Golf is the infallible test. The man who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching him, and play his ball where it lies, is the man who will serve you faithfully and well.
-P.G. WodehouseBismarck’s own Hawktree Golf Club is simply beautiful. Its creation began millennia ago as Burnt Creek gradually carved the 80 acre course’s rollicking hills and sloping valleys, and was brought to perfection in 2000 by modern master of mountain golf course design Jim Engh. Hawktree sprawls among three pristine lakes, complementing the natural terrain, and is replete with native flora and fauna and distinctive black sand bunkers. Even if you couldn’t play golf there, Hawktree would still be like an emerald set in North Dakota’s landscape.

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It is rare to see so lovingly laid out a course entirely open to the public, but Hawktree stands by to foster the love for “a good walk spoiled” in anyone who would take up the clubs. The course’s 18 holes each have four tees. These allow a seasoned player to enjoy a virtually unlimited number of challenges — from the falcon tees the total course is 7,085 yards long, but from the owl tees it becomes 4,868. That exclusive yardage system will let even the most novice player enjoy an exceptional experience as well. For the little kid whose drive hasn’t yet grown longer than 75 yards, this means competition with mom and dad that will have them come to genuinely appreciate the sport.

Hawktree’s commitment to their less experienced players is no coincidence. Their general manager and PGA professional Michael Herzog has spent a great part of his career teaching at the college and high school levels, and is recognized by U.S. Kids Golf as a master children’s teacher. Michael proudly spearheads the Hawktree Junior Golf Academy so that kids throughout the Bismarck-Mandan area can learn the skills needed to have a friend in golf for their lifetimes. The Academy comprises several opportunities for youngsters to sharpen their game including the PGA Junior League, the Optimist Junior Golf Program, and the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship.

Hawktree is offering even more to show their appreciation to the local community as they celebrate their 20th season in business. Several great discounts including half price games and free tees will be available, and drawings for free rounds of golf will be held throughout the season. Special women’s clinics will be held on Mondays over the course of May through August including “Wine, Wedges and Design” and “Drives, Daiquiris and Decorating,” which will include golf lessons followed by workshops with noted interior decorators in the clubhouse. Hawktree’s pro shop will also offer custom apparel by noted brands including Nike, PING, Under Armour, TravisMathew, and Donald Ross Sportswear for only $20 per item. The first 1,000 people to play this season will receive complimentary commemorative posters, which are additionally available free with every purchase at the pro shop.

Whether you’ve just played the best game of your life or you simply wish to observe lunchtime somewhere special, the Hawks Nest Bar & Grill is just the place to dine in. There you can enjoy a sweeping view of 14 of the course’s holes, as well as an inspired menu comprising every sandwich, burger, salad, and entree you could imagine. “We have the best $5 breakfast sandwich in the state, too,” said Michael. “I’d stake my job on it!”

“We are blessed to be able to offer so much at Hawktree Golf Club,” added Michael on a more serious note. “Seldom can a public course provide such natural beauty, rewarding sport, and opportunities to grow as a golfer to the community. The fact that we’ve welcomed so many people from not only the Bismarck-Mandan area but throughout the country as well really speaks for just how successful we’ve been in our mission. We would like to thank everyone who has made these past 20 years possible, and couldn’t look more forward to the 20 next!”

Hawktree Golf Club is located at 3400 Burnt Creek Loop in Bismarck. To learn more about them, including all of the learning opportunities and special events that will mark their big anniversary, please visit


By David Scheller