Those who haven’t visited the Innsbrook Public Golf Course for a few years tend to be in for a bit of a jolt when they visit now, thanks to the various upgrades the course has performed recently, including a renovated clubhouse.
“We did a major clubhouse renovation two years ago,” says Kevin Corn, PGA Head Golf Professional at Innsbrook. “Now when people come into the building who haven’t been here in a while, they say they feel like they’re in the wrong building.”
But once they hit the first hole, they quickly realize they’re in the right place, The numerous lakes, wildlife, and beautiful views that make this 18-hole course located 45 minutes west of St. Louis so appealing are still in place … along with the upgraded amenities.
“Three years ago when I got here, there were a ton of problems course wide,” Corn says. “Now it’s back more to: What do we need specific to each hole?”
With the primary upgrades completed, golfers won’t have to worry about running into any major areas under construction during their rounds at Innsbrook. Players can just relax and enjoy their rounds and the scenery at the golf course.
“We’ve done so much work really leading up to this year, it’s more targeted projects now for small areas,” Corn says.
One of those targeted projects is reworking the course’s cart paths. Corn says many golfers have made mention of the new cart paths when they visit the course.
“We’ve got seven holes done so far,” he says. “It was planned as a three-to-five-year project. We didn’t want to shut down the course, so we’re doing it a few holes each year.”
Ultimately, the golf course selected projects for upgrades aimed at making the course better from the player’s point of view, Corn says. The Innsbrook course was built in 1981, so the work has come at a good time, giving the course a nice refresh.
“The improvements were geared toward making the course more playable and enjoyable,” Corn says. “We were looking to improve pace of play, which ties right into making the course more playable. … If you hit a good shot, you get rewarded.”
Innsbrook’s par-70 layout doesn’t yield a long course, measuring 6,527 yards from the back tees and 5,765 yards from the middle tees. Players can pick from five sets of tees at Innsbrook.
“It’s a shorter golf course, but it’s not easy by any means,” Corn says.
Corn says the course requires precise shot making because some of the fairways don’t offer wide landing areas. With plenty of wooded areas and with water hazards in play on 14 of the 18 holes, golfers need to make smart shots during the round.
“It’s a fairly tight golf course,” Corn says. “You’ve got to keep the ball in play.”
The most memorable hole at Innsbrook is number 16, a par-4 that plays 424 yards from the back tees and 389 yards from the middle tees. It is the number three handicap hole on the course. Number 13 is another memorable hole, as it features a lake along the left side of the fairway, which provides a challenge on the par-5 hole that plays 522 yards from the back tees and 478 yards from the middle tees.
“Hole 16 is probably the one hole that really shows off what Innsbrook as a whole is about,” Corn says. “You can see number 13 from the tee. Two of the bigger lakes on the property are visible. There really isn’t an individual view that defines Innsbrook as well as that hole does.”
Innsbrook has multiple practice greens, a practice bunker, and a driving range, giving golfers plenty of options for working on their game before stepping onto the first tee. Additionally, lessons are available at the course.
One interesting aspect of the Innsbrook Golf Course is that it is part of a larger resort property. At the resort, you can book conferences, weddings, and every event in between, while also allowing guests to spend the night on property. Resort guests are able to use the property’s lakes, as well as participate in activities such as horseback riding, canoeing, and hiking.
Corn says that the golf course and resort work well together. Many golfers will stay overnight at the resort for meetings and other events, and squeeze in 18 holes – or 36 holes or more. With the resort portion of Innsbrook, Corn says the golf course itself doesn’t have to offer many special events to drive traffic.
“Our weekends stay so busy that we really don’t do a lot on the weekends as far as events,” Corn says. “We’re ideal for that group of 15 to 40 or so players that want to get away for a couple of days and play golf. You don’t have to go very far to enjoy your weekend here.”
Having the resort attached and having the golf course located inside a private property area does present one problem for Innsbrook, as Corn says some golfers don’t think they can play there. But the word public is in the name of the Innsbrook Public Golf Course for a reason.
“It’s one of the tough things we fight, because we’re in a gated community,” Corn says. “People kind of assume we’re private.”
When you’re looking to book a tee time at Innsbrook, Corn says the best prices are available at the course’s web site. And if Innsbrook’s amazing views aren’t enough to draw you to the course, the views of the wildlife at the course very well could be.
“You virtually always see deer on the course and turkey,” Corn says. “Bald eagles are out there, and all kinds of birds of prey. There have been days where I’ve been out on the course and see the eagles circling. No matter how many times you see it, it’s pretty amazing.”