McPherson's Turkey Creek is a fun little course.
When our family was going through my wife's aunt and uncle's belongings upon their passing, we came upon a trove of golf balls. Over the years, Uncle Sam had retrieved, cleaned up and sorted roughly seven billion golf balls. He had them in pickle jars and egg cartons- Titleists in these egg cartons, TopFlights in these jars and so on.
As the only descendent with much interest in golf, I was given custody of Uncle Sam's treasure. I have done my best to distribute them, donating dozens and dozens to my friends' shag bags and hundreds upon hundreds to the Park Hills range ball barrel.
The final dozen or so egg cartons continue to reside in my cart shed, still awaiting their ultimate dispersal.
Why am I telling you this? Because every single ball was retrieved from the depths of Turkey Creek, the golf course in McPherson upon which Uncle Sam and Aunt Bernice resided until their passings. Since Turkey Creek is the subject of this golf course review, I thought this would be a good way of introducing what is the main hazard at Turkey Creek: There is water on most holes, and you have to be pretty good not to get into some of it.
Whether Uncle Sam had permission to extract the balls is open to question. He always claimed that Turkey Creek management had given him and his ball-retrieving contraption the official okey-dokey. But family lore contains whispered tales of Uncle Sam and my son Eric (in his youth) dressing all in black and sneaking like ninjas onto the course in the dead of night to plumb the depths with Uncle Sam's ball-retrieving gizmo. So I'm not sure what to believe.
I guess if Sam didn't actually have permission, I am opening myself up here to a charge of receiving stolen goods. But if anyone wants to pursue it, the only evidence left is about a dozen egg cartons full of recycled balls- surely a misdemeanor at worst.
Anyhoo, on to the course review: As I was saying, the main hazard at Turkey Creek is the water. It's not a long course: Blue tees 6338 yards, whites 5727 yards, reds 4853 and yellows 4597.
Unlike many courses where even the whites are a tad too long for me, I can play from the whites at Turkey Creek and still use irons to approach most of the greens. The par 3's are especially friendly, distance-wise, ranging from 134 to 162 yards (whites). There aren't any 180-200 yard par 3s like you find at some courses, which a short-knock like me needs a driver for- not what you want to be teeing off with on a par 3.
Even though the whites are in my distance wheelhouse, I went with the reds on the back nine. The reds let a guy like me avoid the trouble a little easier, and I had already donated a few balls to Turkey Creek on the first nine. From the reds, I was able to shoot a 41, which is about what my handicap at Park Hills is.
I like Turkey Creek. It's a fun little course for a straightish hitter, but I can see where a guy who sprays it some would find it frustrating.
It's a course you can't get complacent on. One member of our group (who shall remain nameless) was feeling pretty good about his 38 on the front- until the back 9 got the better of him.
You also would be advised to study the hole maps on the tee markers and the score card, because the course architects have laid it out to where you can't always see the trouble from the tee. For example, #12 is a pretty little par 3 going across a pond up to an elevated green between trees. It looks like if you make it over the pond, you're good to go.
What you can't see from the tee however, is that a creek runs across the fairway right at the base of the hill the green sits on. We know that now, because a guy in our group (who shall also remain nameless) hit his first ball into the pond; then we thought he was fine on his second ball until we got up there and saw the creek, which had swallowed his second ball. We should have looked at the hole map.
The clubhouse is attractive: a two-story affair with 270 degrees of glass walls overlooking the course. They have just the essentials for sale- tees, balls, gloves, hats, a few shirts, etc. But I don't suppose many people buy clubs at a golf course, anyway.
Concessions are reasonably priced and there's a nice selection. A seniors group was having something for lunch that smelled pretty good following their round, but I don't know whether it was fixed by Turkey Creek or catered.
Practice facilities are nothing special, but adequate. Rental carts are fine. No GPS or anything, but they get you around. Nothing is super-pricey, nor is it cheaper than one would expect.
Overall, I enjoy Turkey Creek, and would recommend it. It's only an hour and a quarter from Pratt, it's not going to flatten your wallet unreasonably, and it's fun to play as long as you can keep it sort of straight and/or don't mind losing a few balls in the water. I wouldn't play with any ball I had a sentimental attachment to, but I WILL be going back.