Sioux Falls is a short four hour drive northwest from the Des Moines metro. The Sioux Falls area has roughly 200,000 people, sits on the Missouri River and is the lone larger metro area in the Iowa/South Dakota/Minnesota tri-state area. But don't sleep on this area as a place that lacks great golf. Iowa's #4 public course (via Golf.com) is The Falls at Grand Casino in Larchwood as well as some of the top courses in South Dakota.
So whether Sioux Falls is your destination or you are passing through (Sioux Falls is on the way to Black Hills National Forest and other popular road trip destinations), don't forget to pack the clubs for some great golf experiences. And to help you know where to play when in the area, I talked to the best source for golf information in Sioux Falls. The owner of Sioux Links Golfer's Guide, Derek Soukup. The annual publication is a must when looking to golf anywhere near Sioux Falls, they cover a big area, with tons of information on courses and coupons to save money on your trip.
Golf DSM: First off, give us a quick overview of what the Sioux Links Golfer’s Guide is all about and your background with the publication.
Derek Soukup: Sioux Links is a Golfer's Guide that provides course information for 120 courses in the South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska area. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota we provide a resource for golfers looking for pricing, yardage, and contact information as well as valuable coupons and tournaments. In fact, we are the best way to find a tournament to golf on any given weekend, having over 350 tournaments in our print publications and even more online at www.siouxlinks.com/tourneys
Golf DSM: Where can someone find one of these guides to look through?
DS: Sioux Links is an annual publication that comes out each May. Golfers can grab their free copy at any one of the 120 courses that we cover or at hotels, golf shops, and simulators in the cities that we cover.
Golf DSM: Having worked with the Sioux Links Golfer’s Guide for a number of years now, has there been much change in how golf courses want to market/advertise themselves? More or less willing to utilize coupons or other ways to get their course noticed?
DS: We are constantly evolving and listening to what golfers want and they still enjoy the coupons. Courses see the redemption rate go up each year. Some have found that doing a full-page ad has helped drive rounds at their course. Others have started listing their tournaments on their ad, further pushing repeat visits. Three years ago we launched our website and were surprised to reveal that our tournaments page was the most visited. That has pushed us to grow the number that we list to over 350. For the first time, we are publishing Junior tournaments. The younger golfers are our future and we want to grow up with them.
Golf DSM: The Sioux Falls area, like lots of the Midwest, dealt with flooding last year. How did the courses rebound from that and are there still lingering effects carrying into 2019 from the floods?
DS: We are very resilient in the Midwest and golf course employees are extremely hard working and work long hours. When the flooding happened last summer, we did two separate tours to talk and take pictures at the courses that were affected. Read the story here: http://siouxlinks.com/stories/come-hell-or-high-water-june-rainfalls-raise-havoc-area-courses-june-30-2018 The one thing that I learned is that despite the setbacks that mother nature gave them they would still persevere. And they did. A shortened golf season undoubtedly cut into their revenue for 2018 but they are optimistic for 2019 and stayed true to what got them there including advertising in Sioux Links.
Golf DSM: For a golfer coming to the Sioux Falls area to golf for the first time, what is a course or two they must play?
DS: We have some amazing courses in the area! Two must-play courses are Elmwood G.C. in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and The Falls near Larchwood, Iowa. Both are well kept and offer stay and play packages. Elmwood is close to The Airport Holiday Inn and is connected to a full-service restaurant, The Crooked Pint. The Falls golf course is located at Grand Falls Casino and Golf Resort which provides gambling, three restaurants, a spa, and a hotel with a pool for the kids!
Golf DSM: How about an under the radar course that you would recommend?
DS: I hate to give away all of my secrets but when you are in the area, we recommend The Bridges at Beresford G.C. in Beresford, South Dakota. This nine-hole course is a great value, has a great layout and the staff is amazing! The staff at Sioux Links sneaks away from the "big city" courses to hit this track several times throughout the summer. We would also like to mention Madison G.C. in Madison, South Dakota. This 18-hole course is our 2019 cover feature. It offers a challenge for golfers of all skill levels and beautiful views of Lake Herman.