Trevor Dormer to extend Old Dane to 12 holes

  • Old DAne
    Old Dane

    Canadian Trevor Dormer is making his solo design debut at the Old Dane course in Dakota City, Nebraska, which he will extend from nine to 12 holes

  • Old Dane
    Old Dane

    “The third green is going to be like a loaf of bread – it will roll off on all sides,” says Dormer

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Canadian architect Trevor Dormer is starting his solo design career by transforming the nine-hole Old Dane course in Dakota City, Nebraska.

Dormer’s plan for Old Dane calls for the 93-acre property to be completely rerouted, making it a 12-hole course with golfers also able to play it in loops of six and nine. The course’s driving range will be eliminated, allowing Dormer to build the extra three holes.

Dormer has worked as a design associate for Coore and Crenshaw for the past decade, spending more than two years building the new Point Hardy course at Cabot Saint Lucia as well as working on the firm’s new Torch Cay project in the Bahamas.

He has also worked on the Landmand course for King-Collins. The owner of Landmand, Will Andersen, also owns Old Dane. “I had Trevor for two weeks, and I have been a fan ever since,” said Andersen. “Even in that short time it was obvious what a talent he was, both as shaper and as a human being. He was the real visionary behind Landmand’s fourth hole – he created a great green that really made the hole. When I thought about rebuilding Old Dane, I had a chat with Rob Collins, and he confirmed my thought that Trevor would be the right candidate to do the job.”

Andersen’s family bought the course that became Old Dane in 2007, converting it from 18 holes to nine. “This project is about finishing what we didn’t completely do when we built the course originally,” he said. “We bought the course because my dad wanted a place to go and hang out with his friends, and we achieved that, but we didn’t do that much with the golf course. The irrigation system is 23 years old, and it’s falling apart.”

“When Will asked me to look at the property, I did so and said to him, ‘I’m not sure there is anything out here that is really worth saving’,” said Dormer. “To his credit, he told me just to propose what I thought was the best solution, and that’s what I have done. There will be quirk out there – the eleventh green is going to be elevated by about 15-20 feet – and the fairways are going to be significantly wider than what is out there now. I don’t want 80-yard fairways, but I do want people to have enough room that they’re not always worried about losing balls.

“The third and eighth will play on a shared fairway. The third green is going to be like a loaf of bread – it will roll off on all sides. There will be different ways to play the course – I just wanted to get as much golf on the property as I could.”

There is a total of five feet of elevation change on the entire property. Dormer is planning to reshape the land using fill from the excavation of a two-acre lake. “There will not be a single square yard of ground on the property that is untouched by the plow,” he said. “It’s a dead flat site, so I’m trying to do some different, quirky things – a tee shot over the previous green for example. I think it will be significantly more fun and more interesting, and I hope it raises some questions among those who play it. I want people to get out there, families and kids, and experience the game. Removing the range is a brave thing for an operator to do, but Will gave me carte blanche, and I thought, ‘The more room there is to play actual golf, the better’.

The new-look Old Dane will be a walking-only course. “I’m turning it into what I want a golf course to be,” said Andersen. “It’s flat, it’s easy to walk and that’s how golf is meant to be.”

Old Dane will close on 1 October, with Dormer and his crew beginning construction soon after. Andersen expects the course to reopen late in the 2026 season, with its green fees, which are currently $15 for nine holes and $25 for eighteen, to remain a similar price.