Twelve years ago, he opened Pine Edge Golf Course, an executive nine-hole layout at Myron Schmidt’s farm northeast of Goessel. First-time players are surprised by what they find when they turn off a gravel road into a parking lot.
“When they first hear of it they think, ‘Oh, it’s just pasture golf,’” Schmidt said. “But once they get onto it they’re amazed at what they see and how well it’s kept up.”
Schmidt transformed farmland into a gently undulating par-30 layout of lush fairways and greens with enough mature trees, water, and sand traps to create a course that puts a premium on iron play.
“I built everything to meet the iron game, the short game,” Schmidt said. “You can drive a ball, but you have to know what to do with it when you get within 150 yards.”
The most talked about hole is No. 3. It’s a 126-yard shot over a pond to a half-island green. Short hits land in the pond, but hitting long puts the pond back into play with an errant chip shot.
Schmidt has a difficult time choosing No. 3 as his “signature hole,” however, because of his affinity for the challenge No. 2 presents.
“It has two big cottonwood trees you have to hit between, and there’s not much space between them,” he said. “It’s about 170 yards, and you have to be really accurate to hit it on the green.”
An event unique to Pine Edge, Schmidt said, is an annual putting tournament. Players must make putts from 5, 10, and 15 feet, and they pay $10 to get six mulligans, golf’s version of a do-over. The top five players compete in a championship round for a walk-behind mower.
This year’s putting tournament is planned for June 27, and a two-man scramble tournament will follow.
Baked goods, not mowers, are the prizes awarded at a fundraiser he puts on for Goessel Community Foundation each September.
“Closest to the pin gets either a cherry or apple pie,” Schmidt said. “We decided to go with something you can consume, rather than something that gathers dust. We always try to have enough for every contestant that shows up.”
Pine Edge green fees are for a day, not a round, so golfers can play as many holes as they wish. One twosome told Schmidt they played 90 holes in one day.
Seasoned golfers come from Newton and McPherson, but the casual nature of the course attracts another sort of golfer Schmidt enjoys serving.
“What I see a lot of is families that like to come here,” he said. “It’s a course they feel they can get started on, and it’s a family affair. They don’t have to worry about hurrying up and playing. They can just come out and have time as a family to enjoy the game.”
No matter the reason for visiting Pine Edge, golfers should expect to meet the course architect, superintendent, and groundskeeper, all of whom are Schmidt.
“I pretty well operate this whole thing myself,” he said, noting he has one part-timer to help him. “I have a policy that I like to meet everyone that comes onto the course and visit with them. That’s kind of why I built the course, because I like people.”
More information about Pine Edge Golf Course is available at (620) 747-0707, and at www.pineedgegolf.com.