Mississippi Dunes Golf Links
By R.J. Smiley
When Dr. William Doebler decided to build Mississippi Dunes Golf Links, he did extensive research. He used the Old Course of St. Andrews and Pine Valley as models as he visualized his dream. He read all the published work of Dr. Mackenzie, Old Tom Morris, C.B. MacDonald and Donald Ross. The name comes from the location along 3,000 feet of the bank of the Mississippi River. With elevation changes of about 100 feet and the sandy soil, the site has allowed Dr. Doebler to build a links style course with fine smooth turf for his first and only golf course.
To call Mississippi Dunes a great course might be a stretch. You might hate it, you might love it, but you will definitely remember it. From the visually intimidating first hole along the river with a tiered fairway and an elevated green, accented by gnarly bunkers, to the final approach shot from an elevated fairway, to the green 75 feet below with the river in the background, you will remember every hole. Mississippi Dunes has a rare collection of six par 3s, six par 4s and six par 5s, where no hole has a twin. The unifying element on this secluded course with its collection of unique holes is the severely elevated greens with shaved approaches. If you miss a green at Mississippi Dunes….. you are busy!
Golfers will tell you that the second time around will be more fun. You won’t need a compass to find the green. The first time, my advice would be to not keep score, but (depending on you ability) see how many pars or bogies you can score. Then try to improve on that number the next time you enjoy this peaceful retreat along this historic river.
There are many wonderful golf courses in Minnesota and the upper Midwest. These courses, along with many others you will learn about in future months, represent the real reason we love to play golf!