LSU head coach Chuck Winstead remembers walking Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in 2009 while recruiting at the AJGA’s Rolex Tournament of Champions.
“It’s a really good golf course,” said Winstead. “It’s solid tee to green, good layout, I think it’s a really, really good test.”
Winstead brought a team back to Dalhousie this past week for the season-opening Golfweek Collegiate Kickoff. LSU went 20 under for 54 holes, edging Missouri by seven shots. Dalhousie has proven a stout test for a college field and the many other events – from the Missouri Amateur to the AJGA Rolex – it has hosted since coming online in 2002.
Sam Houston State head coach Brandt Kieschnick could picture a postseason event there someday.
“The golf course was a great test and could host an NCAA Regional,” said Kieschnick, whose Bears were sixth at 7 over. “We loved the setup.”
Ball State head coach Mike Fleck arrived at Dalhousie and saw shades of home. The Gary Nicklaus design felt like a combination of Indiana’s Pfau Course and Victoria National, two of Indiana’s most challenging golf courses.
“Dalhousie presented itself as a great venue and challenging setup,” Fleck said. “With tight fairways lined with trouble, it definitely rewarded those that drove the ball in play. The fairways and greens were a bit softer than we anticipated, but you really have to be precise on the big undulating greens.”
Dalhousie is a big layout on undulating, South Missouri terrain. Bentgrass tees and greens and Zoysia fairways offered a new look for Stetson’s men, who are used to Bermudagrass back home in Daytona Beach, Florida.
“It was in incredible condition, everything you could probably say how good it was, it was,” Stetson head coach Danny Forshey said. “For us, coming from Florida, it was different. That was one of the reasons we enjoyed it, I think it’s important for our guys to play different venues.”
After two rounds – a practice round and the first round of competition – Stetson was dialed in. The Hatters’ four counters were under par in Round 2, with John Houchin leading the way at 67. Only LSU fired a better second-round score.
“I knew after the practice round, I was thinking this is different, I wish we had seen this place before,” Forshey said. “As you could kind of tell, after we got through the first round, then after they saw it twice and getting into that second round on Monday, getting to see it for the…