Tee Times Press Travel Club North Dakota
The Tee Times Press Travel Club North Dakota section brings you interesting articles from many of the areas Minnesota and Wisconsin golfers frequent. Here you will find hot topics and reviews from North Dakota.
A long-term resident of Medora, North Dakota, and one of my favorite humans on earth – Kathy Solga – says, “People have no idea they can literally play golf in a National Park… in THE Badlands. The Badlands are indescribable. The golfing experience in The Badlands is even more so.”
Hawktree,” I replied. “It’s in Bismarck, North Dakota.” Another writer chimed in with an emphatic “Yes!” and “I love that course!” Everyone else was at a geographic and experiential loss.
I’ve heard it said that no town or city in America packs more per person pleasure punch (in terms of amenities and activities) than Medora.
My first glimpse of Jim Engh’s Hawktree Golf Club in Bismarck, North Dakota left me awestruck… slack-jawed… utterly flabbergasted. It was in 2010, ten years ago, and they were celebrating their 10 Year Anniversary. The head pro at the time had gotten so used to the stunned expression of underestimating guests, that he’d resigned himself to modestly responding to their unfailing amazement with, “Yeah, it’s a nice place.”
There are certain things in life every American should do at least once: Eat lobster in Maine and BBQ on Sea Island. Visit the Grand Canyon and Statue of Liberty. Drive up Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park and around Crater Lake. See the lighting of Mount Rushmore and Niagara Falls. Attend a Blue Man Group concert and the Medora Musical.
I can’t say I’d walk 300 miles to play The King’s course in Grand Forks, North Dakota, but I’d certainly drive it (again). I wish I lived even closer, but four and a half easy hours of interstate is all that separates the Twin Cities golfer from North Dakota’s only Arnold Palmer Signature Course.
How often do you realize your dreams? Depends on the dream I guess. A dream to me might not be a dream to you, and vice versa, but it was always a dream of mine to play Hawktree Golf Club in Bismarck, North Dakota until I realized it.
Ely is the gateway to the Boundary Waters. Estes Park is surrounded by Rocky Mountain National Park and Medora… well… Medora just might be the most unique small town in America.
It’s a trip you have to take… at least once. At least twice. It’s a place you have to spend a night… at least one. Okay, at least two. Really, at least three. Medora may geographically, for all intents and purposes, be in Montana, but it’s also a lot closer than you would think to the Twin Cities.
Ten years ago, almost to the day, I made my first golf loop through North Dakota. I started in Bismarck, at Hawktree, then drove the 140 miles to Medora to play Bully Pulpit, then 150 more miles to play The Links of North Dakota.
I never have to be asked to write an article on Arnold Palmer. My editors will say, “Hey, there’s an Arnold Palmer…” and I cut them off. “I’ll do it,” I say, not caring in the least what the actual angle is.
I’ve long been a fan of Jim Engh’s work – a largely unheralded genius, I would say. The native North Dakotan’s courses mingle on my “favorites” and “bucket lists”.
Have you ever been somewhere you wish you could immediately transport all of your friends and family members to (if only for a minute) just so they could comprehend and appreciate how surprisingly great it is?