Golva man creates 10-hole golf course on his farm

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 2:44 PM CDT
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GOLVA, N.D. (KFYR) - There are golf courses.

And then there are golf courses.

There’s a course in the far southwest corner of North Dakota that is unlike any you’ve ever seen before.

The story behind it is good news.

If you’re looking for Don Nistler, there’s a good chance you’ll find him on the golf course. The 88-year-old tries to hit the links at least once a week.

When he’s not golfing, he’s mowing the course.

“He’s the club pro,” said his son, Perry Nistler.

Because Club Nistler is just a few steps from Don’s home on his farm just outside Golva. He started building it in 2010.

“I kind of like venturing into new things,” Don said. “I thought I’d try golfing. I had a set of golf clubs.”

“One hole led to another, led to another and he’s up to 10 holes now. He just keeps adding on,” said Perry.

He’s even added a clubhouse. It’s an old granary converted into a space to tell golf stories and display his golf ball collection. Don estimates he’s collected about 1,500 golf balls. They’re for display only but he’s got other golf balls and clubs on hand for guests to use. But you only need one club to play this course.

“This is a pitching wedge course,” explained Perry.

There are no tee boxes.

“Just don’t dig on the grass too deep if you don’t have to,” Don requested.

There aren’t any greens either.

“There’s a little bare spot where the hole is,” said Don, pointing to the hole.

Don figures par for the 10-holes is 40, but no one ever really keeps score on this course.

“There are no scorecards,” said Perry. “We play best ball and pick on everybody that’s here. "

“We never keep score. If you’re playing with somebody else, you might say, ‘Oh you won this hole because you got there before me,’” Don added.

But there is a whole lot of good-natured trash talk and plenty of laughs.

“We always have fun,” Don said with a smile.

And out here, Don says fun is par for the course.

Don hosts his entire family every year for a family reunion and a few rounds of golf.

Some of the more memorable moments at Club Nistler include hosting the Golva kindergarten class and the time his granddaughter got engaged on hole six. The couple will marry next month. No word on whether the honeymoon will include a trip to Don’s golf course though.