A Taste of the Finest Scottish Links Within Sight of Downtown St Louis!
Come play the most challenging course in St. Louis!
Believe the hype when it comes to this course. It was just an excellent golfing experience. The course was in great shape and the staff was very friendly and helpful. The course was packed the day I played, but I never felt rushed and only had to wait on the group ahead of us one time. Overall, an excellent golfing experience.
In the tradition of Carnoustie, Royal Lytham, St. Anne's Old Links, and other famous seaside courses in the British Isles, Gateway National is a first-class links course even though it's not within sight of the ocean. Actually, it's not within a thousand miles of the ocean, but we digress. Designed by renowned golf course architect, Keith Foster, and developed by Tim Crowley and Denny Walters, Gateway National remains the only true links-style course in the St. Louis Metropolitan area.
Gateway National offers you the rare opportunity to return to the rich traditions of the game. Rolling links, separated by gentle mounds, meander through lush, green pasturelands. Tall grasses, lakes, wood-tie bunkers, and occasional giant cottonwoods complete the landscape. In view of the magnificent Gateway Arch, you will cross occasional stone bridges, glide on raised boardwalks through quiet wetlands, and enjoy play on the only public course, bent grass fairways within hundreds of miles. Laid out through native grasses, it's easy to forget you are just minutes away from the action in downtown St. Louis, and not tucked away deep in the Scottish Highlands.
The layout of Gateway National takes into account the factor the wind will play on the course and allows the player the options of running the ball up or flying it onto the greens. This will test the player's ability with shots seldom called for on ordinary courses. The bentgrass turf that carpets each fairway, offers players the perfect firm surface from which to strike a crisp approach. Tall native grasses frame each of the generous fairways, but will test both the players' skill and temperament should his ball find itself among them. Adding to the challenge on each hole is a host of fiendish bunkers along with natural wetlands and Scottish style burns (streams) that wait to devour any ball that strays too far off line!
A fearsome 7178 yard par 71 from the championship tees, our course has four sets of more manageable tees for the enjoyment of those not quite up to the challenge of the PGA Tour caliber layout. Pick the length that suits your enjoyment of the game. The large greens, once reached, offer ample opportunity for birdies! With such smooth rolling surfaces, the player has no one but himself to blame should the ball not fall into the cup.
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Although it is difficult to single out any few holes from our eighteen gems, several stand out, as you ponder your card after the round over a pint of beer.
The 661 yard third hole is a true three shot hole. This monster par-5 will challenge you from tee to green. As you arrive at this number one handicap hole, take time to enjoy the view of the downtown St. Louis skyline prior to pulling the trigger. Avoid the native grass on the left and the bunkers on the right, and you'll find yourself sitting pretty on our lush, bentgrass fairway. Your work is not done yet, however, as your second shot must avoid the fairway bunkers that sit about 150 yards from the green. Your approach is difficult to get close, because this tricky, undulating green makes birdies hard to come by. And if the flagstick is tucked in back, be careful. Long is not the place to be. Take par here and jog to the next tee.
After a one hole respite, you are back to another mammoth hole although this time it's a par four that is 482 yards from the tips and one of the longest in Illinois. A big drive avoiding the fairway bunker on the left is a must, though you should also pay attention to the native grasses on the right. Your long iron approach into this green must avoid the green side bunker; a bail-out short or left is not a bad place to be. Walk off this green with a par and you just may pick up a shot on the field.
At the 204 yard, par-3 seventh hole, your tee shot here must carry the wetland area or you will be digging in your bag for another pill. There is more room on the left than you can see from the tee, and right is no picnic either. The greenside bunkers on this medium length par three will gobble you up if you don't avoid them.
The 317 yard 10 hole proves that holes do not have to be long to be interesting. This short par four is full of options. A shot short of the fairway bunker in the middle of the fairway is the safest play off the tee, leaving you just a 9-iron or wedge in. You may choose to be a little more aggressive and play over the fairway bunker or just ‘tee it high and let it fly' at the green. This green is well guarded by a burn (stream) running short and right, bunkers left, and thick rough long. This green slopes from left to right, kicking any errant shot into the burn. This short hole relinquishes far fewer birdies than you might guess.
This hole may be handicap index 18 - but don't for a minute think that the 154 yard 12th is any pushover. This short par three can eat your lunch and be especially intimidating if the wind is blowing. Don't miss short, long, left, or right. Short or left, you are wet; right or long, you'll find yourself in a bunker or deep rough. The green is two-tiered, and it is imperative that you are on the right level.The 18th is one of the best par five finishing holes in the state. A long tee shot that avoids the bunkers on the left can give the aggressive player the opportunity to get home in two. The best lay up is over the bunker that lies in the middle of the fairway, leaving about 100 yards. The green is protected by deep bunkers on the right and water on the left, but offers a definite birdie opportunity if played correctly.