Golf resort

Fast Greens at Little Crow Golf Resort in Spicer: Lieser

Little Crow probably never played golf, but Spicer Golf Course is named after him. He was the leader of the Mdewakanton Dakota who led a Dakota faction in a five-week war against the United States in the summer and fall of 1862 that left an estimated 600 dead. Overshadowed by the Civil War (1861-1865), many Minnesotans know little about Little Crow and that war, except for those who live in southwestern Minnesota.

During a recent round at the 27-hole Spicer complex, here are some observations from a conversation with Isaac Nelson, Little Crow’s head pro for the past five years. Little Crow GC opened in 1969 and added nine more holes in 2000. The three nines are named Willows, Pines and Oaks.

Nelson had this to say about the course: “We had a busy year despite an early start due to bad spring golf weather. We’ve had 27,000 rounds so far and an average of 125 rounds per day. Our course is family friendly for our 380 members and in 2018 GrandStay added a hotel and suites event center with a bar and grill. Today, the club has a modern, upscale look.

From my perspective playing the course recently, green speed was the fastest I’ve played all year. Course superintendent Kevin Gruber has been with the club for nine years. He and his crew had topped green speed at 13.5 on the stimpmeter this summer. That’s the speed of a professional lathe! If golfers are in line for a September hike along Minnesota Route 23, playing Koronis Hills in Paynesville in the morning and Little Crow in the afternoon would be an ideal day trip.

Fees at Little Crow are $67 with a cart for 18 holes and a new drop rate goes into effect tomorrow. Check the club’s website at for the new rate or call the pro shop at: 320-354-2296.

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Territory Golf Club member Bryan Hoops, who lives in Arizona, had a great summer. He qualified for the USGA Senior Open played in June at the Saucon Valley Country Club in Pennsylvania. On August 28, he captured shortstop Tianna in Walker with a game-high score of -7. He continued his stellar game at the 35th MGA Mid-Amateur at Indian Hills in Stillwater shooting 69-71-72 and finishing fourth in solo. Wapicada’s Daryl Schomer shot 72-74-71 to finish tied for eighth.

The Territory Golf Club held its Club Championship on August 21 and here are the winners: Men’s Champion Robb Olson, Players Flight (disabled) Vince Gebhart, Senior Men’s Champion Wesley Lindquist, Women’s Co-Champions Sue Hiltner and Emily Steinmetz. The club, which opened in 2001, has become the area’s popular destination site for many Twin Cities golfers.

The Albany Golf Club held its annual club championship August 13-14 and here is a list of winners: Men’s Champion Thomas Gutzmer, Women’s Champion Sophia Anderson, Senior Champion Joe Nett, Men’s First Flyer Evan Deters, Second men’s flight Bob Blaukat, women’s First Flight Brooke Kleinschmidt, junior boys champion Joshua Hoff.

St. Cloud State University’s wrestling program held its 16th Annual Golf Classic on August 26 at Wapicada Golf Club. Over 100 golfers competed and the five of Butch Raymond, Kurt and Jeannie Stelten, and Lee and Sue Wahl-Storbeck prevailed with an impressive -16 under to win the scramble event. Head coach Steve Costanzo reported more than $20,000 has been raised to support his NCAA wrestling program, which won four consecutive NCAA Division II wrestling titles from 2017-2020, and has finished second last year.

Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker held its Club Tournament August 17-18 and here are the champions: Men’s Champion Spencer Hinrichs, first flight Randy Siemers, second flight Lonnie Fluck, third flight Bryan Dunderi, fourth Flight Joseph Henrich.

John Liser

That’s the opinion of Times golf columnist John Lieser. Contact him at