Pioneer Creek Golf Course
|Front (W)||72||5147 yards||69.7||121|
|Black M: 73.5/141||501||374||195||389||466||374||425||204||558||3486||437||390||371||208||597||440||310||182||573||3508||6994|
|Blue M: 71.8/138||490||364||186||369||426||364||389||187||533||3308||413||359||356||198||558||417||296||164||549||3310||6618|
|White M: 70.4/134 W: 75.9/138||478||355||170||351||403||342||359||170||518||3146||384||355||331||184||539||398||286||151||517||3145||6291|
|Gold M: 68.3/130 W: 73.5/132||462||329||161||329||379||325||336||123||509||2953||354||296||296||171||525||360||263||130||492||2887||5840|
|Red M: 65.0/124 W: 69.6/124||427||283||126||280||359||272||296||98||443||2584||340||267||282||155||435||325||221||101||437||2563||5147|
Available FacilitiesClubhouse, Banquet Facilities
Best Public Course West of Minneapolis
For transparency's sake, this past summer I took a part-time job as a starter/ranger at Pioneer Creek, but this review would be the same if written a year earlier.
The condition of the course in 2019 rivals the best in the area, and continues to improve each year. The greens are exceptionally fast and true (they were running at 11 mid-summer) even after racquetball-sized hail chewed them up in early August. The grounds crew continues to improve drainage in perennially damp areas, but an excessively wet September resulted in an overflowing creek.
While the greens are really well done, they are very hard, forcing even the best players to land short of the pin and play for roll. The contours of most greens are fairly tame, although there are a few pin positions that are almost impossible to 2-putt if your approach lands in the wrong place.
Wind can be on issue on some holes, and this year winds were coming from all directions. The layout for several holes can seem a bit unusual depending on how you hit the ball. The Par 5 9th and 18th holes require exceptional drives and second shots to clear the creek and give yourself a shot at par, although low handicappers can reach most Par 5's in two from the Back Tees if the wind isn't an issue.
I actually tend to score a bit better from the Middle/White tees (6291 yards) than my league Executive/Gold tees (5840) for some reason, and the Middle tees provide a bit more shot diversity for the mid-handicapper.
Seniors should consider purchasing a Patron card for the season ($50), which cuts an additional $8 off of Weekday Senior rate of $28 to walk 18 holes. Standard pace of play is 4:10 for 18 holes, but most weekday mornings foursomes are rounding in well under 4 hours. Things can slow down on weekends, but there are enough rangers scheduled that they can get things sorted out for sluggish groups.
I've met a number of golfers who only get to play Pioneer Creek once or twice a season, and they always seem to comment that they wish they could come out more frequently. The course has matured a lot from the photos on the website, to the point that some mature trees have been removed to help speed up play. The rough is also kept fairly short to help find wayward drives.
Fun golf Course
Pioneer Creek is fun golf course, Somewhat forgiving off the T. Starts with a reachable par 5 on 1st hole with a difficult #9 where T shot is crucial. Every hole has it's own unique layout. You won't lose lot of golf balls on this course, however, you do cross Pioneer Creek several times so it does require some good ball striking. #18 is a great par 5 finishing hole, without good T shot you may have to layup before the creek which then requires long approach shot to two tiered green.
Play the Creek!
Pioneer Creek Golf Course is aptly named. Your golf ball will have to cross the creek seven times during your round, off the tee, on the second shot, or on the approach to the green. Water comes into play on a few other holes as well, so if your ball stays dry for the full eighteen holes you are probably a very good golfer. The course is set on very nicely rolling terrain. There are no dramatic elevation changes, but you will have to add or subtract a club several times on your approach shots. The fairways are very wide and generally smooth, although there were a few places where water issues have resulted in dead spots which were appropriately marked as ground under repair. Tree coverage is fairly sparse, so you won’t generally have to worry about avoiding wood. The major hazards to avoid are the natural grass areas or marsh areas that abound along the fairways or that have to be carried off the tee. The greens are top dressed with sand and very firm. Our group wasn’t able to find many ball marks even after lofting wedges in to the green. Despite the firmness, the greens did not play very fast. Speed was moderate and comfortable. Two members of our group had played the course before, while two hadn’t. It quickly became obvious that familiarity with the course is a definite advantage. Many of the greens are offset at an angle to the fairway and raised with a false front so that run-up shots are not an option. There were also a few blind tee shots. GPS units on the electric carts helped a little, but there is no substitute for experience. The course is visually appealing and fun to play. One of the most scenic views is on the tee of the second hole. A picturesque old barn sits in the distance off to the left, recalling the past of the land you’re playing on. In the far western suburbs of Minneapolis, Pioneer Creek may be a bit of drive, but it’s really worth the effort to get out to this course.
Course is about 10 minutes west of Wayzata. We played on a beautiful day. Course was in great shape. Greens were firm and fast. Fairways were in nice shape. Course has a nice layout. Front 9 is fairly open. Creek comes into play on a few holes. Some nice views of the course. Back 9 has more trees, but a really nice layout. Carts must have been fairly new, staff was friendly. I'll put this course on my favorites list.