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Golf Nebraska


Interstate 80 spans the state, running parallel to I-70, but one state further north. Over 100 of Nebraska’s courses fall within a 20 minute drive the Interstate. Every one of the I-80 exits has a golf course near it! Making a tour of the state by automobile just got a whole lot faster, and the open landscapes make for a pleasant drive along the way. Some of the smaller towns may have 9 quality holes, owing to the relatively low population, but that just means you’ll get to try out more places during your stay.

Amongst the top ten public play courses in the state is the Heritage Hills in McCook, which ranks within the top 100 in the country. The canyons running through the course make for great views. Raised tees add to the vistas as well, but be aware that those features make the course all the more challenging.

Stepping back into the comfort zone, we have the Highlands Golf Course. The fairways and greens at Highlands are very generous, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. The subtle variations on them will keep you paying attention throughout the course. Well kept, Highlands is a popular favorite.

Indian Creek, named after the artifacts found there, is one of the toughest courses in Nebraska. It can be played by all levels, but you need to be honest with yourself about your abilities. It’s sizeable mounds, ample trees, huge bunkers and numerous water hazards will keep you pushing yourself to improve and eventually move on up through those five sets of tees. After 18 holes there, you’ll be glad of the clubhouse and amenities.

Meadowlark Hills’ water hazards and ravines will require you play a strategic game, as the hillside plays exercise your manual skills. Each hole poses distinct challenges, making the course one that you’ll want to return to again and again.

Arnold Palmer’s Player’s Club, Deer Creek, opened in 2000. It’s a public-access course, but it sure doesn’t feel that way. Throughout, Palmer’s genius comes through, making for a memorable, worthwhile experience, which is exactly what the designer had in mind.

Quarry Oaks plays more like a nature trail than a golf course, and we’re all the richer for it. Conveniently located just 2 miles off of the interstate, Quarry Oaks is situated above the Platte River. Large trees, ravines, and a shot over a retired rock quarry make certain you don’t forget what you’re there for, but you’re still going to leave feeling like you visited a park rather than a golf course. That’s a good thing – a very good thing, in this case.

Four-point-five Star Woodland Hills, built on a pine tree farm, is like stepping into a rabbit hole and ending up in some other state. The rating alone should be enough to make you want to play there.

Finally, we’re back to Wild Horse. Named the third best affordable new golf course a year after it opened in 1998, it also earned the ranking of 44th Best Modern Course in the United States from Golf Week. Like most of the courses in Nebraska, the thick native grasses are a natural hazard. This course’s 63 rugged bunkers and wicked quick greens will keep you at your best, and the sandhill terrain itself is unforgettable.