Course Architect(s): Perry Maxwell (1937), Press Maxwell (1956),
            Ben Crenshaw & Bill Coore (1980s, 2004)
Year Opened: 1937
Location: Hutchinson, Kansas
Slope: 142. Rating: 74.2
Par: 70
Yardage: 6,701
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 432 Yds    10 - Par 3 185 Yds
                      2 - Par 3 161 Yds    11 - Par 4 452 Yds
                      3 - Par 4 355 Yds    12 - Par 4 390 Yds
                      4 - Par 3 168 Yds    13 - Par 4 445 Yds
                      5 - Par 4 438 Yds    14 - Par 4 370 Yds
                      6 - Par 4 387 Yds    15 - Par 3 200 Yds
                      7 - Par 5 512 Yds    16 - Par 4 415 Yds
                      8 - Par 4 430 Yds    17 - Par 5 519 Yds
                      9 - Par 4 452 Yds    18 - Par 4 390 Yds
                      Par 35  3,335 Yds     Par 35  3,366 Yds

Events Held: Trans-Mississippi Men's Amateur (1958, 1973, 1987, 1996, 2005),
             U.S. Women's Amateur (1964, 1980, 1991),
             Curtis Cup (1986),
             U.S. Mid-Amateur (1988),
             U.S. Senior Amateur (1995),
             Big 12 Conference Men's Golf Championship (1999),
             A.J.G.A. Canon Cup Matches (2000),
             U.S. Women's Open (2002),
             Missouri Valley Conference Men's Golf Championship (2006),
             U.S. Senior Open (2006).

Awards Won: Ranked #1 by Golf Digest - Best in State (Kansas) (2005),
            #13 by Golfweek - America's Best Classic Golf Courses (2004),
            #15 by Golf Magazine - Top 100 Courses in U.S. (2005),
            #24 by Golf Digest - America's Top 100 Courses (2005),
            #25 by Golf Magazine - Top 100 Courses in World (2005),
            #44 by Golf Connoisseur - 100 Most Prestigious Private Clubs in
            America (2006),
            Holes #8 and #10 rated by Golf Magazine - Best 100 holes in U.S.,
            Hole #8 rated by Sports Illustrated as one of their Best 18 Holes.


HISTORY:  When  discussing the history of  a club, all  you have to do is scan
over  the list  of champions and members  of the course. An honor roll of past
winners of events at Prairie Dunes includes: Jack Nicklaus, Juli Inkster, Gary
Koch  and David  Eger, while honorary members of the course include: Nicklaus,
Arnold  Palmer, Sam Snead, Tom Watson, Judy Bell and Johnny Miller. That alone
should tell you what's in store.

The founder of the Carey Salt Company, Emerson Carey was an avid golfer in the
early  1900s, travelling the  world to play some of the top courses. The Carey
family grew up in Hutchinson, Kansas and helped develop several layouts in the
area.  In  1935, Carey  tapped Perry  Maxwell to create  what would become his
legacy,  Prairie  Dunes Country Club. Maxwell  studied under the one and only,
Dr.  Alister  Mackenzie. The Careys  spent much  time in Scotland and Ireland,
while  Maxwell, who  worked  with  Mackenzie in  his  construction of  Augusta
National,  made  the visit to  Scotland, studying the  old courses back in the

Maxwell,  who designed  such gems as Southern Hills and Colonial Country Club,
was  given the task  of creating 18 holes out of 480 acres. During his initial
visit,  Maxwell was believed to have said, "there are 118 golf holes here, and
all  I have to do is eliminate 100." Stories abound that Maxwell traversed the
site  for  weeks on  an artificial leg,  toting a  bag of apples  and a jug of

With  mules, plows  and scoops in tow,  Maxwell crafted nine holes in just two
years. Quite a difficult process, however, it was just what the Doctor ordered
and what would become, "Maxwell Rolls" on the greens and fairways. What's even
more  amazing  is that roots  of native grass and  weeds were removed by hand!
Another  astonishing  fact is that  the course is  in the heartland of Kansas,
usually  a  flat piece  of country,  but not Prairie  Dunes with towering sand
dunes  with elevation  changes, upwards  of 60  feet, splendid  prairie grass,
yucca  plants and  rich plum thickets. When completed, Prairie Dunes resembled
more  of a seaside  course, then what is accustomed to the area. Honorary Club
Member  Tom  Watson  commented, "A  touch  of  Scotland  in  the Land  of  Oz,
Sunflowers  instead of Heather. Oceans of Grain instead of the seas. But, like
Scotland, be prepared, the wind always blows."

It  wasn't until 20 years later that Perry Maxwell's son, Press was brought in
to  complete  the venue, adding the  additional nine holes. His father's work,
which  still remains virtually intact, are holes: 1, 2, 6-10, 17 and 18. Press
finished  the  course, however, it  is said that  his father routed the entire
piece of property, although the routing plan may not exist.

Prairie  Dunes was a huge success right from the start, receiving high acclaim
world-wide.  It is  currently ranked  in the  top-30 in  the world  by several

The United States Golf Association first ventured to Prairie Dunes in 1964 for
the U.S. Women's Amateur. Six-time Curtis Cup member Barbara McIntire captured
her  second  U.S. Amateur at  Prairie Dunes,  as she defeated JoAnne Gunderson
(Carner), 3 & 2. McIntire, who won her first U.S. Women's Amateur in 1959, won
all  five  of her  matches without ever  playing the final  hole. It should be
noted   that   McIntire  captured   the  1960   British  Ladies  Amateur  Golf
Championship,  becoming  one of  just  11  women  to simultaneously  hold  the
American  and  British titles and earning  her the cover of Sports Illustrated

The  USGA  once again returned  for the 1980  U.S. Women's Amateur, where Juli
Inkster  etched her  name in the history books. Inkster cruised in the opening
rounds,  winning  matches 7  & 6,  4 &  2 and 6  & 5.  In her semifinal match,
Inkster  edged 1973  winner Carol Semple Thompson,  2 & 1 and then knocked off
former  LPGA  player Patti  Rizzo, 2-up  in the championship.  The win was the
first of three consecutive U.S. Women's Amateur titles, the first person in 46
years to accomplish the feat and the last to do so.

The 24th staging of the Curtis Cup was held at Prairie Dunes in 1986, as Great
Britain  and Ireland defeated the United States, 13-5. The U.S. squad included
former  LPGA standouts; Dottie Pepper, Cindy Schreyer and Danielle Ammaccapane
and  was  captained by  Judy Bell. The  loss by the  Americans was their first
setback  in  this storied  event since  1956 and their  first loss on American

The U.S. Men's Mid-Amateur came to Prairie Dunes in 1988, as current Champions
Tour  player  David Eger  captured the  event. Eger, a  two-time winner on the
elder  circuit and a three-time member of the Walker Cup, defeated Scott Mayne
in  the championship  match, 2 & 1.  With the match all square after 14 holes,
Eger  birdied the next three for the win. Jay Sigel and John Harris, two other
players  on the Champions Tour, along with Randy Sonnier were medalists with a
score of even-par 140.

The United States Women's Amateur made its third visit to Kansas in 1991. Even
par  was  the low score  for qualifying, as  Amy Fruhwirth was medalist. Three
former  champions of  this event advanced to match play, Catarina Quintarelli,
Carol  Semple Thompson  and  Vicki Goetze,  however all  three  would fail  to
advance  to  the second  round. Fruhwirth reached  the championship match with
ease,  dispatching of Martha Leach, 7 & 6 while Heidi Voorhees defeated Martha
Lang  3 and 2 to advance. During the 36-hole final match, Fruhwirth dominated,
as she opened up a 5-up lead after 10 holes. Voorhees trimmed the advantage to
just  2-up after 25  holes, however Fruhwirth went on a birdie binge with four
straight birdies to take a 6-up lead, en route to a 5 & 4 win.

The  1995 Senior Amateur was the next major event to be held at Prairie Dunes.
With  over 2,000 entries,  James Stahl, Jr. defeated Rennie Law, 2 & 1 for the
title.  Prior to the final day, in which both the semifinals and final were to
be  played,  Stahl discovered  that an old  fried, former Mid-Amateur Champion
Danny  Yates had arrived  and was to caddie for Stahl. During the semis, Stahl
did  not lose a  hole against Curt McClure and won the match, 4 & 3. The final
match was different, as Stahl bogeyed four of the first seven holes, but still
he  held a 1-up  lead. Law's play improved and by the 12th hole, Law was 2-up.
After  winning  the 13th, Stahl  birdied the 14th to  square the match. On the
16th,  Law missed his  par putt to fall 1-down and Stahl birdied the 17th from
10  feet to seal  the win. It should be noted that Stahl was runner-up in 1995
at the Senior British Amateur.

For  the seventh time,  the USGA returned for the 2002 U.S. Women's Open. Juli
Inkster,  22 years  removed from  her U.S.  Women's Amateur  title at  Prairie
Dunes, turned in a performance of a lifetime, as she took down the best player
in  the world,  Annika Sorenstam with a stunning Sunday 66. Trailing Sorenstam
by two shots heading into the final round, Inkster gained one with a birdie on
the  par-three  second. The two-time U.S.  Open champion then drew even with a
birdie on sixth. Sorenstam, playing in the group behind Inkster, stumbled with
a  bogey on  eight and the lead was  Inkster's. With a birdie on 11 from eight
feet,  Inkster reached four-under-par and held a two-shot advantage. Sorenstam
birdied  the  14th to climb  within one, as Inkster  was struggling on 15. Her
chip  on the  par three slipped 11 feet  past the hole, but she knocked in the
par putt to keep the lead. Sorenstam missed the green on the 15th, but chipped
to  within three  feet. However, she failed  to convert and the lead was again
two.  Inkster  then clinched the  title with  a four-time, fist pumping birdie
from  21 feet  on the 16th. Sorenstam  continued to press and her birdie on 17
got  her  within two,  however that  was as close  as she  came. For the week,
Inkster  did  not three-putt  a single  green, posting  an amazing 39 one-putt
greens  in  72 holes. With  the win,  Inkster became the second-oldest Women's
Open  champion, behind  only  Mildred "Babe"  Didrickson  Zaharias (1954).  In
defeat, Sorenstam was the only player in the field to shoot all four rounds at
par or better. For the week, Prairie Dunes played quite difficult, as only two
players  broke  par and the  cut line  was at plus-nine. First-round co-leader
Shani Waugh finished alone in third, seven shots back.

REVIEW:  It is  said that  Sam  Snead after  his  first glance  of the  narrow
fairways  at  Prairie Dunes, turned  to the  gallery and commented, "OK folks,
we'll have to walk single file today."

Standing  on the  first tee,  you're  able to  visualize what's  in store,  as
several  holes  are in  full view.  The opening  hole starts  off with a sharp
dogleg  to  the left,  stretching a modest  432 yards from  the back tees. The
fairway  bunkers down the right side are a perfect target to shoot out, as you
draw  the ball from the tee. A medium- or short-iron will remain to a slightly
elevated  green,  that's 28 yards  in depth and slopes  from the center to the
front and away left and right in the back.

The  first of four sensational par three's, the second is the shortest at just
161  yards. When the  wind is up, this hole could be one tough hombre, as four
deep  bunkers  are well  below the  two-tiered putting  surface. Any shot long
could result in an unplayable lie. The green is one of three on the front nine
that's only 26 yards in depth.

From  the highest  point  on the  course,  the third  hole  presents a  visual
sensation that's not to be believed. The beauty of Prairie Dunes stands out in
all  its glory. The carry from the back tee over the deep thicket and brush is
210 yards, so just a three-metal to a fairly wide fairway, will set up a short
wedge.  The  putting green  is long and  narrow and falls  off severely in the
front. Three deep traps guard the entrance to the surface, making a front flag
quite difficult.

"Hill  Top",  the apply named  par three  is next and  is quite similar to the
second  hole. The  hole plays  longer than  the yardage  indicates due  to the
uphill  lay  of the land, not  to mention the long, left-to-right green that's
fronted  by  a pair of  deep traps below the  surface. The undulating green is
quite tricky, featuring a ridge on the left. Missing this green long and right
is jail, so play below the hole if possible.

From  an  elevated tee, the fifth  is a straight-forward par four, featuring a
wide  fairway that slopes  from left to right. Even with a successful drive, a
mid-iron  awaits, depending upon the wind, to an uphill green that slopes from
back  to front and  is quite narrow and long (34 yards deep). Let's not forget
the  two  deep traps that  guard the  front of the  surface on either side. By
the way, long of this green is quite a mistake.

Another  spectacular setting, the sixth features an elevated tee on a slightly
dogleg  left par four. A big drive down the right side, avoiding the bunker on
the  left, will set  up a short-iron to a short, narrow green. During the 2002
U.S. Women's Open, Juli Inkster sank a 65-foot chip from right of the green to
tie Annika Sorenstam for the lead en route to victory.

The  first par  five on  the  course, the  seventh can  be had,  but...Usually
playing downwind, hitting this fairway off the tee is of utmost importance, as
thick  native  grasses flank both  sides to the  green. The putting surface is
long  and narrow and guarded by sand on both sides. The smart play would be to
layup 90 to 100 yards short of the green and pitch up to the hole, thus giving
yourself the best shot at birdie.

Probably  the  most famous  hole on the  course, the eighth  is a dynamite par
four,  displaying  Maxwell Rolls more  than any other  hole. From the tee, the
hole plays uphill to a ribbon-rolling fairway that doglegs right to the green.
From  the fairway, take  an extra club to reach the surface, as four traps lay
below  the sloping green. There is no bailout to the left, as deep thicket and
a  trap await. There  is no doubt that this is the hardest hole on the course.
It  comes as  no surprise that Sports  Illustrated picked this hole for one of
their "Best 18 Holes in America."

Playing  back  towards the clubhouse,  the ninth features another elevated tee
box,  looking  down, yet another  rolling fairway.  The landing area is fairly
generous,  however any  shot off  line will  end up  in waist-high  grasses. A
medium-iron will remain to a fairly long green, that slopes hard from right to
left. During his last exhibition at Prairie Dunes, Jack Nicklaus made an eight
on the ninth.

Just  behind the clubhouse  is the 10th tee. Following his design of the hole,
Perry  Maxwell called  this par three the  best in America. It surely ranks up
there  with the 12th at Augusta, 16th at Cypress Point and the 17th at the TPC
of  Sawgrass. Playing  straight  uphill, this  devilish  one-shotter is  quite
difficult,  as the whole putting surface is not visible from the tee. Bunkers,
short-right  and  left guard the  small green that  slopes from back to front.
Making par here is quite a feet.

The  only hole with water, although it does not come into play, is the rugged,
dogleg-left  par-four  11th. At  452 yards, it  is tied with  the ninth as the
longest  par four on the course. A big drive down the fairway will be required
to  have any chance of making par, as a difficult, horseshoe bunker guards the
left  corner of  the dogleg.  A  long-iron approach  is next,  which needs  to
negotiate  the  slightly elevated surface  of the  green. Two very deep traps,
right and left protect the multi-tiered green, that is just 26 yards deep.

The  climb to the 12th tee from the previous hole is up a shoot of steps to an
elevated  tee  box that overlooks the  short, but tight par four. Although the
fairway  is wide, don't be fooled as your approach from the left or right side
of  the  fairway will be  blocked by tall cottonwood  trees. Thus, the play is
fairway-metal or long-iron off the tee, setting up a short-iron to the tiniest
of greens. At just 25 yards in depth, this severely sloped putting surface can
be quite difficult.

A  tough driving hole,  the 13th is anything but lucky. First off, three traps
and deep rough guard the right landing area. Next, more deep rough and another
bunker  protect  the left. Let's  not forget the  narrow landing zone to shoot
out.  With a  successful tee ball, a slightly uphill second remains to another
small  green that cants  severely from back to front with a couple of distinct
ridges. Any ball on the front edge, will roll down back off the green.

Despite  playing as the  shortest par four on the back nine, the 14th requires
pinpoint  accuracy off the tee. The problem is that it's a blind shot over the
hill to the fairway. The play is a draw on this dogleg left, avoiding the deep
rough  and sand down  the left side. Although the rough is thick on the right,
at  least  par is  still in the  mix if  you block your  tee ball. The putting
surface  is one of the longest on the course and is slightly elevated from the
bottom  of  the fairway. The green  is surrounded by  tall trees and a pair of
deep traps. A large ridge in the first quarter of the green makes reading this
putting surface a challenge.

Nicknamed  aptly, "The Chute",  the final par three on the course plays from a
towering  stand  of trees on either  side of the  tee box. Uphill and into the
wind,  it's hard  to believe that this  is the highest handicapped hole on the
course.  A  long-iron or fairway-metal is  needed just to reach this miniscule
putting  surface. To err on 15, go left, as two difficult traps stand ready on
the right. The good news, the green might be one of the easiest on the course.

The  final of the  seven par fours over 400 yards, the 16th is a dogleg right,
playing  back into the wind. The unusually wide fairway does boast a bunker on
either  side  with tall native  grasses down the entire  length of the hole. A
large  ridge in  the center of the  fairway stands 260 yards out from the tee.
Your approach will likely be with a mid-iron to a long, narrow green with sand
both  left and  right. The putting surface  slopes from left to right. A tough
hole with the tournament on the line.

Once  again, the "Maxwell  Rolls" are quite evident on the 17th, the final par
five on the course. One of the more deceiving tee shots on the course, as upon
first  look, there seems to be more landing area than there is. The hole bends
slightly left from the back tees and plays uphill after your opening shot. The
elevated  green can be reached in two, however it's just 29 yards in depth and
is  quire narrow. Sand and scrub are left and right of the green falls sharply
downward,  making for  a difficult up and down. Birdie certainly, but don't be
disappointed with par.

A  classic finishing hole, the 18th is a gem with the setting sun to the left.
The  elevated tee  shows the entire hole  and what's ahead of you. The rolling
fairway  is quite  wide, but  that's  where it  ends. Devoid  of bunkers,  the
fairway  sports  deep rough left and  tall native grasses right, making for an
anxious tee shot. The hole bends to the right off the tee and slopes uphill to
the green from the fairway. Three difficult bunkers guard the right portion of
the  putting surface, while one deep, diabolical bunker lays left. The putting
surface  is  narrow and just 29  paces deep, as  it slopes from right to left.
According  to local lore,  the 18th was once aced by former assistant pro, Tom

FINAL WORD: I'll be the first to admit that I had heard of Prairie Dunes since
we  cover  all aspects of golf  at The Sports  Network. But, I will also admit
that I failed to know much about the course, other than it was in Kansas.

Prairie  Dunes is  a fantastic seaside course. One problem, there is no water.
Although I have never played in Scotland, I am told that this is as close to a
Scottish-type  course that  it can  be.  This is  a perfect  example of  links
design,  something Perry  Maxwell was  interested  in bringing  to the  United

Not  long by  today's standards, Prairie Dunes can play as difficult or harder
than  most courses  in the country. How  hard is Prairie Dunes? The first nine
times  Jack Nicklaus played the course, he never shot par! Peter Jacobsen, the
2004  U.S.  Senior Open champion,  upon a recent  visit to Prairie Dunes said,
"This  is truly one the most interesting and challenging courses in the United
States  and certainly  fits in  the "links"  genre along  with Pacific  Dunes,
Cypress Point, Pebble Beach and Whistling Straits."

From the elegant, but not overstated clubhouse, to the accommodating staff and
of course, the incredible golf course, Prairie Dunes is marvel and a testament
to  golf. Major champion, golf architect and historian Ben Crenshaw commented,
"Anybody  who has ever visited Prairie Dunes will be treated to real golf; the
kind that tests your brains and body. Yes, this is golf of the first order."

There  is no course  in this country quite like Prairie Dunes and for it to be
in the Kansas of all places, well, you get the picture. This is a masterpiece,
a  Rembrandt, an  architectural  marvel. Every  hole  is magnificent.  Rolling
pieces  of carpet  fairways, stunning  native grasses  and Yucca  plants, plum
thickets, groves of towering cottonwoods and sizzling greens. Prairie Dunes is
one of my all-time favorite courses. Please invite me back!