Best Disc Golf Courses in South Dakota: The Frolf Gems of the Prairie State

The best disc golf courses in South Dakota are a small portion of nearly 90 courses throughout the state. 

Fortunately, for the adventurous disc golfer in all of us, the courses in South Dakota aren’t as bland, open, and lacking in variety as that sounds. 

The vast majority of the state’s courses are in the East, with a handful in the more disparate regions of the West.

My Picks For The Best Disc Golf Courses In South Dakota

If you happen to live in a central region of South Dakota, you may want to make your own course. There just isn’t much in the way of courses out there, at least not officially. Heading north and west or to the east is where the action is at. 

The number of 18-hole courses in South Dakota is few and far between. I like a good 9-hole course and all, but it has to be a truly exceptional half-course to make it into my top 8. 

Considering the weird absence of courses in the middle part of the state, I tried to stick with the best 18-hole courses on either side of that gap. 

  1. Pageant Hill – Custer (Best Overall)
  2. Tuthill Park – Sioux Falls (Runner-Up)
  3. Spearfish Canyon – Spearfish (Best Challenge)

Some may disagree with me placing Spearfish Canyon outside the top spot. However, I don’t necessarily look at it from that point of view. 

Of the three, it simply offers the best challenge. It makes sense for me to put it there in that context. 

In my humble opinion, Spearfish is every bit as good, and more so in many ways, than Tuthill or Pageant Hill, two phenomenal courses in their own right. 

Top 8 Best Disc Golf Courses In South Dakota

South Dakota is a land of untamed possibilities. With 77,116 square miles and a population of less than a million, we’re talking unoccupied open fields, skies, and forests that stretch from horizon to horizon, with nothing but the sounds of day-to-day wildlife. 

Its an outdoors cornucopia and the perfect state for disc golf courses. 

Pageant Hill — Custer (Best Overall)

Features

  • 4,600’ to 5,800’ course length
  • 18 holes
  • Concrete tee pads
  • Mach III baskets
  • Single tee pads
  • Multiple pin locations
  • High tree density

Most of Pageant Hill is an uphill battle, though not brutally so. Still, when you’re throwing tight lines through dense foliage and uphill, it’s quite the challenge. 

If not for the disc golf baskets, it would make for an excellent hiking trail. 

The multiple pin locations come into play enough to change the dynamic of the course on a second and third play-through. 

As is always the case in a heavily wooded course, trees slapping your disc around is a common occurrence. Stable discs with low fade are the safest bet, with a few meat-hook mid-ranges in reserve for those hard doglegs.

Tuthill Park –Sioux Falls (Runner-Up)

Features

  • 5,100’ to 6,000’ course length
  • x3 water hazards
  • 18 holes
  • Single tee pads
  • Multiple pin locations
  • Concrete tee pads
  • Mach III baskets

Tuthill has some wooded shots but also offers disc golfers a break from the trees with wide-open opportunities as well. 

Out of all the courses on this list, Tuthill probably has the best shot diversity, with technical shots, open, heavily wooded, and a few that fall somewhere in between. 

The multiple pin locations make for a malleable experience, playing the course your way or a different way each run. 

It’s also a fantastic course in terms of natural beauty. With large throwing lanes over low-cropped grass to tunnel tosses and forested, rolling hills, Tuthill is both a challenge and a wonder. 

Spearfish Canyon – Spearfish (Best Challenge)

Features

  • 7,000’ to 9,200’ course length
  • 27 holes
  • Extreme elevation changes
  • Multiple pin locations
  • Pro and amateur tee pads
  • Mach III baskets
  • Turf tee pads

Widely regarded as the best disc golf course in the entire state, Spearfish Canyon is a challenging nut to crack as well. Located in what is known as the badlands of South Dakota, Spearfish Canyon looks anything but. 

It’s a beautiful course with a wild feel to it, along with plenty of obstacles to challenge and elevate your game. 

One of the things that players love the most about this course is your ability to drive with just about any type of disc. If you’ve never played an entire course with a putter, now is your chance. 

Spearfish is a meandering, up-and-down course with plenty of trees to ruin your day. It’s also one of those courses where a poorly landed disc will roll for a mile. 

Powerhouse Alley – Pierre

Features

  • 6,000’ course length
  • 18 holes
  • Concrete tee pads
  • Pay to play
  • Mach III baskets
  • Pro and amateur tee pads
  • Multiple pin locations

Powerhouse Alley is a fantastic course for beginners, with a hundred different ways to play. Thanks to multiple pins and tee pads, no run is the same as the last. 

Beginners can take the easy route and, as they continue to improve, take gradually more difficult routes.

It’s also a pretty flat course, so no need to learn the up-and-down brutality of other courses on this list. 

There are enough trees throughout to ruin a good run, however, so be prepared for some semi-tunnel shots

The OB is a bit overgrown in places as well, so bring some bright, colorful discs that stand out in tall grass. 

Big Sioux DGC – Brandon

Features

  • 5,000’ to 6,300’ course length
  • 18 holes
  • x6 water hazards
  • Concrete tee pads
  • Mach III baskets
  • Multiple pin locations
  • Pro and amateur tee pads
  • Pay to play

Like Powerhouse Alley, Big Sioux DGC is the perfect spot for beginners and veterans alike, thanks to the multiple pins and tee pads. Start things off simply and work your way to the top. Also, like Powerhouse, the course is relatively flat. 

In case you haven’t noticed by now, Mach III baskets are the go-to choice in South Dakota, including Big Sioux.

The course doesn’t feature a high tree density, but every hole has its fair share of trees, most of which will happily slap your plastic around on an errant toss. 

This is a great place to work on your approach, especially if your precision driving isn’t up to par just yet. 

Gavin’s Point – Yankton

Features

  • 4,400’ to 5,300’ course length
  • 18 holes
  • Single tee pads
  • Multiple pin locations
  • Pay to play
  • Concrete tee pads
  • DISCatcher baskets

Gavin’s Point is the first disc golf course on this list that doesn’t use Mach III baskets. Fortunately, DISCatchers are just as popular and appreciated, especially in the eastern states. 

Gavin’s begins and ends with open shots; a handful of them, in fact. Your high-speed drivers will come in handy to kick things off and go out with a bang.

There’s a lot of tall grass here, enough to bury and hide a disc if you land in the rough. The middle portion of the course ramps up the difficulty, with shorter throws that require a bit more finesse and care than the open and close of the course. 

Dry Run Creek – Mitchell

Features

  • 5,000’ course length
  • 18 holes
  • x4 water hazards
  • Single pin locations
  • Single tee pads (some holes have more than one)
  • Major elevation changes
  • DISCatcher baskets
  • Concrete tee pads

Dry Run Creek is a tough little course, keeping it simple with one basket and one tee pad per hole. Don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s a bad course, however. 

It’s a good challenge for veterans of the game and not so challenging that beginners can’t find their footing.

Dry Run Creek is your quintessential, small-town disc golf park, but it’s a lot of fun when the park is clear of people. 

One of the best things about the course is how quickly you can play through it and be ready for a second round. 

Jackson Park DGC – Rapid City

Features 

  • 4,400’ to 5,500’ course length
  • 18 holes
  • x6 water hazards
  • Concrete tee pads
  • Mach V baskets
  • Pro and amateur tee pads
  • Single pin locations

The last course on my list of the best disc golf courses in South Dakota is the one with the most water hazards. I hate water hazards. 

However, I can’t deny that this is a great course, so here we are. The tree density isn’t brutal, but you will have to fight your way through and among them.

Though the park typically has a single pin location per hole, there are multiple spots for the basket, with management moving them from time to time. 

The course offers a solid variety of shots, including tight, short throws through the woods and much longer bombers for your high-speed drivers

Final Putt: Best Disc Golf Courses in South Dakota

The eight best disc golf courses in South Dakota represent a tenth of all the courses in the state. 

If you are looking to get into the game for the first time, the state has plenty to offer in the west and east, with little to nothing in the middle. 

These are fantastic courses all the same. 

South Dakota may not be the pinnacle of disc golfing perfection, but it’s an excellent state for the sport all the same. 

The fact that it’s a stunningly beautiful state certainly doesn’t hurt, and it’s more than enough of an excuse to get out there and sling some discs. 

Leave a Comment