The Dance With Ms. Dunes

Originally Published: 9/20/17


"A little bit of Scotland in the Land of Oz.

Sunflowers instead of heather.

Oceans of grain instead of the sea.

But, like Scotland, be prepared...

the wind always blows."

–Tom Watson

The air is fresh. Breeze softly blowing, soft for Kansas that is (a steady 15mph). Weeds and wheat tusks waving, shimmering in the golden light. It is quiet, eerily so. The colors are vibrant, luscious green grass standing in stark contrast to the perilous gunch that surrounds it. Yellow flags flapping in the breeze, showing you where to set your sights. The sky is big and blue. Fluffy, white clouds meander their way up north. Your white, plastic (soy-base, I know) tee easily breaks through the grass covering the sand-rich soil. A pearly, white, unblemished ball sits atop the tee, awaiting its compressive ascent toward the fairway ahead. This is the legendary dance with Ms. Dunes.

Prairie Dunes Country Club is a Midwest Masterpiece. It is as unexpected as finding beachfront property in the middle of Kansas. In the sleepy town of Hutchinson, KS, Prairie Dunes is a legend of literal folklore.

If you haven't heard of it, and the majority of people (even in the golf community) have not, it's best kept that way. The beauty and charm of Prairie Dunes seems too good to be true. It's magical power is likened to a closely-held secret that loses its luster when revealed to the masses. Stepping foot on the putting green ushers you into an other-worldly experience. An experience that makes you forget you're still in the land of wheat, and tornadoes, and yellow-brick roads.

So, what is the "Dance with Ms. Dunes" all about?

Ms. Dunes is her formal name, but her reality is far less pretty. Beneath the perfectly manicured fairways, crisply cut tee-boxes, and endlessly undulating greens, lies a cunning and seductive temptress who's chief aim is to break your (and every other hopeful courter's) heart. Ms. Dunes is a cruel mistress.

How can this be so?

Anyone who's had the pleasure of dancing with Ms. Dunes can attest, that what started out as a love-affair most assuredly ended in heartbreak. For as much as she promises to give from her appearance, she takes all that back and more. Far more than you were ever willing to give. 

Yet time and time again, the eager hopefuls come flocking back to request one more song to swing to. One last piece to sway in each other's arms. And dance she will, but this love song has only one ending: heartache and dismay.

So why do I return? Why do I keep coming back to the cruel mistress that is Ms. Dunes? Why do I continually donate peace offerings of white balls to her overflowing arms? Why is there renewed hope every time that first tee goes into the ground? Because sometimes, the pain is worth the thrill of one last dance with Ms. Dunes.

Find Out More:

For more info on Prairie Dunes Country Club, visit their website:


"Prairie Dunes is an American original and one of the most scenic courses anywhere. You could never mistake photographs of it for any other American course, although it has been confused with the very best of the British Isles.

The center of the United States might be the last place one would expect to find a links-style course with rolling hills reminiscent of the seaside courses in Scotland. But that's just part of what makes Prairie Dunes a Kansas treasure and unique opportunity for golfers worldwide."