CANADIAN GOLF MAGAZINE RATING:
CGM GOLFER CERTIFIED GOLFER DESTINATION

If you’ve been keeping track of our travels you already know that The Prairie Club is one of our CGM Golfer Certified Golfer Destination’s. A rare distinction reserved for only the rarest of experiences.  

So continuing on from our Prairie Club Pines Course review, the Dunes Course quickly became one of our favourite courses in the world. With or without a fair amount of brews in our systems, it is one of the more visually stunning and playable golf courses we’ve ever played.

THE STATS

  • Course: Dunes Course
  • Type: Semi-private
  • Season: May – October
  • Architect: Tom Lehman and Chris Brands
  • Location: Valentine, Nebraska
  • Year opened: 2010
  • Holes: 18 | Par 73 | Length: 7583 yards | Slope: 135 | Rating: 75.0

THE COURSE

With the Pines Course in our rear-view mirrors and our playing partners having failed to incur even one snake bite searching for our balls along the Snake River Canyon (disappointing right?), it was time to tackle the dunes. That’s a bit of a misnomer, though. The Pines course has about half its holes set in the dunes, but it was time to tackle the rest of the dunes…at the Dunes course….which are some of the biggest on property.

With 10 bottles of water in tow to combat the sweltering heat, we knew right away we were going to have a tough day. The first hole was one of the toughest openers we’ve encountered. The decision of whether to crack open our first brew for the day or snap open the bottle cap on our water was the toughest we’ve ever had to make. We ended up settling on the water because the uphill long par-4 1st hole is stout and had us taking deep breaths before we made it half way up the fairway.

As we continued to work on what was now our sunburns beyond sunburns, and as the holes began to unfold with such naturalness before us, we couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the width of the course. The expansiveness of Dunes could only be matched by the sweat stains forming under our arms.

Options and angles of attack play a big role with such wide fairways and huge greens, and thank our stars for that. Even though we were spraying the ball wider than the sky, we were still able to find it without the assistance of our ever so oblivious snake hunting partners playing partners. Without this width and expansiveness the Dunes course wouldn’t have felt right. This property and the entire region has long views across towering dunes and the course needed to feel that way, too.

That’s not to say the course is easy, far from it. Depending on pin position a hole can play completely different from one day to the next. True to form firm playing conditions mean you have to look out for pesky bunkers and “play the ground,” while the wind…well lets just say a course designed in any other fashion would have been unfair, now, it’s just right.

Lending to the variety of play created by the width and size of the golf course is a plethora of choice in tee positions. From day-to-day golfers can quite literally be a full pitching wedge away from the same tee yesterday. And when it comes down to it, isn’t variety the spice of life? We think so. That’s why we drink as many different brews as we can get our hands on.

19TH HOLE THOUGHTS

There’s really not much else that we can say for The Prairie Club. We’re no longer there physically but always there in spirit. If we had to define what we believe golf to be and how we believe golf should be played, it would be The Prairie Club exactly, and we didn’t even get the chance to play the 10-hole par-3 Horse Course (though we did walk it quickly).

Like the Pines course Dunes was fun. We’ll forever argue that Prairie Club is as pure a golf golf experience as any in the world made even better by the people. That’s why it receives our rare certification — a CGM Golfer Certified Golfer Destination — meaning everyone needs to go…now.

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