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Gateway National


Getting To Know: Gateway National Golf Links

An Insightful Interview With Shawn Barnes, General Manager / Director of Golf

By Brian Weis

Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with Shawn Barnes who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.

Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
Gateway National Golf Links is the # 1 Public Golf Course in St. Louis and the Only One With Bentgrass Fairways!

Enjoy golf as it was meant to be played at this stunning, links-style course in the perfect location for golfers who work in, or travel to or visit the downtown St. Louis and Metro-East areas.

Gateway National offers St. Louis golfers the rare opportunity to return to the rich traditions of the game. Rolling links, separated by gentle mounds, meander through lush, green pasture lands.

Tall grasses, lakes, wood-tie bunkers, and occasional giant cottonwoods complete the landscape. In view of the magnificent Gateway Arch, you will cross occasional stone bridges, glide on raised boardwalks through quiet wetlands, and enjoy play on the only public St. Louis golf course with bentgrass fairways within hundreds of miles.

If Someone Was Looking To Golf In The Area, Why Should They Play Your Course?
Fantastic Conditions, Magnificent views of the Gateway Arch and St. Louis skyline, and Dynamic Pricing where every golfer can pick the right rate at the right time for themselves.

What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
As the only Bent Grass Public Course for hundreds of miles around the course will play 250-300 yards longer than the actual scorecard yardage when compared to other courses in the area, so choose the tee you play accordingly.

Pro tip - in general play about half of the break you read in the greens.

Any recent changes to the golf course? Or any upcoming changes?
No recent changes to the course but we are recapturing bunker area on lots of bunkers that have shrunk over the years. Additionally, we are building an all new halfway house that will be called The Bud Barn at our 10th tee. The new Bud Barn will offer new items and more selection than ever before.

Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
Gateway National is perennially considered the #1 Public Course in the St. Louis area and is definitely the busiest 18 hole course in the area.

What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
Many holes have the St. Louis Arch and city skyline in the background so they are photographed many, many times but the signature hole is the 250-270 yard par 4 #10 that gives the golfers fits.

Whether it's the bunker in the middle of the fairway guarding a misplayed layup shot or the pond that fronts the green along with a creek that runs along its right side golfers trying to drive the green must not only be accurate but able to carry the ball about 10-15 yards further than they think because the hole almost always plays into the wind.

What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
My favorite hole is the Par 5, #18, as it is a great risk/reward hole. After you've hit a good tee shot you're faced with the decision of laying up or going for the green in 2 and with water on the left and in front of the green you need to choose wisely!

For the traveling golfer, do you have lodging onsite or partner with any area hotels?
We do not have a hotel on site nor do we have a hotel partner but Downtown St. Louis is literally 5 minutes away and Collinsville IL is less than 10 minutes away between the two you'll always find a room at a fair price.

Who Holds Course Record and What Was Their Score?
Course Record is 63 shot by Sammy Rachels in the 2000 PGA Southern Club Professional Championship

Back Tee Stats
Par: 71
Yardage: 7092
Slope: 74.2
Rating: 127

More Information
Gateway National Golf Links
18 Golf Dr Madison, IL, 62060

Revised: 04/05/2021 - Article Viewed 6,308 Times - View Golf Course Profile

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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