Golf course designer Paul Albanese is currently overseeing the progress of his latest design at the new Tatanka Golf Club in the US state of Nebraska.
The new course will form part of The Ohiya Casino Resort of the Santee Sioux Nation, and seeding has just been completed.
Albanese has been influenced by elements of Sioux Nation history and culture in his design, and with the creation of each fairway, green and bunker he and his team has discussed ideas presented by the Sioux Nation.
“This is easily one of the nicest pieces of property I have ever been involved with, and it has been incredibly interesting,” said Albanese. “We took the history and the culture of the area and the Sioux Nation, and used it as a design inspiration in a subtle and respectful way. We looked at the land forms and designed something that might reflect local stories. For instance, how a certain mountain looked and got its name would be the kind of thing we tried to incorporate. I remember a story about a medicine woman we used as inspiration.”
The resort has decided to introduce a golf course with the aim of encouraging visitors to stay longer, and Albanese expects both the resort and the local area to benefit once Tatanka Golf Club opens for play.
“This is a template used by other Native American tribes with casinos,” Albanese said. “They use the golf to create a destination resort, more of a weekend trip instead of a simple visit to the casino. Take a break from gaming, and play golf, that kind of thing.”
The Ohiya Casino Resort was the first of its type in Nebraska, and lies a few minutes away from the town of Niobrara. Tatanka Golf Club is scheduled to open in 2015.