The new Landmand golf course in Homer, Nebraska, will open for public play on 3 September. It is the first 18-hole layout by design firm King-Collins.
Landmand, named after the Danish word for farmer, has been developed by the Andersen family, which has Scandinavian origins and has farmed the surrounding land for four generations.
King-Collins principals Tad King and Rob Collins initially visited the area with a view to renovating the family’s Old Dane nine-hole course, leading to a more ambitious project that saw them evaluate several potential sites in the area before settling on a location at Loess Hill, above the surrounding farmland. The area had been cleared of trees in the 1970s and left fallow for more than 20 years.
“My goals have not changed,” says owner Will Andersen. “From the beginning until now, all I have wanted is a fun, playable golf course for the community. Anything on top of that is a bonus.”
The 580-acre site is almost four times larger than the average 18-hole course. Landmand can play to 7,200 yards and has 84 acres of maintained turf, four acres of bunkering and over six acres of green surface.
Four of the greens are over 25,000 square feet. One of those, at the seventeenth, is a tribute to Alister MacKenzie’s famous Sitwell Park green. “It’s taking our crew about three hours to mow the greens with three triplex mowers,” says Andersen.
“Tad and I knew immediately when we saw the site and met Will that Landmand was the big opportunity for us,” says Collins. “But it came with a catch. The site was and is extraordinarily beautiful, but it was clear straight away that delivering a course worthy of the property would take a mountain of work.”
Collins is the firm’s principal golf course architect and King manages construction. “We believe that the total amount of earthmoving to build the course was in the region of two million cubic yards,” says Collins. “That is an enormous volume, but it was necessary to create a walkable, playable course on terrain of this severity, traversing as it does the towering Loess Hills of eastern Nebraska. Thanks to a team filled with outrageously talented golf construction professsionals, we are immensely proud of the final product. I believe it will be something that golfers have never seen the like of before.”
Read: Vaughn Halyard previewed the Landmand course for GCA in January 2021
The course has been growing in since grassing was completed in September 2021. Greens are 007 creeping bentgrass, and elsewhere there is a drought-tolerant mix of Kentucky bluegrass (poa pratensis) and ryegrass. “We considered fescue fairways, but given the nature of the soil, decided that this mix was a better choice,” says Collins. “It can get extremely firm and fast, while also tolerating very dry conditions. Obviously Nebraska has a pretty extreme climate – very cold in the winter and both hot and dry in the summer, so that was a key factor in our decision making.”
The family has built an initial four cabins as lodging for visiting golfers, and will operate the course with 15-minute tee time intervals.