Acclaimed North Dakota Course Sold at Low, Low Price


On February 25, 2002, a group of local investors acquired the highly regarded Links of North Dakota at Red Mike Resort in Williston. The buyers took ownership of the 18-hole layout after submitting a winning bid of $467,500 during an absolute auction (to be sold regardless of price) conducted by the JP King Auction Company of Alabama.

The six-year-old course was put up for auction as it wasn’t profitable, according to its founding stockholders. The facility was developed by 20 investors, including its designer, Stephen Kay, and North Dakota native, Marvin Schlauch, a golf course contractor who shaped the layout. Problems the course could never overcome were its remote location and a failure on the part of the original owners to properly market it. Located 30 minutes from Williston and 90 miles from the nearest major airport in Minot, golfers shied away from the spectacular course, even though it has green fees in the $30 range.

The course merited universal kudos soon after it opened in 1995. It was runnerup in Golf Digest’s list of the Best New Public Courses in 1996, and ranked as North Dakota’s top course in both 1997 and 1999. For the past four years, Golfweek listed it among the 100 Best Modern Courses in the U.S. The layout, which required moving just 7,000 yards of dirt during construction, is a genuine links-style course that winds across a natural prairie overlooking Lake Sakakawea.

Involved in the purchase were the clubhouse, golf carts, maintenance equipment and everything else related to the course. An adjacent 240-acre parcel, as well as two smaller pieces - five acres of lakefront property and 57 acres fronting Lake Sakakawea, were auctioned separately.


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