A shot of one of the golf courses at the Prairie Club in Valentine, Neb.
The Prairie Club
  • Location: Valentine, NE
  • Rooms: 31
  • Courses: Two (plus one short course)
  • Amenities: One restaurant / bagpiper / minimalist appeal
  • Also good for: Best for Buddies

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6 things you need to know

  • Best time to go: September. There’s a little less wind and the courses play firmer and faster.
  • Daily stay-and-plays start at: $459
  • Golf experience: 36 holes of outrageous golf in Nebraska’s beautiful but remote Sandhills region and one short course.
  • Best non-golf amenity: Load up a cooler and take a leisurely five-hour float down the Niobrara River.
  • While you're there: Take on the Old Wagon putting course, a funky layout with giant slopes overlooking the Snake River Canyon.
  • Insider tip: There are no replay fees, which means, in summer, there’s enough light to comfortably play up to 72 holes at no extra cost.

Travelogue

The golf had better be good if you’re trying to attract out-of-town golfers to north-central Nebraska, close to the South Dakota border and a two-hour drive north of the North Platte Airport. The Prairie Club has just that. There’s nary a single tree on the Dunes Course, a links-style layout designed by Tom Lehman and Chris Brands. But there are plenty of elevated greens and gigantic bunkers on a layout that can stretch to 8,000 yards from the tips. The Pines Course by Graham Marsh doesn’t exude the same sprawling feel, and its fairways don’t ebb and flow like its sibling’s. But it does meld some holes that breathe with parkland holes lined by tall pines that would look right at home in Colorado. A number of the back nine holes play right along the Snake River Canyon. The 10-hole Horse Course (by Gil Hanse) is a blast. Pick your own tees and bring a favorite wedge — the longest hole is 125 yards. This is cattle country, so cap your day with a Local Nebraska Ribeye for dinner. Then drift off to sleep in the Western-style Lodge, bunkhouse or cabins.