Sioux City has a strong golfing tradition

The Masters golf tournament is a powerful signal that spring and golf season have arrived. Sioux City has a strong golfing tradition, as evidenced by the number of golf courses in and around the city. Within city limits, Sioux City has four golf courses open to the public, compared to just three in Des Moines.

The oldest surviving course is Sioux City Country Club, which initially consisted of nine holes in 1898 and was expanded to 18 holes in 1920.

Floyd Golf Course was originally an 18-hole golf course with sand greens in 1927. After the construction of Highway 75, it became a nine-hole golf course with grass greens in 1937. The golf course closed in 1977 when Highway 75 was rerouted and reopened as executive director. 18 hole course around 1980.

Sun Valley has a nine-hole regulation, a nine-hole par-3 and foot golf courses. It originally opened in 1959.

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Green Valley is a public 18-hole course that opened in 1963. The original plan was for it to become a large recreation center with a toboggan run and ski slopes. Arnold Palmer took local players onto the course on July 24, 1964.

Whispering Creek Golf Club has a very challenging 18-hole layout. It opened in 2000 and was selected as Iowa’s Course of the Year in 2007.

When I looked into the history of the city’s golf courses, I was amazed at the number of golf courses, all nine holes, that the city had in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Sioux City Boat Club Golf Course is shown in 1973. The course evolved into the current Twin Rivers Golf Course.

Sioux City’s first municipal golf course was Highview (also called High View), which officially opened on June 5, 1925. The course was located in what is now the Woodbury Heights neighborhood. An early report stated that the job was “too fraught with dangers to be an ideal and profitable municipal job.” It appears the track closed in 1933 or 1934.

The Meadow Grove Golf Course was located on Highway 75, where the North 40 Mini Golf Course is currently located. The course was founded by three brothers and opened in 1932. In 1932 it hosted the city match play championship. The track was closed around 1943.

Sunset Heights was located in what is now the Marketplace Shopping Center or Sunset Plaza on Hamilton Boulevard. Work began in 1927, stopped and was completed in the summer of 1930. There were two holes on the east side of Hamilton where the medical center is now. It is unclear exactly when it closed.

Happy Hollow was located on Stone Avenue, just south of the current campus of Western Iowa Tech Community College. The track opened in 1936 and is said to have closed around 1942. There was once a tree nursery on the site.

The Twin Valley course was located at 1800 W 26th St. This is the southern portion of the Sioux City Prairie Reserve, west of Briar Cliff University and east of Mt. Calvary Cemetery. It was touted as having “many natural hazards,” and in 1931 it hosted the Sioux City Journal golf tournament. It opened on June 11, 1927 and closed in 1942.

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Jesse Brothers

The Morningside/Southern Hills Country Club was located on the south side of South Saint Aubin Street. It opened in 1912 and was known for its grassy greenery. It hosted many of the city’s women’s golf tournaments. It closed in the 1980s and recently gained attention when it was discussed as a possible site for a primary school.

While technically in Sergeant Bluff, Twenty-Seven Flags 27 opened in 1997 south of the Sioux City airport. It offers 27 holes and was closed in 2008. Also note that the Sioux City Boat Club, now Two Rivers Golf Course, at one time had three holes on the Iowa side of the river.

Sioux City’s golf history cannot be effectively summarized in one column. I am sure I have left out important information and there may be inaccuracies. I would encourage anyone with artifacts or specific information about Sioux City’s golf courses to contact the Sioux City Public Museum’s Research Center.

Sioux City resident Steve Warnstadt is the government affairs coordinator for Western Iowa Tech Community College. He is a former Democratic state senator and a retired Army National Guard brigadier general. He and his wife, Mary, are the parents of a son and a daughter.

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