M. James Ward

For those making the trek to visit Mount Rushmore it pays to stop off at nearby Red Rock. Designed by Ron Farris -- he worked initially for Pete Dye when Long Cove was constructed -- the layout is on hilly terrain and Farris has done well with the inclusion of a number of fun holes. The holes are framed well -- despite the nearby housing -- and the routing does provide plenty of shot differentiations to keep things interesting. Given the limited number of quality options in South Dakota -- Red Rock is clearly one to savor when there.

by M. James Ward

November 19, 2017
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful