I recently went on a trip deep into the ranch-land of America playing courses in Nebraska and Colorado. This is the second in a series of blog posts about the 99 holes I played at these amazing courses.
Wild Horse is a very young course with a very old soul. The course sits on the leading edge of the famous sand hills region of Nebraska which has recently become a golf mecca between the creation of the lauded Sand Hills Golf Club, Dismal River and The Prairie Club. In fact, Wild Horse is often called the public version of Sand Hills Golf Club and while it sorta is, it also stands on its own as a fine golf course.
The course is set amongst the swales of the prairie land, often with blind shots or obscured second shots (making the first time playing the course somewhat difficult but setting up fun replays in the future). While not super hilly, the course architects did an impressive job separating each hole so you feel removed from the other golfers playing and mostly alone on the prairie (save for the occasional snake!).
The only design flaw in the routing occurs between holes two and three which have a siamese twin joining of fairways linked by a pot bunker and if the groups are going out in 10 minute spacing, you are going to be seeing people play in differing fairways and hitting shots over each other.
Other than this kink, the course mostly comes at you in a high golf gear making for an enjoyable round.
The clubhouse is usually in sight and can offer good aiming targets for the golfer. Also, I thought the positioning of the bunkers were excellent. Just look at that little guy in the picture above, just waiting to gobble up a mishit ball. Also look at this one below:
with an incredibly severe lip.
The backside has a lot more elevation gains and losses
(its uphill, trust me)
and incorporates a design element I noticed over and over again in the sand hills, elevated par 3's. I'm not quite sure who designed these par 3's but it is a common theme running throughout the sand hills.
The course is also charmingly rustic and I loved the tee markers and fairway yardages!
The greens were some of the best I played during my trip to the heartland which is saying something given the other courses in the area I checked out. Hard and fast with true rolls, a golfers delight (or torment!). The conditioning is fantastic and while the swale grass creeps a little too close to the fairway, there is enough margin for error that you can get around the course without losing too many golf balls.
I was expecting to be impressed by Wild Horse and I was! It is well worth the money for greens fees and if you can't get on the private tracks in Nebraska you can play this one along and come away impressed with Nebraska golf.
For more information about Wild Horse, check them out here: http://www.playwildhorse.com/
EXTRA Bonus: Wild Horse has recently built cabins that offer stay and play deals. The interior of the cabins were great and I was stoked to be staying in the Hogan cabin. If you make it all the way to Gothenburg, do yourself a favor and stay here!