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Sand Hills Experiences


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#1 krzeczowskimatt

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 06:32 AM

I was lucky enough to get an invite to play the Sand Hills in June, Just wondering if anyone has been and what was the experience like? Are there any Do's and Don't? I am really looking forward to it just trying to get a better feel for what it will be like. Thanks!


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#2 Stetson

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 06:47 AM

It is amazing...

It is a very laid back environment, nothing like a high end club on the east coast. Be polite to the staff, use general golf etiquette and everything will be great.

All items purchased will go onto the bill sent at the end of the month, do not expect to pay for a drink, polo, etc while on the premises using cash or a card.

The driving range will underwhelm you, but have no fears, in typical Nebraska fashion they believe in underselling and over delivering.

Also, if arriving from the east by car it would be wise to stop at Wildhorse in Gothenburg for a nice tune-up.

Edited by Stetson, 25 April 2018 - 06:48 AM.

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#3 DLiver

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 06:54 AM

What Stetson said. Just do what you'd do as a guest anywhere: be kind, polite and gracious, and don't do anything that might embarrass your host. Do that, and you will be welcome anywhere.

It is very laid back there. It is also out in the middle of freakin nowhere. But it is definitely worth the trip; IMO it is one of the three best courses that I've played (and I've been lucky enough to play a lot of really really good courses).

Enjoy--it is an all around great experience.

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#4 krzeczowskimatt

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 06:57 AM

View PostStetson, on 25 April 2018 - 06:47 AM, said:

It is amazing...

It is a very laid back environment, nothing like a high end club on the east coast. Be polite to the staff, use general golf etiquette and everything will be great.

All items purchased will go onto the bill sent at the end of the month, do not expect to pay for a drink, polo, etc while on the premises using cash or a card.

The driving range will underwhelm you, but have no fears, in typical Nebraska fashion they believe in underselling and over delivering.

Also, if arriving from the east by car it would be wise to stop at Wildhorse in Gothenburg for a nice tune-up.

How is the hotel situation in Gothenburg? We will be driving out on a Saturday and planned to get a hotel somewhere in Nebraska, arriving at the Sand Hills Sunday Morning. We could play Wildhorse Saturday afternoon stay in Gothenburg and get to the Sand Hills Sunday. Would this make sense as we will be driving from Chicago?

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#5 jth3333

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 07:19 AM

2 hotels in gothenburg on !80 but wildhorse also has lodging now on site.


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#6 krzeczowskimatt

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 07:29 AM

View Postjth3333, on 25 April 2018 - 07:19 AM, said:

2 hotels in gothenburg on !80 but wildhorse also has lodging now on site.

Thank You

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#7 Stetson

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 07:31 AM

View Postkrzeczowskimatt, on 25 April 2018 - 06:57 AM, said:

View PostStetson, on 25 April 2018 - 06:47 AM, said:

It is amazing...

It is a very laid back environment, nothing like a high end club on the east coast. Be polite to the staff, use general golf etiquette and everything will be great.

All items purchased will go onto the bill sent at the end of the month, do not expect to pay for a drink, polo, etc while on the premises using cash or a card.

The driving range will underwhelm you, but have no fears, in typical Nebraska fashion they believe in underselling and over delivering.

Also, if arriving from the east by car it would be wise to stop at Wildhorse in Gothenburg for a nice tune-up.

How is the hotel situation in Gothenburg? We will be driving out on a Saturday and planned to get a hotel somewhere in Nebraska, arriving at the Sand Hills Sunday Morning. We could play Wildhorse Saturday afternoon stay in Gothenburg and get to the Sand Hills Sunday. Would this make sense as we will be driving from Chicago?

As stated you can now stay at Wildhorse in their brand new cabin, or you can stay a little to the east of Gothenburg and make a drive of under an hour the morning of from a typical Super 8, La Quinta, etc

I have been fortunate enough to play courses in the past that host PGA events and even a pair of courses that hosted a major championship... I still believe Wildhorse is top 3 I have ever played (Sandhills #1, Kiawah Ocean Course #2). Then again I love Links Golf, it is the type of golf that is in harmony with my soul lol

Edited by Stetson, 25 April 2018 - 07:32 AM.

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#8 QMany

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 08:19 AM

View PostQMany, on 20 August 2015 - 12:44 PM, said:

Nebraska Golf Trip – August 17-18, 2015.

Many don’t know, but Nebraska has some of the best golf courses in the country. The Sand Hills region is home to some of the best soil and natural bunkering in the world. If you ever have to a chance to play any of the great courses the state has to offer, don’t pass it up!

I had the opportunity to visit Sand Hills GC in 2011 and 2012. We learned a family friend was an honorary member there after helping Crenshaw & Coore build the course. I didn’t think I would have the opportunity to return after he passed away a month ago.

During my last trip there, I met Ari Techner, the President and Founder of Scratch Golf. He invited me out to play, and I could not say no!

Sand Hills GC is about an 8-hour drive from Kansas City. If you are unfamiliar with the area, North Platte is essentially in the dead middle of the state. It is basically the only decently sized city west of Lincoln. I would make the drive just to play Sand Hills GC, but I had the time, so I wanted to play another track. I invited my cousin along with me; he is an accomplished amateur golfer in Iowa. We left Omaha around 8:00 AM on Monday morning.

Wild Horse GC is located in Gothenburg, about halfway between Lincoln and North Platte. Most have never heard of the track, and that is a shame. It has been honored as Golf Digest’s 3rd Best Affordable New Golf Course, Golf Magazine’s 54th Best US Course You Can Play, and Golf Week’s 21st Best Modern Course in US. It is firm, fast, links golf at its best. It is the best $55 in golf.

Posted Image

After finishing our round about 4:00 PM, we jumped back in the car and headed even farther west. Sand Hills GC is located 55 miles north of North Platte into the vast unknown. This Sand Hills region is mostly ranch land, as the sand soil isn’t too great for farming.

...

Some may disagree, but I believe Sand Hills GC is the best golf course in the United States. Ari has said as much, too:

View PostFairwayFred, on 14 April 2015 - 08:33 PM, said:

I've been lucky enough to play all 10 of the top 10, 19 of the top 20, 36 of the top 50 and 61 of the top 100 in the most recent Golf Digest list.

Personal Top 10 USA

1  Sand Hills
2  Cypress Point
3  National Golf Links of America
4  Oakmont
5  LACC
6  Pine Valley
7  Prairie Dunes
8  Shoreacres
9  Shinnecock Hills
10  Merion

Even if not the best, it is on a short list.
· Golf Week #1 Modern Course (9.20 rating; #2 Pacific Dunes 8.88 and #3 Friar’s Head 8.59).
· Golf Magazine #12 Course in World.
· Golf Digest #11 Course in US (#9 2011-2014).
· Golf Digest #1 Modern Course.

Crenshaw & Coore studied the land for two years and sketched 136 different holes before choosing the final 18, for which they moved only 3,000 cubic yards of earth during construction. It is a marvel. The course is over a mile away from the clubhouse and cabins along the sand cart part. Other than Ben’s Porch, you cannot see another man-made structure as far as you can see. The greens are perfect, I can't put it any other way.

Sand Hills GC is my favorite place on the planet.
  • Make time to play Wildhorse on the way there or the way back. It is in my Top 5, only behind Sand Hills, tied with the 4 at Bandon, and ahead of Kiawah, Oak Tree National, Torrey Pines, everything in Scottsdale, et al.
  • If you are not staying at Sand Hills on Sunday night, I would recommend staying there Saturday. Lodging rates are modest and will surprise you.
  • Eat dinner there at least once. Order a steak and request Tuscan Style, probably the best I've ever had (you're in Nebraska ranchland).
  • Get up early and play as many holes as you can. In my 3 trips, I don't remember more than 5-6 groups on the entire course. You can fly around and play quickly.
  • Eat lunch on Ben's Porch overlooking 18-1-9. Order a hamburger, not "yardbird."
  • Plan on spending a lot at the Pro Shop, they have incredible stuff and you may never get a chance to return.
  • Stash as many white plastic cups with the SH logo as you can, they are my prized possessions at home. :D

Edited by QMany, 25 April 2018 - 08:48 AM.

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#9 Stetson

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 09:00 AM

I have 10 of those SH cups hahaha
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#10 QMany

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 09:07 AM

View PostStetson, on 25 April 2018 - 09:00 AM, said:

I have 10 of those SH cups hahaha
I think I started with 12 and am down to 10; I have been HOUNDING the two people I know stole them! :busted_cop:

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#11 schley

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 09:31 AM

I wrote my letter this year and didn't get communicated back to, thus missed out.  However, congrats to those that did and enjoy.

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#12 Tbell3

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 12:39 PM

Make sure that you buy the sandhills steak seasoning!
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#13 Tbell3

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 12:40 PM

View PostQMany, on 25 April 2018 - 08:19 AM, said:

View PostQMany, on 20 August 2015 - 12:44 PM, said:

Nebraska Golf Trip – August 17-18, 2015.

Many don’t know, but Nebraska has some of the best golf courses in the country. The Sand Hills region is home to some of the best soil and natural bunkering in the world. If you ever have to a chance to play any of the great courses the state has to offer, don’t pass it up!

I had the opportunity to visit Sand Hills GC in 2011 and 2012. We learned a family friend was an honorary member there after helping Crenshaw & Coore build the course. I didn’t think I would have the opportunity to return after he passed away a month ago.

During my last trip there, I met Ari Techner, the President and Founder of Scratch Golf. He invited me out to play, and I could not say no!

Sand Hills GC is about an 8-hour drive from Kansas City. If you are unfamiliar with the area, North Platte is essentially in the dead middle of the state. It is basically the only decently sized city west of Lincoln. I would make the drive just to play Sand Hills GC, but I had the time, so I wanted to play another track. I invited my cousin along with me; he is an accomplished amateur golfer in Iowa. We left Omaha around 8:00 AM on Monday morning.

Wild Horse GC is located in Gothenburg, about halfway between Lincoln and North Platte. Most have never heard of the track, and that is a shame. It has been honored as Golf Digest’s 3rd Best Affordable New Golf Course, Golf Magazine’s 54th Best US Course You Can Play, and Golf Week’s 21st Best Modern Course in US. It is firm, fast, links golf at its best. It is the best $55 in golf.

Posted Image

After finishing our round about 4:00 PM, we jumped back in the car and headed even farther west. Sand Hills GC is located 55 miles north of North Platte into the vast unknown. This Sand Hills region is mostly ranch land, as the sand soil isn’t too great for farming.

...

Some may disagree, but I believe Sand Hills GC is the best golf course in the United States. Ari has said as much, too:

View PostFairwayFred, on 14 April 2015 - 08:33 PM, said:

I've been lucky enough to play all 10 of the top 10, 19 of the top 20, 36 of the top 50 and 61 of the top 100 in the most recent Golf Digest list.

Personal Top 10 USA

1  Sand Hills
2  Cypress Point
3  National Golf Links of America
4  Oakmont
5  LACC
6  Pine Valley
7  Prairie Dunes
8  Shoreacres
9  Shinnecock Hills
10  Merion

Even if not the best, it is on a short list.
· Golf Week #1 Modern Course (9.20 rating; #2 Pacific Dunes 8.88 and #3 Friar’s Head 8.59).
· Golf Magazine #12 Course in World.
· Golf Digest #11 Course in US (#9 2011-2014).
· Golf Digest #1 Modern Course.

Crenshaw & Coore studied the land for two years and sketched 136 different holes before choosing the final 18, for which they moved only 3,000 cubic yards of earth during construction. It is a marvel. The course is over a mile away from the clubhouse and cabins along the sand cart part. Other than Ben’s Porch, you cannot see another man-made structure as far as you can see. The greens are perfect, I can't put it any other way.

Sand Hills GC is my favorite place on the planet.
  • Make time to play Wildhorse on the way there or the way back. It is in my Top 5, only behind Sand Hills, tied with the 4 at Bandon, and ahead of Kiawah, Oak Tree National, Torrey Pines, everything in Scottsdale, et al.
  • If you are not staying at Sand Hills on Sunday night, I would recommend staying there Saturday. Lodging rates are modest and will surprise you.
  • Eat dinner there at least once. Order a steak and request Tuscan Style, probably the best I've ever had (you're in Nebraska ranchland).
  • Get up early and play as many holes as you can. In my 3 trips, I don't remember more than 5-6 groups on the entire course. You can fly around and play quickly.
  • Eat lunch on Ben's Porch overlooking 18-1-9. Order a hamburger, not "yardbird."
  • Plan on spending a lot at the Pro Shop, they have incredible stuff and you may never get a chance to return.
  • Stash as many white plastic cups with the SH logo as you can, they are my prized possessions at home. :D


This couldn't have been said ANY BETTER!
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#14 Roadking2003

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 01:34 PM

View PostQMany, on 25 April 2018 - 08:19 AM, said:

Eat dinner there at least once. Order a steak and request Tuscan Style, probably the best I've ever had (you're in Nebraska ranchland).

Is there a good place to eat outside the resort?

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#15 QMany

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 01:39 PM

View PostRoadking2003, on 25 April 2018 - 01:34 PM, said:

View PostQMany, on 25 April 2018 - 08:19 AM, said:

Eat dinner there at least once. Order a steak and request Tuscan Style, probably the best I've ever had (you're in Nebraska ranchland).

Is there a good place to eat outside the resort?

No. And there is no need to leave Sand Hills before you have to.

EDIT: It is hard to articulate and appreciate how far from civilization you really are. Sand Hills is 15 miles from Mullen (509 pop.) and then 60 miles from North Platte (25,000). You won't find a better restaurant than Sand Hills closer than Omaha/Denver.

Edited by QMany, 25 April 2018 - 01:42 PM.

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#16 Roadking2003

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 02:04 PM

View PostQMany, on 25 April 2018 - 01:39 PM, said:

View PostRoadking2003, on 25 April 2018 - 01:34 PM, said:

View PostQMany, on 25 April 2018 - 08:19 AM, said:

Eat dinner there at least once. Order a steak and request Tuscan Style, probably the best I've ever had (you're in Nebraska ranchland).

Is there a good place to eat outside the resort?

No. And there is no need to leave Sand Hills before you have to.

EDIT: It is hard to articulate and appreciate how far from civilization you really are. Sand Hills is 15 miles from Mullen (509 pop.) and then 60 miles from North Platte (25,000). You won't find a better restaurant than Sand Hills closer than Omaha/Denver.

We will be there for two nights in August.  We will eat in their dining room one evening and was looking for someplace else for variety.

Here are some I found but don't know if they are any good;

Trails End Bar and Grill (5 minute drive);  Comfort food. They have Poutine!

The Dirty Oar Supper Club (5 minute drive); On the lake, Steak and Seafood.

Lure Bar and Grill (5 minute drive); On the lake, comfort food.

Friar Tuck's Pub and Grill

Trail's End Bar and Grill (six minute drive)

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#17 Skaffa77

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    No place like the Sand Hills!

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 02:34 PM

I am jealous...jealous I tell you!!!!   I've played Dismal River (private - same region as Sand Hills) and Prairie Club (public - north of Sand Hills), but have yet to get the invite to Sand Hills.  Like others have said...it's amazing how isolated this region is...you will literally stand on a tee and look out for miles and see nothing, but rolling hills...it's just you, the ball, the course and the wind.

When playing at Dismal...my group stayed at the course both nights to eat.  I recall someone telling me that when the Sand Hills first opened, quite a few of the local farmers/ranchers in area bought memberships not so much for the golf, but to have an option for food/drink as there aren't a lot of restaurants around.  There's a story about Ted Turner coming out to the Sand Hills (he owns a lot of land in the area) and venturing out to a small town to eat at a local restaurant with his wife, Jane Fonda.  Well...apparently the owner of the restaurant was a Vietnam vet and had vivid memories of Mrs. Fonda's protests of the war.  He let Ted and Jane wait for quite some time before Ted grumbled about the wait.  The owner then made some comment about them waiting quite a bit longer before he would let "her" eat in his place.  Ted and Jane left realizing they didn't really have many other options for restaurants.  Not sure if that story is true, but I've heard it several times and think it helps to illustrate the limited food/bar options in the area.

Seriously, there isn't much out there and when night falls, it's dark...there aren't a lot of street lights and cell phone service can be a bit spotty.

And...yes...you should definitely play Wildhorse while out in the area.  It won't have the same isolation as the Sand Hills, but it's a very enjoyable links experience....like a Sand Hills for the public.

Edited by Skaffa77, 25 April 2018 - 03:31 PM.


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#18 Stetson

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 02:47 PM

The isolation is real but to be honest it is wonderful. When you gonplay the Sand Hills you get away from all the style and get right down to the substance. No valetís, no 5 star spa, no chef from an episode of Hellís kitchen, just peaceful bliss. You will feel. Sense of freedom while at the club that is hard to replicate anywhere else as you untether from technology, overcrowding and many other stressors of life.

As for the course:

The opening tee shot will be intimidating, the third shot into the green will be even more so.

Lay up on #7

Go for it on #8

On #18 you cannot go in the bunker left, it legitimately could hold 100 Suburbans and a drive in movie theatre, it is serious deep and seriously long. It should not be a factor but depending on the wind it will require special consideration.

Edited by Stetson, 25 April 2018 - 02:53 PM.

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#19 QMany

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 03:01 PM

View PostRoadking2003, on 25 April 2018 - 02:04 PM, said:

View PostQMany, on 25 April 2018 - 01:39 PM, said:

View PostRoadking2003, on 25 April 2018 - 01:34 PM, said:

View PostQMany, on 25 April 2018 - 08:19 AM, said:

Eat dinner there at least once. Order a steak and request Tuscan Style, probably the best I've ever had (you're in Nebraska ranchland).

Is there a good place to eat outside the resort?

No. And there is no need to leave Sand Hills before you have to.

EDIT: It is hard to articulate and appreciate how far from civilization you really are. Sand Hills is 15 miles from Mullen (509 pop.) and then 60 miles from North Platte (25,000). You won't find a better restaurant than Sand Hills closer than Omaha/Denver.

We will be there for two nights in August.  We will eat in their dining room one evening and was looking for someplace else for variety.

Here are some I found but don't know if they are any good;

Trails End Bar and Grill (5 minute drive);  Comfort food. They have Poutine!

The Dirty Oar Supper Club (5 minute drive); On the lake, Steak and Seafood.

Lure Bar and Grill (5 minute drive); On the lake, comfort food.

Friar Tuck's Pub and Grill

Trail's End Bar and Grill (six minute drive)

Looks like you got your lines crossed, Roadking. We are talking Sand Hills, not Sand Valley.

Edited by QMany, 25 April 2018 - 03:02 PM.

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#20 jkd9977

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 08:03 PM

You can purchase on your own CC in the pro shop.  When I played there 2 years ago I used my card.  Last year I played Dismal and stopped at Sand Hills to re up on steak seasoning.  They welcomed me in and gladly took my money.

FYI, they did tell me to just call next time and they'll ship it.  I informed the gal I really didn't mind stopping by, haha.


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#21 krzeczowskimatt

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 06:13 AM

Thank you everyone for your wonderful responses I did not expect this many! Thanks to everyone's suggestions we are now going to be staying and playing at the Wildhorse on Saturday then heading to the Sand Hills Sunday morning bright and early. I really appreciate every ones suggestions. I will eat on Bens porch, get the steak seasoning and collect the cups. We are going to be staying two nights and playing as many holes as they will allow, we planned on having all our meals there so I will be getting two nice steaks while we are there. I am so excited and reading what everyone has to say is making me even more excited for the trip! Again thank you everyone for the help and suggestions I cant wait for June!

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#22 Skaffa77

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 10:40 AM

Post some pics and your experiences when you get done!

AND if by some strange reason, you need a 4th (late cancellation, etc.)...please let me know!   I've been dying to play Sand Hills.  :)

Edited by Skaffa77, 26 April 2018 - 10:42 AM.


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#23 keeponlivin

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 04:01 PM

Recommend the steak nachos for the table at least once and walking as many holes as your body can handle also just enjoying the serenity of being in the middle of nowhere so leaving the phone at the cabin a few times if you got enough pics. Use the ground game if you got it and have a blast!

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#24 Roadking2003

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 04:11 PM

View PostQMany, on 25 April 2018 - 03:01 PM, said:

View PostRoadking2003, on 25 April 2018 - 02:04 PM, said:

View PostQMany, on 25 April 2018 - 01:39 PM, said:

View PostRoadking2003, on 25 April 2018 - 01:34 PM, said:

View PostQMany, on 25 April 2018 - 08:19 AM, said:

Eat dinner there at least once. Order a steak and request Tuscan Style, probably the best I've ever had (you're in Nebraska ranchland).

Is there a good place to eat outside the resort?

No. And there is no need to leave Sand Hills before you have to.

EDIT: It is hard to articulate and appreciate how far from civilization you really are. Sand Hills is 15 miles from Mullen (509 pop.) and then 60 miles from North Platte (25,000). You won't find a better restaurant than Sand Hills closer than Omaha/Denver.

We will be there for two nights in August.  We will eat in their dining room one evening and was looking for someplace else for variety.

Here are some I found but don't know if they are any good;

Trails End Bar and Grill (5 minute drive);  Comfort food. They have Poutine!

The Dirty Oar Supper Club (5 minute drive); On the lake, Steak and Seafood.

Lure Bar and Grill (5 minute drive); On the lake, comfort food.

Friar Tuck's Pub and Grill

Trail's End Bar and Grill (six minute drive)

Looks like you got your lines crossed, Roadking. We are talking Sand Hills, not Sand Valley.

Oops!

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#25 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 04:17 PM

View PostSkaffa77, on 26 April 2018 - 10:40 AM, said:

Post some pics and your experiences when you get done!

AND if by some strange reason, you need a 4th (late cancellation, etc.)...please let me know!   I've been dying to play Sand Hills.  :)

I'm closer! Call me instead of Skaffa! :)

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#26 Stetson

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 04:43 PM

I responded first so I have dibbs
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#27 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 04:51 PM

View PostStetson, on 26 April 2018 - 04:43 PM, said:

I responded first so I have dibbs

Well played Stetson!

I am ashamed to admit that I've turned down three invites there. All were several years ago and I just couldn't make it work. Now that guy is no longer a member, and the one person I know who is a member just isn't someone you ask to sponsor you for a trip.

I always figured I'd get there soon, now it may not ever happen.
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#28 FairwayFred

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 08:19 PM

I've played 80+ of the US Top 100 and almost every US and Great Britain and Ireland course in the world Top 100 and I firmly believe that Sand Hills is the best golf course and best golf experience in the world.

The golf course is just amazing.  Almost completely natural.  Incredible variety of holes, green complexes, the bunkering is just epic, it runs firm and fast and the greens are as pure as any course in the world.  A good way to describe the conditioning is links golf (though a hair softer and greener mostly due to temperatures) with perfect, country club greens.  I can't say enough good things about it.  

The experience is on the same level.  The staff couldn't be more friendly or better.  They really make everyone feel like family while they are there.  The food, especially the steak is hard to beat anywhere.  The whole thing is as good as it gets.  The club is in the middle of the sand hills region of Nebraska which is all huge sand dunes that remind me a lot more of Ireland or Scotland than Nebraska.

Have fun!  It's as good as it gets and I'm sure will be a memorable trip!
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#29 Andrew Bond of Glencoe

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 08:26 PM

I will be there in August. So excited.

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#30 payerasjl

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 09:21 PM

too many lucky dogs here. Wish id get an invite to somewhere as great as SH

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