THE REBEL GOLFER RATING:
REBEL GOLFER CERTIFIED GOLFER DESTINATION

If you’ve been keeping track of The Rebel Golfer’s travels (that’s me), you already know that The Prairie Club is one of my Rebel Golfer Certified Golfer Destination’s. A rare distinction reserved for only the rarest of experiences.  

So continuing on from my Prairie Club Pines Course review, the Dunes Course quickly became one of my favourite courses anywhere. With or without a fair amount of brews in my system, it is one of the more visually stunning and playable golf courses I’ve ever drank on.

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 my rear-view mirror and my playing partners having failed to incur even one snake bite searching for my ball 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, I knew right away I was going to have a tough day. The first hole was one of the toughest openers anywhere. The decision of whether to crack open my first brew for the day or snap open the bottle cap on my water was the toughest I’ve ever had to make. I ended up settling for the water, smartly. Because the uphill long par-4 1st hole is stout and had me taking deep breathes before I made it half way up the fairway.

As I continued to work on what was now my sunburn beyond a sunburn, and as the holes began to unfold with such naturalness before me, I 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 my arms.

Options and angles of attack play a big role with such wide fairways and huge greens, and thank my stars for that. Even though I was spraying my golf ball wider than the sky, I was still able to find it without the assistance of my 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? I think so. That’s why I drink as many different brews as I can get my hands on.

19TH HOLE THOUGHTS

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

Like the Pines course Dunes was fun. I’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 my rare certification — a Rebel Golfer Certified Golfer Destination — meaning everyone needs to go…now.

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