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Golfweek's Best Courses 2020: Kansas


Kansas might be best known for wheat and is nicknamed the Sunflower State, but all its green fairways shouldn’t be overlooked, especially by golfers looking to play top-rated public-access courses without breaking the bank.

Traveling golfers could tee off on any of the top five Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play in Kansas for under $100, some of them for less than half that, based on advertised rates on the courses’ websites. Seeing as how green fees at some top destinations stretch well past $300, Kansas’ top five public-access courses are a relative bargain.

Golfweek ranks courses by compiling the average ratings – on a points basis of 1 to 10 – of its more than 750 raters to create several industry-leading lists of courses. That includes the popular Best Courses You Can Play list for courses that allow non-member tee times. These generally are defined as courses accessible to resort guests or regular daily-fee players.

Tops on the Best Courses You Can Play in Kansas list for 2020 is Firekeeper Golf Course in Mayetta, which is operated by the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation near the Prairie Band Casino and Resort. Located about 20 miles north of Topeka, the wide-sky layout was designed by Jeffrey Brauer and former PGA Tour player Notah Begay. It opened in 2011.

Sand Creek Station in Kansas (Courtesy of Sand Creek Station)

Buffalo Dunes by architect Frank Hummel in Garden City is No. 2 on the Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play list, followed by No. 3 Ironhorse in Leawood by Michael Hurdzan. Brauer then takes over the rest of the list, having also designed No. 4 Sand Creek Station in Newton and No. 5 Colbert Hills in Manhattan, this time in partnership with former tour player Jim Colbert.

While the top public-access golf in Kansas is fairly strong and affordable, the top-rated course in the state is private, and it’s one of the best courses in the United States.

Prairie Dunes in Kansas (Courtesy of Prairie Dunes)

Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchison opened in 1937 with nine holes designed by Perry Maxwell. Maxwell’s son, Press, completed the second nine 20 years later. Prairie Dunes ranks No. 11 in the U.S. on Golfweek’s Best list of Classic Courses built before 1960, and it is No. 1 on Golfweek’s Best list for private courses in Kansas.

Flint Hills National in Andover is No. 2 on the state’s private list, followed by Kansas City Country Club in Mission Hills, Wolf Creek in Olathe and Shadow Glen, also in Olathe.

Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play in Kansas

These are the best courses you can play in Kansas.

1. Firekeeper

Mayetta (m)

2. Buffalo Dunes

Garden City (m)

3. Ironhorse

Leawood (m)

4. *Sand Creek Station

Newton (m)

5. Colbert Hills

Manhattan (m)

Golfweek’s Best Private Courses 2020 in Kansas

1. Prairie Dunes

Hutchinson (No. 11 c)

2. Flint Hills National

Andover (m)

3. Kansas City CC

Mission Hills (c)

4. Wolf Creek

Olathe (m)

5. Shadow Glen

Olathe (m)

*New to the list in 2020

(m): modern, (c): classic

Golfweek’s Best 2020: Top 50 Casino Courses

The rankings below reflect where these courses fall among the top 50 Casino Courses in the United States.

15. Firekeeper, 6.22

Mayetta, Kan.; Jeff Brauer, Notah Begay; 2011

Golfweek’s Best 2020

How we rate them

The members of our course-ratings panel continually evaluate courses and rate them based on our 10 criteria. They also file a single, overall rating on each course. Those overall ratings on each course are averaged together to produce a final rating for each course. Then each course is ranked against other courses in its state, or nationally, to produce the final rankings.

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