Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort (Larchwood, IA)

The third stop on the 2019 Early Break Golf Tour is Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort in Larchwood, Iowa—which just so happens to be the town I lived in the first 9 years of my life before moving to Nebraska. The course is called by many as the top course in the Sioux Falls area, and after playing it–it’s hard to deny that claim.

When you get to Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort, you’re welcomed by valet parking and they also valet your clubs back to your cart, so once you walk through the casino to get to the golf shop and get cleared for your teetime, your clubs are already on your cart out back. They have a very nice driving range and putting green, too. The carts have GPS in them, so you’re never questioning your distances at all. That’s something that more courses have tried to implement, but it’s definitely pricy for courses, so I was appreciative that Grand Falls had it.

The course is still pretty new; it opened in 2013 as a Rees Jones designed course. You’ll be blown away by it when you’re playing–you’ll swear you’re in Scotland and not in northwest Iowa. There are no trees to be seen, as it’s pure links style, with tall fescue that is able to be played from, but still punishing as it should be if you miss too far left or right. I played on a 58 degree day with 30mph winds and cloudy skies after it had rained a lot, so that was the real ‘Scotland feel’ for me—but don’t worry, I promise it’s not like that all the time up there! And, speaking of rain—Grand Falls did an amazing job with their drainage system because you would never know it had rained almost 3 inches there overnight and in the morning we played in the early afternoon. Most of the land around the course was flooded with water, but Grand Falls’ drainage system on the course is top notch and the course is in amazing shape still.

I played the tips (blacks), which plays to 7,110 yards on the scorecard. There are 5 total teeboxes to choose from, so any level of golfer should have a good challenge and good time while playing. I was struck by the length of the par 4s. Hole 4 is 465 yards from the tips, and hole 16 is 475 from the tips. Both of these holes were into the wind, so they played like long par 5s instead of long par 4s. Let’s just say I was thrilled to make bogey on both of them. That’s the sign of a good course though; I wouldn’t say that any hole was ‘easy.’ They all had rewards and they all had punishment. If you keep the ball in play, as it is for most courses, you’ll score well. The greens are very smooth with no bumps. That’s vital to being a good course.

Other holes that stood out were holes 8 and 9, which surround the 12-acre lake. Hole 8 is a par 3 with water left, and water is left on the entirety of the dogleg par 4 9th hole. Add in the attractive waterfall on the finishing par 3 18th hole, and you have yourself a golf course to remember and to desire to come back and play again.

Plus—they’re on the Nebraska Golf Passport, so if you have one of those (you can buy one at nebraskagolfpassport.org), check them out.

Contact Info:
1415 Grand Falls Blvd.
Larchwood, IA 51241

(712) 777-7777
www.thefallsgolfcourse.com

Director of Golf:   Jason Wagamon