Golf mags notice Lakota |

Golf mags notice Lakota

G. Sean Kelly
Lakota Canyon Ranch Golf Club in New Castle has garnered attention " and kudos " from golf publications.

A pair of national publications feted Lakota Canyon Ranch Golf Club recently, and the staff is hoping that the other two major publications involved in ranking courses will follow suit in the next couple of months.

Travel and Leisure Golf named Lakota Canyon one of 2004’s Ten Best New Public/Resort Courses, and Golf Magazine also picked the New Castle tract as one of the Top 10 You Can Play for courses that opened in 2004. Neither magazine specifically ranked the top 10.

“It was a great honor and, as a golf professional; you strive to work at places like this,” Lakota head pro Tom Underwood said. “It’s something that this facility has shot for from day one, and we’re hoping to get rated by Golf Digest and Golf Week. We got two out of four down, and it would be excellent to get all four.”

According to Underwood, the ratings are based on the entire golf experience ” everything from the design and upkeep to the views, service and amenities.

Lakota Canyon seems to have passed with flying colors on all fronts. And the Jim Engh-designed course also has an ace in the hole with stunning views that simply aren’t available in other parts of the country.

“A lot of (the ratings) guys are from different states that don’t have this terrain, so the ‘wow’ effect is there from the very first hole,” Underwood said. “People who are rating these golf courses are just amazed by the views from each tee.”

Golf Magazine said in its article, “this course is a bucking bronco from the get-go. … The elevation changes are so dramatic, you may wonder if Engh trained at Six Flags, but in this rugged setting it all works.”

Travel and Leisure Golf had a similar feeling: “Engh continues his pattern of cutting-edge design, carving a breathtaking mile-high course with 600 feet of elevation change. Tees cling to hillsides, fairways plunge into canyons, bowl-like greens corral stray shots. Lakota’s holes, like those of a novelty golf calendar, appear airbrushed onto the rocks.”

Although Engh gets, and deserves, much of the credit from the publications, the staff at Lakota obviously did a solid job making the course architect’s vision a reality.

“Opening in the style we did ” it was probably one of the fastest grow-ins anyone has ever seen in the state ” the success we had was just incredible,” Lakota course superintendent Chris McPherson said. “When you have who is considered one of or the top architect in the world, basically you’ve got to fulfill your part, and I think we obviously did that.

“The success is because of the staff behind me,” McPherson added. “Without the crew, I don’t care how much I know or how much I do, I wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”

Lakota is now open for its second season.