Pebble Creek Golf Club
By R.J. Smiley
Becker, MN, located on Highway 10 between the cities and St. Cloud, is famous for three things: Xcel Energy’s Nuclear Power Plant, Becker’s Furniture World, and Pebble Creek Golf Club. When the city fathers of Becker made the decision to allow Xcel Energy to build a nuclear power plant in their city, they did some long range planning. “How do we utilize the wind fall property tax revenues to improve our community?”
In the eighties, the boom days of golf, the City of Becker contracted Don Herford to design a country club quality public access golf course along the Elk River. Herford did a wonderful job of converting a flat piece of farmland into a beautiful, easy to walk, quick to play, 18-hole golf course (called the Red-9 and White-9). With a power plant subsidized, country club sized budget, Pebble Creek is described by many as the best maintained public golf course in Minnesota. Your ball sits like it is on a tee on the extremely thick bluegrass fairways. The greens are smooth and fast with numerous interesting hole placements. The fairway landing areas are generous where the average player hits it, but the longer hitters must be straight as the fairways get tight farther out. The small hills that Herford created along many of the fairways create a mirage of a rolling terrain.
This spectacular layout has several holes that could be listed as “the Signature hole”, but #6 White on the Championship Course certainly qualifies as a “signature Hole”. The downhill 175 yard par 3 over water takes your breath away.
In the mid-90s Becker hired Garrett Gill to design another nine (the Blue-9) on the west side of the road. Obviously designed by a different architect, the Blue is a bit shorter but in some ways more demanding.
In Spring of 2011 the Red and White courses were combined to make the Championship Course. The Championship Course is rated 4 ½ Stars and one of the Best Places to Play by Golf Digest magazine. The Championship Course at Pebble Creek offers a high quality golf experience that is sure to challenge every level of play.
The Blue course was renamed the Local 9. A fun, friendly and affordable entertainment experience perfect for the whole family! The Local 9 offers the same high quality golf experience that you’ve come to expect from Pebble Creek, but in a casual, family-friendly environment where all levels of play have fun!
When you make the short trip up Highway 10, plan on playing the Championship Course, take a short break and then play the Local 9. You will leave Becker understanding what a difference “MONEY” makes when maintaining a golf course.