May debut for Nebraska's Prairie Club


May debut for Nebraska's Prairie Club
Sean Dudley

Another high-end golfing destination in the sandhills of Nebraska will take a bow this spring when the Prairie Club opens on 31 May.

In anticipation of the opening, the club has already begun to take reservations for the coming season. A semi-private venue, the club is offering reservations for golf and lodging are for the first 60 days of the season. 

Located on a 1,260 acre site along the Snake River Canyon, the Prairie Club will offer two eighteen hole courses and a ten hole par three track. Each day throughout the 2010 season, the club will designate one of its eighteen hole courses for use by daily fee players. Founding members will have priority access to all three courses, including a members-only course that will be designated each day during the season. In addition, founding members will receive priority reservations and discounts for lodging accommodations; discounted guest golf fees; and reduced membership fees in future clubs developed by the club’s parent company, Destination Golf Ventures.  

The seed for the club was planted seven years ago when Paul Schock, an avid golfer and businessman from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, met Cleve Trimble, a local landowner, who had a vision of bringing world-class golf, accessible to the public, to north central Nebraska. Development began in earnest when Schock purchased land from Trimble three years later with the intent of developing a golf destination to take advantage of the terrain of Nebraska’s sandhills.

The Dunes course is designed by former Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman and golf course architect Chris Brands.  Stretching 8,073 yards, the course has fairways as wide as 150 yards, designed to increase its playability. The Pines, the other  eighteen hole course, takes advantage of the remnants of a nearby ancient ponderosa forest along the banks of the canyon. The course was designed by Australian touring pro Graham Marsh, who was also responsible for the Sutton Bay course in South Dakota.

The ten hole par three Horse course, designed by Gil Hanse, Jim Wagner and golf writer Geoff Shackelford features no tee boxes, allowing the player with the honour to call the spot for the next tee shot. Set right on the rim of the Snake River Canyon, the golf course plays from 485 to 1,125 yards, depending upon where a player decides to call the tee shot. 

The club has already has attracted more than 170 of a planned 200 founding members. Deposits begin at US$15,000.