Happy New Year from the Superintendent’s Corner!

After a 2016 that brought many exciting changes to Elkhorn Ridge, we’re looking ahead to an even better 2017. Our winter has been good and we’re anticipating that the course will be healthy and lush this spring. Our turf will have gone through it’s second winter and will be closer, if not identical, to the older front nine in terms of thickness, thatch and playability.

We have several improvements ready for next year, including an expanded driving range tee and cart staging area, modifications to the native turf areas and bunkers, more irrigation additions and more trees. But aside from the exciting year ahead, I like to use the winter months to educate the golfing public on a few of the topics that I hear about the most from YOU, the golfing public.

Let’s start with green speed: probably the hottest topic in golf maintenance in recent years. I assume most of you don’t know all of the factors that add up to fast greens, and that’s ok, you’re not expected to. Greens speeds can vary from day to day, and sometimes change faster or slower depending on these factors. Our greens generally roll between 10-11′ on the stimpmeter. This is a good balance that serves both high and low handicap golfers. Too slow, and the break and roll of the ball is affected. Too fast, and the average golfer can have trouble keeping downhill putts on the green!

The main factors and methods involved are fertility, water content, grooming, aerating, mowing height/frequency, brushing, rolling, verticutting and topdressing. A balanced combination of everything requires constant observations and upkeep from our crew. Most of these controls are daily morning activities, some only require attention every 1-2 weeks. Too much or not enough of any one thing can stress the turf and open them up to diseases, physical damage and longer recovery times for dry spots and ball marks.

We’ve always taken pride in our healthy greens, consistent speeds and our ability to recover quickly from any damage or diseases.

Another topic I hear about frequently is topdressing, which is closely related to the health and speeds of the greens. We apply a light sand topdressing to our greens every 2 weeks, generally on Mondays when we have the least amount of play.

Topdressing serves many purposes, and we in the golf industry are still discovering the benefits of adding sand to the green surface. One main result of topdressing is a smooth, true putting surface. The sand locks together and encourages upright growth of the turf. When we roll the greens, the sand forms a tight horizontal surface while still allowing the greens to hold golf shots coming in vertically.

Topdressing also helps control and even reduce thatch buildup in the turf. Too much thatch can create a “layering” affect that influences nutrient and water penetration. It can also create a safe haven for diseases to flourish, so the more we topdress, the less chance we have of diseases that can knock out greens in a short time period.

Thatch control also means that we don’t have to core-aerate as often, meaning less interference in your playing time. Frequent topdressing also results in faster recovery time from ball marks and mechanical damage from hail, animals, mowers and heavy feet! Just like filling a divot with sand, sand on the greens creates a “bridge” for the grass to grow together and remain consistent in appearance. All in all, topdressing is in the top-three maintenance activities, along with fertilizing and watering, that ensures healthy turf.

I hope you learned something today! I’ll be providing more tips and tidbits on the world of golf maintenance throughout the winter. In the meantime, stay warm!

Greg Brandriet


Last Day For Play

Today, November 19th will be Elkhorn’s last day for play, please call ahead and thanks for a great season!!

We’ll see you in the Spring!

Stay tuned for Christmas Holiday Golf Shop Sales!


Welcome to Elkhorn Ridge Golf Club

Elkhorn Ridge Golf Club challenges everyone from beginner to the seasoned pro. Five separate teeing areas at each hole allows golfers to determine not only length of the course but also a tee based on their ability.

The 18 Hole course reaches 7,200 yards from the tips and is a Par 72. The front nine is nestled on the side of a mountain with spectacular views of the Centennial Valley, while the back nine is tucked away in the historic Polo Creek Canyon offering a glimpse at the historic Frawley Homestead. The course features 285 feet of elevation change and includes hidden canyons, elevated tees, generous fairways, and broad sloping green surfaces with numerous pin placement options.

Equipped with state of the art Visage GPS Club Car electric carts and the modern championship layout offers an upscale experience along with the Black Hills’ best practice facilities to hone one’s skills including a double-ended driving range, multiple putting greens, fairway and green-side bunkers.

Golf Course Hours
Monday 9:00am-6:00pm
Tuesday-Sunday 7:00am-6:00pm

2016 Season
As we start a busy season, please keep in mind the importance of tee times. Members are able to reserve tee times 30 days in advance, and we encourage you to book yours as early as possible. There will be no guarantee to players who want to play without a tee time. Singles and two-somes will be paired when making tee times, in order to fill the course.

Book your round by calling the club house at (605) 722-4653 or follow the ‘Tee Times’ link above.

Thank you for your continued support of Elkhorn Ridge Golf Club.