Whispering Creek Golf Club – Rock and Roll
By E. Nolan
There’s something cool about a rustic red barn – it’s an Iowa trademark of sorts. Whispering Creek has such a signature barn as their clubhouse, positioned perfectly to take in the best of western Iowa’s golf course panoramas. It’s been the backdrop for many post-round pictures (and pitchers) with friends – the heralded home of Pooch’s Pub.
Whispering Creek is a place for every golfer at every stage in the game. With one of the top practice facilities in all of Iowa, Whispering Creek has a massive, all-grass driving range with seven target greens, an extensive chipping area, a bunker for working on sand shots and a true-to-course practice green, with plenty of similar undulation. It’s a great course for Junior Golfers, with camps and coaches to work with… a place to “Continue Growing the Game, 1 Child at a Time.”
It’s a great course for golf groups, for big and small events. There’s an expansive banquet room that can host 100 to 150 with ease, with good summer weather pouring the fun out onto the large patio and lawn. Whispering Creek is open to outside catering, a huge plus to many of the weddings that book here. Bring your own food. Build your own dream day. You can have your cake and play golf too.
Just over 250 miles from Minneapolis/St. Paul, and only 90 miles south of Sioux Falls, Whispering Creek is a great stop on the way to or from Omaha (100 miles south). It’s the “King Course” of Iowa’s “West Coast” – the former Iowa Golf Course of the Year (in 2007). They make the visit worth your while with professional level service, great food, new technology (interactive scoring and GPS on all carts) and some pretty amazing countryside golf.
Whispering Creek partners up with the AAA Four Diamond Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (6 miles away) to offer some great Stay & Play packages. Only 5% of the world’s 30,000 hotels attain AAA-Four Diamond status, which tells you that less than 1% of Iowa’s golf courses have this level of lodging connection! The Casino has over 850 slot machines and 28 game tables. The Hotel has six restaurants and bars. The golf and gaming combination of Whispering Creek and the Hard Rock Hotel has got you covered in every way. (Check out the World Tour Buffet: $5 Breakfast / $7 Lunch / $9 Dinner.)
Don’t take that to mean you shouldn’t be eating out at the golf course. Pooch’s Pub is a great golfer hangout, a vibrant environment with tables and big screens set up to take in the Masters, March Madness and all other upcoming games. General Manager/Director of Golf Jeff Kuhn says, “We try to offer something for everyone in terms of recreation and relaxation. From visiting pros to everyday Joe’s (and Jane’s) we’ve got a great place and a truly great game!”
Whispering Creek has a lot of marsh and wetlands. There are fabulous elevation changes spread throughout. Bunkers and trees, creeks and plenty of tall, tall grass… that’s Whispering Creek. You find an extensive series of beautiful transitions, with the front nine defined by the deep creek channels that run alongside almost every hole, and the back nine defined by an abundance of peaks and plummets.
You don’t really notice the houses on the front, that half of the course feeling much more private and secluded. The homes are distant – more aiming markers than anything – and not at all a detraction from the golfing experience. My favorite holes on the front nine are the Par 3, 6th and the gorgeous Par 5, 8th, although the front nine closer (a Par 4) is growing on me (especially with that finish alongside another great Red Barn). The water in play in so many different capacities sure does add to the beauty of the overall course. It’s easy to see why this is such a popular (if not THE most popular) golf round in western Iowa.
While you will see a few more houses on the back side, your overall impression will likely be one of being impressed, particularly with the consistent “country” feel of the Whispering Creek experience. I love the long, downhill Par 5 12th hole with that launching pad tee box and the green protected by the water on the left. It’s my favorite hole on the entire course, for one – a consistent birdie opportunity. But, more importantly, it’s a great point in a great round to just stand and look all around you – to appreciate the splendor of the game of golf on one of its pure fun stages.