Visit PGA Pro Services for more information about the PGA of America.
On a beautiful, sunny Spring day, Archie and I played Tallgrass Country Club in our home base of Wichita, Kansas. The entrance to Tallgrass is in Northeast Wichita, on the north side of 21st street, between Rock and Webb Roads. The course recently gained notariety in March, as a young pilot and his passenger crash landed on the 14th fairway. All was well, as there were not serious injuries, the plane has since been removed, and there are no lasting scars from this event. If you would like to know more about the crash, you can click on this LINK.
Once Archie and I decide upon the when, he is the one who determines where we play (a nice break for my otherwise Type A personality.) He had decided on a local course today as his wife was gone and he had to get home to take care of the dogs. Now we really know who's in charge at Archie's house.
The Tallgrass course is classified as a championship 18-hole course, designed by Arthur Hills, which opened in 1981. It is best known in the Wichita area for its namesake, the tall stands of native grasses near the tee boxes. The tall grass would certainly intimidate the novice golfer concerned about whether his tee shot would reach the fairway. Raise your head before impact and you'll be reaching for a new ball! The course plays long from the back tees, but is considerably shorter from the front tees to help the seniors and ladies.
Our tee-time was at 10:45, and we saw just a few other golfers during our round. We decided to ride, rather than walk. Since the course meanders through several residential developments, we felt it may be a distance from one green to the next tee as it is on many of the newer courses with home sites. This was really not the case; in fact, a lone walker was within sight ahead during our last three holes.
As you might expect from a country club course in Kansas' largest city, the course was in immaculate condition overall, with the exception of a couple of greenside bunkers that Archie found first-hand. He felt the sand was hard packed, not fluffy. The greenside and fairway bunkers that I noticed were freshly manicured, and only a couple had standing water from last weekend's heavy rains. The fairways and first two cuts of rough were of lush fescue, that led to great lies from both the fairways and first cut of rough. The second cut was quite thick, providing golfers with an added challenge for missing the ample fairways. The course has mature trees, which added to the scenic beauty while not often coming into play. Water hazards are on seven holes, but were not found to be severe in nature.
Notable holes for me were #10, with its severe dogleg right and blind pin location. #11, a short Par 3, with water in front and dense woods on the right. Pay particular attention to your alignment on the #11 tee box if you don't want your ball in the woods. #18 has water along the right side of the fairway, and a large tree protecting the green.
We were pleasantly surprised by the hospitality at the course, from Marie in the pro shop, to Mike, who was taking time to tidy up the patio, to the mowers who returned my simple hand gestures as we passed. It was a great day to be playing golf, and another great course to be enjoyed and marked off the bucket list.
For more Kansas Golf Course reviews, go to the Kansas Golf Tour website at kansasgolftour.com.
Hazeltine National Golf Club
Trump National Golf Club
Olympia Fields Country Club
Olympia Fields, Illinois
Quail Hollow Club
Charlotte, North Carolina