Eagle Knoll Golf Club
My go-to course in mid-Missouri
EK has a local reputation of being "too hard". The good news is that, aside from the prime/peak times, it's often easy to get off when you want to play 18. And they recently lowered their rates about $10, which is welcome to those of us who are local and like to play there (but can't get out there often enough to justify a season pass).
The course is indeed challenging, especially on those days when I can't hit it reasonably straight, but in recent years they have worked hard to make it more playable, including mowing areas under the trees that used to be wild growth, given golfers a chance to punch out and keep playing instead of dropping or returning to the previous spot to hit another. This has had the intended affect without reducing the true challenges of the course.
The fairways are fairly tight, and present the ball as if on a carpet for iron shots. The rough is not watered, and will therefore vary depending on the amount of rain that has fallen over the past month (i.e., this year it is very thick and punishing, but most years it has dried out by now and isn't so bad). The greens hold full shots well, and can be very quick (especially when they mow/roll them extra short) so you'll want to stay below the hole on many greens if possible.
There are a number of "target golf" holes, tiered greens, changes in elevation (especially on 3 of the par 3s), and risk-reward decisions. This is not a course that you will figure out in a few visits, and you'll enjoy coming back.
July 26, 2015
Great course for the $$
I played this course late afternoon. Greens were bentgrass & in great shape. The layout was really cool. Lots of elevation changes and required tee shots to top sides of fairways due to slope. I will definitely play here again!
August 6, 2014
One of my favorites, about to be yours
Definition of hidden gem. I am totally stumped as to why this is still a 'hidden' gem. As a college student, I would rather pay the extra money to play here than play any other surrounding course or for free at Gustin. Every time I'm there I try to find something I don't like about it. Nothing has surfaced except the everlasting problem of "hydrating" and playing good. It is relatively wide open, but yet presents a challenge to any golfer. A 10 min drive from Columbia makes this a perfect match when looking to play on a game weekend.
P.S. If you get something to eat from the snack bar, you have to try the homemade mustard. It adds the WOW factor to the experience.
October 24, 2012
Beautiful course with a few fun par 3 holes and one potentially drivable par 4 hole.
First, the greens fee I paid through GolfNow website was unbelievable. Once I arrived at the course, the check-in was very fast and the staff were extremely friendly and courteous. The course was not crowded because of the cloudy weather. The pace was brisk. The tree-lined fairways and lots of bunkers along with water, especially fronting the greens on par 3s, made for an esthetically pleasant yet moderately challanging as well as fun round. Although the zoysia fairways were immaculate, they were cut too short. Since I am a picker, my approach iron shots and fairway wood shots were less than optimal. The greens were aerated with a bit of fine sand on them but were in relatively good shape and rolled reasonably true and fast. I visited an extremely well-kept and clean clubhouse at the turn and was greeted by a very accommodating staff that went out of their way to boil water to make the hot chocolate that I ordered. The rest room was also very clean and well supplied. It was well worth the 25-mile drive from Columbia, MO to play this Golf Digest 4-star gem in the middle of nowhere.
October 18, 2012
This course has great features
Course has some great elevation changes and a lot of fun layouts.
October 7, 2012
Greens were undulating, lots of break and fast but true. Tough and challenging for every level of golfer.
October 7, 2012
Wooded course with great views
Course is challenging with rolling hills, lakes & tree lined fairways. No long carries so playable for everyone. No homes around the course made you feel secluded. Tee boxes, greens & fairways were in good shape, but because we played after the hot, dry summer the rough was "non-existent". If you hit good shots you were okay, but if one went offline & rolled into the rough it continued to roll into the woods. In a normal year, I’m sure the experience would be much better.
September 26, 2012