Conceived in the mind of one man and brought to life through the efforts of many over a period of 15 years, Karsten Creek now serves as a daily reminder of the commitment to excellence of the OSU golf program.
Karsten Creek was built for the OSU golf teams, and its purpose is to aid in the recruitment and development of future OSU stars. It was designed by Tom Fazio and honored as the Best New Public Course for 1994 by Golf Digest Magazine. It stretches over 7,400 yards with SR1020 bent-grass greens and zoysia fairways. All of the holes were carved from the native oak trees surrounding Lake Louise.
Karsten Creek was so named to honor Karsten Solheim, the founder of Karsten Manufacturing, and Lake Louise honors his wife. Their support of OSU golf over the last 25 years has been instrumental in the success of the golf team. Without them, Karsten Creek would never have become a reality.
In the May 1998 edition of Golf Digest, Karsten Creek Golf Club was awarded its first five-star rating, making the course one of 10 in the nation to be so honored. The rating was not a surprise to those who have followed the course from its opening in May 1994, when the heralded Tom Fazio design received the Best New Public Course in the Nation award. Since that time, the course has gone on to receive numerous accolades. Karsten Creek joined the likes of Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Pinehurst Resort and Country Club (No. 2). Four of these courses have hosted major championships, and most of the others maintain national prominence. While other courses are located in resort areas or near the coasts, Karsten Creek's surprising beauty is derived from an unsuspecting tract of land that is densely covered with black jack and pin oak trees and contains dramatic elevation changes that are not common to the heartland of America. As the course continues to mature, it steadily climbs all of the top 100 lists across the country and has been ranked as the best college course in the country by Travel & Leisure Golf magazine.
Karsten Creek was built to host championships and has done so on multiple occasions.
The golf course's first college event was the Karsten Creek Collegiate in 1996, only two years after its opening. Karsten Creek then played host to the NCAA Central Regional in May of 2001 before serving as the host of the 2002 Ping/Golfweek Preview. Each year, the top 15 teams in the country are invited to compete in the event, which is held at the site of the following spring's NCAA Championship.
The following May, the nation's top 30 teams arrived in Stillwater for the 103rd NCAA Championship. Clemson claimed the team title, while the host Cowboys finished as the runner-up at two shots off the pace of the Tigers. Interestingly enough, the top five teams heading into the tournament all finished in the order they were ranked, 1-5.
Karsten Creek once again hosted the NCAA Men's Golf Championship in 2011, and thousands of spectators gathered to watch the best collegiate golfers in the country.
Karsten Creek's clubhouse was completed in June of 2001 at a cost of around $4,500,000. Its beautiful views of the golf course, warm cozy rooms, and intricate architectural woodwork bring the course to a new level of recognition.
In addition to one of the country's finest golf courses, Cowboy Golf boasts an elaborate practice facility that is used exclusively by the men's and women's golf teams.
Cowboy golfers utilize a practice range which possesses tee boxes that surround the entire landing area to allow players to practice with any wind direction.
The players' short-game area comes complete with three tee boxes to hit 40 to 80-yard shots and three putting greens with varied grass types, allowing players to prepare for a wide range of courses.
An indoor practice facility was constructed in the fall of 1997 and is equipped with state-of-the-art video equipment for swing analysis. Reserved solely for team members, the players' practice facility at Karsten Creek allows OSU golfers to hone all facets of their game and continue the 60-year legacy that is Cowboy Golf.