It has rained steadily for quite a few days this spring, so when the clouds parted this week, even if ever so briefly, I decided to play hooky for a morning and headed to what turned out to be a little gem of a course called Dakota Creek.
The first nine holes of Dakota Creek were carved out of farmland and timber back in 1988. The last time I played out there was probably 15 years ago and they had just opened a new 9-holes up on the hillside making it an 18-hole layout. I don’t remember being very fond of it—hence the 15-year layoff—but I won’t make that mistake again.
For starters, even with all the rain we’ve experienced over the past few weeks, the course played remarkably dry. In addition, using the curvature and elevation of the foothills very effectively, many shots (and some hazards) are blind so you just pick a number; swing in a direction then peek around the corner or over the next rise to see how you did. Course knowledge is definitely a plus if you really care about your score, but it was pretty darned fun just guessing too.
Besides the wonderful forested landscape, the course is dotted with lakes and wetlands and as you might expect, criss-crossed by the course’s namesake, Dakota Creek. While my wildlife sightings were limited to water fowl and one soaring eagle, I am certain that grazing deer, bunnies and maybe even a few crafty coyotes are a common sight in these parts.
The owner told me about plans to make this an ultra-family friendly course and she comes by “family” honestly; two of her grandsons stopped by to say hi and she tossed them each on a lawnmower and put them to work. For $1 per year, you can bring a child (10 years or younger) to the course and play the front nine. Note, there will be a 1-to-1 ratio of adult to child so don’t visualize some sort of day care group running amok. Special tee boxes have been set up near the greens to keep the pace of play moving.
All in all, this was a fun course with beautiful territorial views on top of the back-9 and several short par-4s that make it ideal for beginners—or for honing your short game skills. Don’t be fooled by the 5,185-yard length; there are plenty of challenges out there for the most advanced among you. I highly recommend giving this delightful little north county course a try.
Go. Play. Golf.