I’ve never been to Nebraska but one of our writers almost went to school there. He ended up choosing to play golf at Oregon State because it was closer to home but it was a tough choice. He had nothing but good things to say about Nebraska and still visits friends there to this day.
Like me, he likes to hunt and fish. He keeps promising me he’s going to take me pheasant hunting. What I’d really like more though, is to take a buddies’ trip to the state of the Cornhuskers. Maybe someday I’ll get the chance as I’ve heard a lot of great things about the golf.
With the help of our writer and our trusting audience, we were able to come up with a list of the top ten public courses in Nebraska.
North Bend Golf Course
North Bend Golf Course is the premier public facility in North Bend, Nebraska.
This layout, which opened in 2001, is fairly flat but has plenty of character that demands your attention on every shot.
Plenty of water hazards and large, undulating greens mean you have to be precise off the tee and into the greens.
If you prefer to walk when you play, you’ll love this course. Greens and tees are close together.
An enjoyable round of golf at a fair price.
Frederick Peak Golf Club
Frederick Peak was designed by Chris Brands and Tom Lehman. It opened in 2017 and has received high praise, even though it’s only 10 holes. Golfer’s Choice named Frederick Peak “#7 Best Golf Course in Nebraska.”
The course is carved out of the canyonlands surrounding Minnechaduza Creek. This makes for some exciting holes with plenty of opportunity for risk and reward.
This is target golf. Forced carries to strategic landing areas require accuracy on full shots. The good news is multiple tee options make these forced carries less intimidating for higher handicaps.
Meadowlark Hills Golf Course
Meadowlark Hills opened its doors in 1993 and is operated by the city of Kearney.
Set high on the bluffs overlooking the Platte River, the course affords vistas of the surrounding valley that are to die for.
This course is an old school, parkland layout that places an emphasis on strategy. While there’s plenty of room to hit driver on some holes, being in the fairway is important.
The greens are small and undulating. Many of them are elevated as well so you’ll need to pick the right club on your approach if you want a good look at birdie.
Meadowlark Hills is a locals’ favorite that’s always in great shape.
Awarii Dunes Golf Course
Awarii Dunes was designed by the venerable Jim Engh and inspired by the iconic links courses of Ireland. Built into sand dunes, this track was designed by nature.
Regulars say Awarii Dunes is the closest thing to true links golf you’ll find in Nebraska.
Because there aren’t many trees, prevailing afternoon winds can wreak havoc with shots that aren’t struck solidly.
If you get the chance, I recommend playing Awarii Dunes a couple times as it takes some getting used to.
A fun yet challenging round of golf you won’t find every day.
Tiburon Golf Club
You’ll find 27 holes of memorable golf at Tiburon.
All three nines traverse rolling hills and offer plenty of variety. You can expect to hit many different shots and all the clubs in your bag.
The greens are some of the slickest in the state, especially in the summer. Staying below the hole is the key to scoring well.
For one of the best values in Nebraska, and three different nines to choose from, make time for a round at Tiburon.
River Wilds Golf Club
River Wilds Golf Club is located just north of Blain, on Highway 75.
This daily fee course attracts golfers from near and far because of its notoriously lush fairways and true greens.
The design is old school and relatively straight forward. Many of the holes parallel each other. With that being said, the shot values are second to none. You have to be committed on every full swing.
If you play here in the afternoon, expect the prairie winds to be up. Flighting your ball and choosing the right club are the challenge.
One of the best conditioned courses in Nebraska, you won’t want to miss River Wilds.
Woodland Hills Golf Course
Unlike a lot of golf courses in Nebraska, there’s no shortage of trees at Woodland Hills. The course was built on an old tree farm.
Conveniently located between Lincoln and Omaha, Woodland Hills received five stars from Golf Digest.
This is target golf in the purest form as the fairways are narrow and water hazards come into play on a number of holes.
What our readers love most about Woodland Hills is the value you receive for a course that’s so well-conditioned. For less than $70, you more than get your money’s worth.
Heritage Hills Golf Course
When Heritage Hills opened in 1984, Golf Digest called it one of the “Best 75 Golf Courses in the Country.”
The course is known as being one of the most difficult in the state. If you’re looking to test yourself, this is the place.
Having undergone a major renovation in 2013, Heritage Hills has become a keynote venue for major tournaments that attract the best players.
Part of the renovation was geared toward making the course playable for everyone. Multiple sets of tees have been added for the enjoyment of everyone.
A pleasure to play for everyone, Heritage Hills is one of the truly great courses in Nebraska.
Tara Hills Golf Course
There’s no pretention at Tara Hills. That’s the way they want it. Come one come all at this public track. It’s been that way since the course opened in 1981.
Even though the course measures just a touch over 6,100 yards, it’s anything but a pushover. Narrow fairways and small pushup greens require precise shot making.
This is a locals’ favorite and one of the best kept secrets in the state.
For the friendliest service you’ll find anywhere and round of golf you won’t forget, put Tara Hills on your list.
Wayne Country Club
Wayne Country Club is the heart and soul of golf in this quaint community.
This is classic old, midwestern layout that isn’t long, but has plenty of character to keep you on your toes.
The fairways are tree lined and greens are small and crowned. Your short game needs to be sharp if you’re going to score well.
Hole #11 is known as one of the “Toughest 18 in Nebraska.” A narrow par four of 390 yards, the tee shot forces you to avoid a substantial lake on the right. If you find the fairway, the second shot plays uphill to green that’s well protected and slopes severely from back to front. If you make par here, it’s something to brag about.
When most people think of Nebraska, golf probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Sure, the state might be better known for hunting and fishing, but there’s no doubt Nebraska has plenty to offer in the way of great golf. Our writer and readers more than agree.
What are some of your favorite golf courses in Nebraska? Are there some that should be on our list but aren’t? If so, let us know in the comments.