Nebraska may not traditionally have been the first place which came to mind when thinking about the world’s great golf destinations, but the Cornhusker State is fast becoming one of the hottest golf destinations in the United States. We’re here to help you find the best golf courses in Nebraska.
From the windswept Sand Hills to the lush fairways of Omaha Country Club, Nebraska offers a diverse range of golf experiences. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the 10 best golf courses in Nebraska, showcasing the unique challenges and natural beauty that make each course a standout.
1. Sand Hills Golf Club
Stupendous Sand Hills Golf Club near the small town of Mullen is not only the one of the best golf courses in Nebraska but consistently ranked as one of the best golf courses in the United States. This Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw is laid out across the rolling sand hills of central Nebraska and because so little was done to the land during construction, it may be the most natural golf course anywhere in America. The minimalist design, which used what the architects saw as almost natural fairways and greens, feels like it has always been there in the same way a links course would. Everything is epic in scale, not least the bunkering and the greens and the wind is a constant challenge. It isn’t easy to get to, located some five hours from both Omaha and Denver, and it’s famously private but if you can find a way to get there and to get on, boy is it worth it.
Sand hills Golf Club scorecard2. CapRock Ranch
Located near Valentine, Nebraska, CapRock Ranch is another spectacular, natural, wondrous test of golf.
It’s a wonderfully schizophrenic golf club: by that I mean it feels like two different courses rolled into one with half the course a links style layout on the prairies and the other half, sitting on the edge of the stunning Snake River Canyon, which the topography is dramatic, varied and elevation changes are constant. The 18th hole is one of the great par-3 finishing holes and requires golfers to carry the ball across a gorge to find the distant green. It’s unquestionably one of the best golf courses in Nebraska.
Don’t let the name fool you, there is nothing dismal about this incredible golf club, which has two entries into our list of the best golf courses in Nebraska. The Red Course is a vibrant and visually stunning journey from first to last. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, this course showcases the Golden Bear’s signature style with strategic bunkering and water features that add an extra layer of challenge. The Red Course is a true test of skill and shot-making ability and deserves its place on our list of the best golf courses in Nebraska.
Perched on the rim of the Snake River Canyon, The Prairie Club Dunes Course delivers a golfing experience unlike any other in Nebraska. Designed by Tom Lehman and Chris Brands, the course features expansive fairways, dramatic elevation changes, and panoramic views of the surrounding prairie. It’s a golfing adventure that combines challenge and beauty in equal measure.
Steeped in history and tradition, the Omaha Country Club has been a fixture of Nebraska’s golfing landscape since the early 20th century. The course has undergone numerous renovations, including the recent work by Keith Foster, which has elevated its status among the state’s top golf destinations. With tree-lined fairways and immaculate greens, Omaha Country Club provides a classic and refined golfing experience.
Nestled in the Elkhorn River Valley, The Links at Landmand aims to capture the essence of links golf in the heart of Nebraska. Architect Bill Coore designed the course to mimic the challenging conditions of traditional links courses, with undulating fairways, fescue-lined bunkers, and fast, firm greens. The Links at Landmand offers a departure from the typical Nebraska golf experience, providing golfers with a taste of the British Isles.
Complementing its Red counterpart, the White Course at Dismal River Club offers a different yet equally captivating golfing experience. Designed by Tom Doak, itwinds through the sand hills with a layout that emphasises strategic shot placement. With expansive fairways and a variety of hazards, the White Course provides a challenge that requires both skill and strategy.
Situated in the picturesque Sand Hills town of Gothenburg, the Wild Horse Golf Club has become a must-play destination for golf enthusiasts. Designed by Dave Axland and Dan Proctor, the course blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings, featuring rolling dunes and native grasses. Wild Horse is known for its fair but demanding layout, making it an ideal choice for golfers of all skill levels.
WILD HORSE GOLF CLUB SCORECARD
Adding another gem to The Prairie Club’s repertoire, the Pines Course provides a different golfing experience compared to its Dunes counterpart. Designed by Graham Marsh, the Pines Course meanders through a dense forest of Ponderosa Pines, offering a secluded and serene atmosphere. The strategic layout and pristine conditions make it a favorite among golfers seeking a challenging yet enjoyable round.
Closing our list is the Firethorn Golf Club, located in the heart of Lincoln. Designed by Pete Dye, this championship-caliber course has hosted various prestigious events, showcasing its challenging layout and meticulous maintenance. Firethorn’s tree-lined fairways, well-placed bunkers, and undulating greens provide a test of skill that is both fair and rewarding.
FIRETHORN GOLF CLUB SCORECARD
Nebraska’s diverse topography and stunning landscapes have always been there, but an influx of creativity and inspiration from some pf the world’s great golf architects have led to a surge in incredible golf courses which make the most of the landscapes and have reinvigorated the Nebraska golf scene. Whether navigating the natural dunes at Sand Hills, experiencing the Scottish links-style charm of The Links at Landmand, or enjoying the classic elegance of Omaha Country Club, golfers will find no shortage of adventures to capture their heart in the Cornhusker State.
In our view, these are the 10 best golf courses in Nebraska but there are plenty more besides, so pack your backs and go and check out Nebraska’s burgeoning golf scene for yourselves.