The Prairie Club, Dunes
109 S Main St
Valentine, Nebraska 69201-2007
Architect Name - Tom Lehman
Regulation Length Holes - 18
Picture the widest fairways imaginable. Now double them. Behold the massive driving zones at this two-year-old Tom Lehman/Chris Brands design, which is carved into the rolling terrain of north-western Nebraska.
Still, these spacious fairways can be difficult to hit because of the firm, rumpled landing areas that can funnel errant tee shots into dense native fescues or worse—i.e., into some of the largest, most cunningly situated bunkers ever built. The putting surfaces are equal in scale and firmness to the rest of the course. Given the speed, contour and constant wind, a mere two-putt is often cause for celebration.
The 478-yard, par-4 second hole exemplifies the stern challenge posed by the Prairie Club's Dunes. A 70-yard-wide fairway looks welcoming, but it slopes to the right, with O.B. edging the right-hand side. However, the best angle of approach to avoid a yawning front-left greenside bunker is from the treacherous right side. It's a perfect risk/reward hole—and if you have a reliable draw like Lehman's, it's not quite so daunting.