Dacotah Ridge Golf Course and Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel an Impressive Pair
These Twins Always Win
By Glen Turk
There are certain names that just invite excitement. If I wanted to win big at either slots or table games I'd frequent a place dubbed "Jackpot Junction." Or if I wanted to enjoy pristine conditions on a top notch golf course, I'd be sure to check out a property coolly named Dacotah Ridge. When both converge in western Minnesota the end result is a stunning all-inclusive golf, lodging, and gaming extravaganza that proves to be an oasis from the hustle bustle of the Twin Cities.
2013 marks the facility's 14th anniversary as the Rees Jones design opened to the public on July 15, 2000. Dacotah Ridge's Grand Opening Celebration was held on August 7, 2000 and featured an exhibition by PGA Tour player Notah Begay III, LPGA player Michele Redman, Senior Tour player Lanny Wadkins, and the aforementioned Jones. "I remember the Grand Opening being a wonderful event that was attended by a large gallery," began Jones. "We had a clinic before we went out to play and Lanny Watkins drove home the point of how the short game has changed in golf. Back in his day everything was played on the ground and today's players always think about going airborne first. While he was hitting little pitch and runs, Notah and Michele was wowing the crowd with these super-high flop shots," ended Jones.
The 7,109 yard par-72 Jones masterpiece is owned and operated by Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel and is an enterprise of the Lower Sioux Indian Community. That partnership allows the property to offer that unique daily double of golfing and gaming to its patrons. Eric Hildreth, Dacotah Ridge's PGA Professional since 2009 offers his take on this competitive benefit. "Having a casino and hotel gives us a huge advantage over our competition. Once the golfers finish their rounds, they can drive or take a shuttle back to the casino and enjoy playing blackjack, poker, or trying their luck on one of our 1,650 slot machines. We also offer three restaurants at the casino along with Caribou Coffee and a Papa John's Express. Golfers tend to be gamblers which entice many of our guests to hit the gaming floor after playing golf," concluded Hildreth.
Nothing makes a vacation sing like winning on two fronts - the tables/slots and on the tees/greens. Dacotah Ridge's 18 hole championship resort course is built on 240 acres of rolling Minnesota countryside and offers multiple tees to accommodate every level of golfer. If you've ever played a Rees Jones design (Black Lake or Thousand Oaks in Michigan to name two great ones) you know that fairness is a key component throughout. Jones always provides a bail-out or wide landing area to allow the golfer to swing freely and not be over-penalized for a less than stellar swing. Jones, however, is not averse to using naturally occurring water hazards within his designs and Dacotah Ridge is no different. In fact, Eric's top two holes on the course are impacted by the Wabasha Creek.
"Personally, my two favorite holes on the course are numbers 8 and 18. Number 8 is a dogleg left par-4 with Wabasha Creek running down the left side and behind the green while hole number 18 is a dogleg left par-5 with Wabasha Creek running down the entire left side of the hole. Both holes require the golfer to play down the right side of the fairway. Anything to the left tends to run into the creek. I typically play number 18 as a three shot hole by hitting 3-wood off the tee to avoid running into the creek," stated Hildreth.
Having a top five course in the Gopher State has its privileges, including the opportunity to host the 87th Minnesota State Junior Boys' Championship for the first time later this year. This tournament brings the best male juniors from around the state to Dacotah Ridge and will be contested on July 8th and 9 th. Dacotah Ridge is no stranger to hosting high profile state events, as they hosted the State Amateur Championship in 2010. Donald Constable, who came in 2nd place, is currently on the PGA Tour.
When it's all said and done, excitement waits once you make the journey to Dacotah Ridge Golf Course and Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel in Morton, MN. Mind-blowing golf and first-class gaming converge to form a dynamic duo in a state known for Twins! For more information on Dacotah Ridge log on to www.dacotahridge.com, or visit Jackpot Junction's website at www.jackpotjuncton.com.
Revised: 09/24/2013 - Article Viewed 21,313 Times - View Golf Course Profile
Written By: Glen Turk
Glen Turk is a Wisconsin native and is the Senior Writer/Editor of Midwest Golfing Magazine. Midwest Golfing Magazine was formerly known as Pub-Links Golfer's Magazine and is a free publication distributed four times per year throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio.
His duties at MGM include writing course features, facilitating product testing, and overseeing the overall content and look of the magazine. But clearly his most important task is playing as much golf as his wife allows. Fortunately for him, she plays also and loves out-driving him even with a 60 yard head start.
Glen plays to a 6 handicap but once set a record by having his ball retriever regripped 15 times in one calendar year. It was a December trip to Guam that ultimately did him in. Finally, if you haven't caught on by now, the two most worthy weapons in Glen's writing arsenal are self-deprecating humor and pithy one-liners.
My signature line, "Be A Force on The Course" and now more recently, "Hit 'Em Where They Mow!" can be reused at no charge.
Contact Glen Turk:
Midwest Golfing Magazine - Senior Writer Editor