Dakota Dunes Golf Links is laid spaciously throughout natural sand dune formations and the indigenous prairie grasses that surround it’s edges. Five tee deck yardages ranging from 5100 to 7300 yards remove the threat of being over-powered by today’s technology. Undulating fairways with large greens will welcome shots of every shape. Whatever your ability to play, you will find the yardage and challenge to fit your game.
“Dakota Dunes winds its way over a remote, isolated and, for golfers, exhilarating landscape. Some of the natural dunes are 20 to 25 feet high. Wildflowers are in abundance, prickly pear, purple cacti, native shrubs, waving fescue and emerald fairways contrast the wide-open expanses of Saskatchewan sky.”
The Great New Golf Courses of Canada – John Gordon
From the first time we set foot on these rugged wind swept sand dunes, we knew it would be the opportunity of a lifetime. Words cannot capture one of the truly unique golf experiences in the country and the creation of the Dakota Dunes Golf Links will forever be one of our greatest designs.
The course was routed to enhance the memorable features of the land and to take the golfer on an adventure of a lifetime. The preservation and enhancement of the natural wind shaped sand dunes are the essence of the course. Each hole offers a different look and feel that will humble the most skilled players, while also providing an exciting journey for everyone. Strategic, patient play will be rewarded and negotiating the wind, mastering the ground game and accepting strange bounces and awkward lies is what Dakota Dunes is all about.
We consider it a privilege to be the designers of this great course and we are sure you will enjoy the Dakota Dunes experience.
Graham Cooke & Wayne Carleton
Golf Course Architects
1st Hole: Par 4 – 296 to 415 Yards
Welcome to Dakota Dunes! The opening hole is a great introduction to this inland links layout. Aim at the pot bunker cut into the sand dune and hit away. Watch out for the two deep pots and the hidden sandy blowout left. A good tee shot will leave a short iron approach to a spacious plateaued green. Anything short, right and long will require a soft touch to save Par. If you are lucky enough to have little wind, the 1st hole will give way to birdies, but a two-putt Par on this opener is a good start.
2nd Hole: Par 5 – 391 to 505 Yards
This is the shortest five par on the course so take advantage. A tee shot down the right centre, away from the hidden sandy blowout left, will provide an opportunity to go for the green in two. The natural waste bunkers both right and left of the second landing area are some of the strongest on the course and are not to be messed with. Anything falling short of the elevated green will be collected by the front pot or the low hollow well below the putting surface. With no wind eagles and birdies are possible on the 2nd.
3rd Hole: Par 3 – 120 to 235 Yards
The small back “sand dune tee” makes this the longest and most daunting three par at Dakota Dunes. Yes there is a green amongst the dunes and a play to the front right slope will funnel balls back down to the putting surface. Tee shots both short and long will be collected by the natural depressions. All back pins are a “no go” so hit a solid knock down shot and be very happy with a Par.
4th Hole: Par 4 – 330 to 480 Yards
The longest and toughest four par on the front side will require power and accuracy and stepping onto the back tee to challenge this classic will make your heart skip a beat. The best angle into the green is from the left side, but this will leave a blind second shot to a green set well below the high sand dunes. Take advantage of the slope left of the green to feed the ball onto the putting surface. The 4th will see the odd birdie but the dreaded other scores could be common on this difficult Par Four.
5th Hole: Par 4 – 306 to 430 Yards
The drive from the back tees is best aimed through the notch to the wide rolling fairway. If the wind is down cutting the right corner from the White tee is there, but beware of the wind shaped dunes to the right, the deep sunken depression long left and the central pot bunker. The wise play is to the middle of the fairway, but you will need some Irish luck trying to find a level lie. Danger lurks on all sides of the smallish green and watch out for the massive sandy blowout right. It’s definitely not a place you want to be.
6th Hole: Par 3 – 100 to 181 Yards
Club selection is crucial on the Par Three 6th. The prevailing wind out of the northwest can knock down shots into the front bunkers, so take enough club and play for the middle of the green. Watch out for the false edge off the front when going at the front hole locations and all shots long will surely find a sandy demise in the waste area behind.
7th Hole: Par 5 – 400 to 540 Yards
An aggressive tee shot skirting the right sand dunes is one way of reaching the top half of the fairway to open up the view to the green. Anything left will leave a blind second shot over three natural pots to a tight fairway. There is a pot bunker lurking in the middle of the fairway about 140 yards from the green that must be avoided. The green is open at the front to allow for run-up shots and anything right will surely lead to a bogey or worse.
8th Hole: Par 4- 311 to 440 Yards
One of the more open tee shots at Dakota, but don’t be fooled, there is a middle bunker to negotiate. A drive to the left will set up a better angle into the large diagonal green and if playing downwind, hitting over the longest bunker is possible, but not recommended. Landing at the front of the green will allow the ball to release onto the long flowing green. The 8th can play tough so take a Par and quickly move to the 9th tee.
9th Hole: Par 4- 296 to 415 Yards
A soft left to right tee ball over the corner of the trees is the best play. The key to the semi-blind approach shot is to borrow from the sand dune that frames the left of the green. This is one of my favourite greens on the course with lots of natural contour that is difficult to read. Attacking the back left pin will only lead to a bogey, so play to the middle and trust that putting stroke.
10th Hole: Par 5 – 410 to 605 Yards
Far and away is an appropriate name for the 605 yard 10th at Dakota Dunes. A solid strike to reach the fairway is a necessity and if playing downwind, watch for the central fairway bunker. The only place you really want to be on the second shot is down the middle, as bunkers litter this mammoth par five both right and left. The green is wide open at the front so hitting a low runner to the front left of the green will feed your ball to the center of the green. Going for the back left pin is not recommended as anything long will roll off the false edge at the back.
11th Hole: Par 3 – 100 to 210 Yards
This was the first Par Three discovered at Dakota Dunes and the natural dunes and rolls that set up the green have remained untouched. If you have the courage to play from the back tee, you will be hitting to a blind green, which is typical of many links courses. Take note of the front bunker and hit your best knockdown shot to the right half of the green. The green is split by a pronounced roll and falls away with the natural contour, so make sure your ball and the pin end up on the same side, or a three-putt may enter into the picture.
12th Hole: Par 4 – 341 to 442 Yards
Little sand was moved to create this beauty, so stand on the back tee and enjoy the view. Hitting the fairway on this four par is paramount, as the sand dunes both right and left will surely lead to a bogey or worse. The green is more uphill then appears, so think about taking one more club to reach the well contoured putting surface. Anything right or left of the green will be collected by the sunken sandy waste areas. The demanding 12th is one of my favourites on the course and making par will surely make up some shots up on the field!
13th Hole: Par 4 – 259 to 375 Yards
The most tempting four par on the course. Check the wind before you try and go for the green. If you are lucky enough to have a helping wind, a 270 yards carry from the back tee will get you over the large sandy depression and perhaps onto the green, but watch for the hidden pots that await. The wise play is to honour the dogleg and play to the middle of the most undulating fairway on the course. This will leave you with a mid to short iron approach to a large devilish green with lots of movement. Even though the 13th is the shortest four par at Dakota Dunes, it is one of the most exciting and memorable to play and will yield the odd eagle.
14th Hole: Par 4 – 337 to 450 Yards
The 14th is the longest four par on the backside and requires accuracy and length to be successful. The tee shot is best aimed at the large sandy waste bunker cut into the hillside and away from the left side pot bunker. This will open up the view to a green that is set in a natural bowl below towering sand dunes. The green is one of the largest and most forgiving on the course, as all balls will tend to funnel to the middle. Don’t get cute with the front right pins as the green slopes away and anything short of the green will require a Mike Weir Masters touch to save par.
15th Hole: Par 3 – 121 to 180 Yards
Mother Nature did a wonderful job on this signature Par Three. Take a moment and drink in the beauty of the setting and then muster up enough concentration to hit your best shot of the day. If the wind is down consider one to two less clubs. The best play is to the right side of the green, as balls will tend to kick off the slope and feed down to the hole and possibly in the cup. The target is small on the 15th, so play to the centre of the green and accept a two-putt par.
16th Hole: Par 5 – 409 to 610 Yards
The long 16th, which is usually into the prevailing wind will require three solid strikes to get you home. Aim your tee shot for the right centre of the fairway for a level lie, but don’t stray right, as a large depression awaits. Play your second down the middle over the three pot bunkers to set up an approach to a very accepting green. Take note of the bunkers left and right and the hogs-back in front of the green, as it tends to kick balls both right and left.
17th Hole: Par 3 – 116 to 207 Yards
The large flowing 17th green was designed as a tribute to the traditional links courses of the world. False edges, humps, rolls and hummocks make up this 13,000 square foot gem. The wind and the pin position will dictate the shot and don’t be surprised if you are faced with a 150 foot triple breaking putt. The putting surface is deeper then appears, so trust your swing and hit your Sunday best. This closing three par captures the essence of Dakota Dunes and a par may win you a skin and close out your match.
18th Hole: Par 5 – 426 to 550 Yards
The five par 18th is a great end to this wind swept links-land layout. A good drive down the middle avoiding the water and right bunkers and the two hidden pots left, will leave you with an opportunity to go at the green. Aim at the natural sandy blowout bunker on the high dune in the distance and give it a go, or lay-up to the end of the fairway between the towering dunes, to set up a full approach. Like many of the greens at Dakota Dunes, little design was needed to create this finishing green, that has been set in one of the many natural bowls. The 18th is an exciting finish to the finest inland links course in the country.
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