Sand Hills - Nebraska - USA

Sand Hills Golf Club,
Highway 97,
Mullen,
Nebraska (NE) 69152,
USA


  • +1 308 546 2437

  • 10 miles S of Mullen

  • Members and their guests only


The Sandhills region of Nebraska is a huge meadow, which extends to some 20,000 square miles but amidst the cowboys and the grazing cattle, lies a magnificent sandy tract of golfing ground, which is otherwise known as Sand Hills Golf Club.

Be prepared for some interesting shots - picture courtesy of Mike Baldwin Sand Hills Golf Club is a club to respect and those in the know admire their non-commerciality, which is a welcome break from tradition in these days of the perennial money-go-round. One hundred golf holes might easily have been laid out on this amazingly natural piece of land, but Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw settled on just eighteen. But make no mistake, they discovered the best possible routing and each and every hole at Sand Hills is very special indeed.

The "Golden Age of Architecture" inspired Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore to set up together sharing the philosophy that traditional, strategic golf is the most rewarding. And, when Sand Hills opened for play in 1995, they must have been quietly delighted with their achievement.

Sand Hills has only a few lucky members, and surely each and every one of them must belong to another golf club. Why? Because Sand Hills is closed for eight months each year… overplayed it is certainly not.

With wide, generous fairways that wind their way beside huge dunes, Sand Hills is a big course on a big scale and it’s tempting to open your shoulders. But beware of the sand. You will need to be either an extremely good golfer or a very lucky one to avoid the crater-like bunkers at Sand Hills Golf Club.

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Reviews for Sand Hills

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Description: Sand Hills Golf Club is a club to respect and those in the know admire their non-commerciality and that is a delightful break from tradition these days... Rating: 8.8 out of 10 Reviews: 13
TaylorMade
Max Monroe
Two golf pro's played here... Overrated. To much dismay Sand Hills is said to be this and thought to be that, what it is and has and what all other courses don't... Sand Hills has some and lacks some. A friend and I played 36 holes here last June, along with Ballyneal, Dismal River and Wild Horse. While Ballyneal was the only pure links course of the bunch Sand Hills does have its selling points too. Location, location, location, great location! Great Views! Parts of Nebraska are beautiful and this place has It. The burgers at Bench Porch were one of the best we had ever tasted (a must try)!

The course is primarily or is entirely bent grass which we saw as appealing to the novice golfer with an untrained eye or the weekend warrior that might be either a club membership collector or the course raters that visit. As for the super fast greens which are over watered (as is the whole course), and the greens which for high handicappers are almost unplayable to the point even for a scratch player those greens in high winds are not approachable with a full shot or reasonably fair to putt on. In regards to the approach shots the greens are too small. The course has a few well designed holes which are visually keepers of the "Wow" factor but overall for the deign wise person it's an overrated golf course.

The club allows the deathly round ruining rough to grow clear up to the edge of the fringe. This growing method punishes well played shots of all golfing abilities. Fairway widths average a mile wide (60 yards plus). One of the odd things with the club is the clubhouse, it looks like a trailer, the locker room is no more or less than your local muni and the dinner we had was just ok for the type of club that is Sand Hills. One other thing is the gas carts / buggies they are loud, that with the long ride to the first tee take away from the overall experience. The golf course is very good but for where it is in most ranking lists, please, overrated. The review is coming from two golf pro's who have played all over the world from Hawaii, California, New York, Florida, Scotland, and England, studied golf design along with other designs by Coore/Crenshaw. Again this is a very good golf course and makes for an excellent day out but please course raters get it right. There are just too many average holes.
December 30, 2008
6 / 10
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Harry
August 19, 2009
Overrated for the design-wise person? Few good holes? Are you serious? If YOU were a design wise person, you'd know Sand Hills is probably the greatest design achievement of modern golf course architecture. It has everything that makes great (and classic Golden Age -) design: Strategy, Minimalism, Variety, ground game etc... Coore/Crenshaw thought of every aspect, they went into every detail.... overrated for the design-wise person, that's a joke.
Fred
November 18, 2010
Totally agree with this review. Course is OK but not nearly fantastic enough to be ranked anywhere near a top 50 course in the US. Ballyneal, Rock Creek Cattle Company, all the Bandon Dunes courses are at least as comparable as this course. Additionally, the accomodations are sub-par, basically motel level, and the staff was rude and condesending. Golf for me is the total experience. The Wow factor and history are a big part of it. Worth playing once, check it off the list and move on to the next.
Max
November 07, 2011
It is only #1 modern design because a magazine says so Harry, not because it is earned. 80 yard wide fairways, soft bent grass conditions that don't lend to a "Links" ground game, deep unplayable rough just off the fringe on many greens, the ridiculous (out of place) false front of #2, the tiny greens on most holes in a really windy location, ...it just doesn't add up to the shrine to golf that the press upholds. Sand Hills compared to your local muni is a masterpiece but when compared to Ballyneal just down the road it is fast food. Essex County Club in Mass. is light years better than Sand Hills and it gets no respect in the rankings. The ranking are largely bought off through advertising in these magazines or marketing in other ways. Sand Hills looks great from the tee boxes then you drive out to your ball and it is completely different. There is no strategy there by and large. The course is hyped for the sole purpose of having a mystique to sell to future members. At least the burgers at Ben's porch are good!
Lloyd
I appreciate the design aspects of golf and if you’re like me, take a minute and find the original sketch pad Core and Crenshaw used when they were walking those hills for 6 months before breaking ground. There are approximately 130 holes sketched. To scale that down to 18, could not have been easy. There are no slope or course ratings as the Nebraska winds change the course – every day. They use a lot of local help and the people from that part of the country are people who know what hard work is like - and know how to have fun. My father was born and grew up not to far from there. He pushed cattle through those hills when he was growing up. The look on his face the first time we went (father’s day 2003 – the longest sunlight day of the year!!) is hard to put in words. The fairways are enormous and there are a few holes you can reach from the tips, but if you're spraying it even just a bit and the wind is blowing – I’ll just say you'd better have the flat stick working or you're going to post a huge number. It really doesn’t matter though – enjoy the 1 mile trip on a dirt road to the first tee and Crenshaw’s porch – order a bloody mary and take a deep breath.. The look from on top of the valley is something that you'll never forget
November 20, 2008
10 / 10
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Ian Johnston
As a lover of links golf, I was somewhat sceptical of a magazine article which said that Sand Hills was a course good enough to stage the British Open but having managed to arrange 4 days golf there in July 2000 I was blown away by the sheer magificence of this course. The only thing missing was the sea. It had everything a golfer could want !!! and some !!..A golf course that far exceeded the magazine's boast, for in my opinion, if you took the best collective 18 links holes in GB/I and made it into a course it would NOT be as good as the 18 that Sand hills has to offer..(and before you ask..Ive played all the Open course's and most other great links courses around GB/I).. The condition was immaculate, tees and fairways as smooth as silk, and greens that ran to 13 on the stimpmeter. Off course, the clubhouse is superbly appointed (well stocked bar !!) and has a superb restaurant. The accomodation is excellent, a series of log cabins perched along the banks of the superbly named Dismal River. (Staying here is a must,as the nearest accomodation is a 2hour drive away).The one drawback about Sand Hills is its location, described by the club as drive to the middle of nowhere and turn left! but for the avid golfer it all adds to the adventure. Try to get a game and enjoy it. Six years on and I still remember everything, yes, it was that good.
September 19, 2006
10 / 10
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Paul Jensen
June 16, 2007
I agree. Seeing this course for the first time was an experience I will never forget. Simply amazing.
Bill
August 17, 2009
I played Ballyneal, Sand Hills, Wild Horse and Dismal River. Ballyneal may be the best. Dismal River the bottom.
Max
November 08, 2011
How can you host a British Open on Bent grass? That would be called the US Open. The course looks one way and plays another. The setting is one of the best in golf no question. I have played over 40 courses in GB&I and Sand Hills isn't cracking their Top 50 there.