St. Louis, the Gateway to the West. A city steeped in American history unlike any other. Today, this great city is home to culture, sports, food, commerce, and some of the best golf you’re going to find in the Midwest.
It’s been a while since I’ve ventured to St. Louis, but I have fond memories of my time here. While I’ve played a little golf in St. Louis, I’m in no position to act as an authority. That’s why I turned to you guys for help. I’ve been sitting on a request to publish a guide to the best public courses here and it’s time I acted.
Like clockwork, you guys came through with plenty of unique and intelligent insight.
So, here’s to you! Let’s get going.
Gateway National Golf Links
Even though Gateway National is technically across the Mississippi River in Illinois, it’s only a short drive from St. Louis.
True to its name, this links course is one of the best you’ll find in the Midwest.
Rolling fairways meander through pasturelands of native grasses. Gentle mounds and plenty of bunkers dot the landscape.
Gateway National allows you to play the game along the ground. Most greens are open in front which allows you to run the ball up.
With a magnificent view of the Gateway Arch and the St. Louis skyline, this round is challenging, fun, and scenic all at once.
If you have a chance to play just one round in St. Louis, there are worse choices than Gateway National.
Tapawingo National Golf Club
Gary Player designed 27 holes of spectacular golf at Tapawingo.
Here, you’ll find three distinct nines that are characterized by hardwood forests, plenty of water, and abundant native wildlife.
Target golf is on display here. The course asks you to hit it from point A to point B, although there is ample opportunity for risk and reward.
Known for being one of the best kept courses in the St. Louis area, it’s no surprise golfers keep returning to Tapawingo.
Stonewolf Golf Club
Stonewolf Golf Club is another course just across the Mississippi River in Illinois, but it’s only a short drive from downtown St. Louis.
This Jack Nicklaus Signature design is considered one of the premier tracks in the area.
Rolling fairways, undulating greens, and a number of forced carries make this track a true ball striker’s test.
Thankfully, there are five sets of tees that make Stonewolf playable for everyone.
A great round of golf at a reasonable price, I’ve heard nothing but good things about Stonewolf.
Normandie Golf Club
Normandie Golf Club is one of the oldest golf courses in St. Louis. It opened its doors in 1901. That’s reflected in the design too.
Tree lined Bermuda fairways and small, undulating greens demand precision. You’d best keep it in the fairway and below the hole.
While you might be tempted to take out the big stick and cut a few corners, it’s better to play the course as it was meant to be played.
Even though Normandie Golf Club isn’t the longest course, it’s a solid test and a joy to play.
Far Oaks Golf Club
Unlike a lot of golf courses in the St. Louis area, the fairways are wide at Far Oaks Golf Club. You can tee it high and let it fly.
The front nine resembles a Scottish links layout with fairways that are surrounded by native grasses.
On the back nine, the course narrows and holes are lined with ancient oaks. This nine in particular, is considered one of the best in Missouri.
When you’re done with your round, kick your feet up, relax and enjoy a scrumptious bite to eat and your favorite cold beverage at the Bar and Grille.
Far Oaks is revered as a top daily fee facility and it’s not hard to see why.
Forest Park Golf Course
Just minutes from downtown, you’ll find Forest Park Golf Course.
One of the finest munis in the state, Forest Park is full of character. You’ll have to work the ball both ways as there are numerous doglegs. Well placed bunkers and hazards come into play on most holes. There’s a premium on both course management and ball striking.
The best part about this facility is that you have three different nines to choose from.
If you get a chance, regulars recommend playing all three nines to get the full experience.
Florissant Golf Club
Opened in 1964, Florissant Golf Club has been enjoyed by golfers from all over for a long time.
While the layout is both fun and challenging, the greens are what this track is known for. They’re undulating and as fast as you’ll find anywhere. Staying below the hole is essential.
Again, course management and a strategic game plan for each hole are the keys to scoring well.
An iconic, traditional design, you won’t forget a round at Florissant Golf Club.
Riverside Golf Club
Another 18 holes of great golf await at Riverside Golf Club. Since 1965, golfers have strolled these fairways.
This course isn’t long, but it’s a blast to play. Playing to a par of 69 and a length of less than 6,000 yards from the back tees, this is the perfect spot for a day on the links with family, friends, or people just learning the game.
If you have a young one that’s excited about golf, there’s no better option to get them going than the junior program at Riverside. Over the course of the summer, PGA Professionals gradually introduce juniors to the game in a way that’s fun and keeps them engaged.
It’s too bad all cities don’t have a facility like Riverside.
Creve Coeur Golf Course
Another timeless track in the St. Louis area is Creve Coeur Golf Course. It dates all the way back to 1924.
Even though this course is only nine holes, it’s full of character and charm.
The fairways are sloped so you’ll face some lies with the ball above and below your feet.
Most of the greens feature multiple tiers too. Precision on your approach shots is a must if you want a good look at birdie.
At Creve Coeur, the motto is “family first.” It’s the goal of every staff member to ensure that golfers of all abilities have a great time with the ones they love.
It doesn’t get much better than that.
Paradise Valley Country Club
Even though Paradise Valley is located in an urban area, strolling its fairways gives you the sense you’re far away from the hustle and bustle.
Situated in a pristine valley and surrounded by hardwood forest, quiet and serene are the words locals use to describe this course.
Like a lot of older designs, the emphasis is on shot placement and course management more than it is distance. This is a great course for straight hitters.
For a one-of-a-kind experience that will have you wanting to play it again and again, choose Paradise Valley.
Golf in St. Louis is something to note, that’s for sure. While I’ve played a little golf here, I was astounded to learn about all the great opportunities there are for the public.
Whether you’re looking for a modern, open design, or prefer older, more traditional layouts, there’s something for everyone in St. Louis.
Thank you to all that made this guide possible. You who you are, and I can’t thank you enough.