Sand Hills Golf Club—Mullen, NE
Rankings as of 8/18/2010---
#1 Modern US Course (Golfweek)
13th best US course; #1 Course in Nebraska (Golf Digest)
8th best course in US; 11th best course in the world (Golf Magazine)
The Sand Hills Golf Club is located in the middle of nowhere Nebraska. Coming from Atlanta, I had to fly 3 hours to
get into Denver, Colorado. Then I rented a car and made the 4 to 5 hour drive to Mullen, Nebraska to get to the
club. It may seem like a heck of a long journey to play golf, but let me tell you…it was worth it!!
The club itself is very understated and has very few, if any, amenities that are not absolutely necessary. The
cottages have toilets, showers, beds, armoires to hold your clothes, and old school tube tv’s …that is all that is
inside the cottages. The lounge has a bar and a few tables to sit and eat dinner, but it isn’t fancy or wasteful in
any way shape or form. You have what you need; plain and simple.
You see, the real magic takes place when you set foot on the golf course. The course itself is darn close to
perfection. It is said that the course was discovered rather than built and seeing the natural lay of the land
certainly lends credence to that claim.
With all of this natural prairie terrain to pick and choose from, I am sure the hole choices and routing decisions
were very difficult. But it certainly appears all the right decisions were made.
There are long and short holes with immaculate choices of perfect greens sites. Here is a photo of the 216 yard
par 3 3rd hole. The green is MASSIVE.
Here is the 150 yard par 3 17th hole. The green is very small, perched on a mound, and heavily guarded by
The same great decisions regarding greens occur again and again throughout the course. Long holes have big
greens and short holes have small greens and the easier the green is to access the more undulating it is. And to
further build on the greens, their speed is perfectly appropriate for their degree of slope and undulation. They are
a joy to hit balls into and to putt on.
The thing that really struck me about the course is the sheer scale of it. Hitting my tee shots, I saw the bunkers
and used them as aiming points. But when I would get close those bunkers, I was overwhelmed time and time
again by their massive size. As I type this, I still shake my head at how big everything was out there.
The course was built by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw and plays about 6,400 yards from the middle tees and it has
no slope or course rating.
As a side note the course is super amazing, but that pales in comparison to the wonderful kindness and welcoming
nature of all the staff and crew that work at the Sand Hills Golf Club. In addition to the greatness of the course, this
type of treatment makes the entire experience of being on the premises extra special.