e’re big fans of Nebraska golf here at Kingdom, having sung the state’s praises for nearly two decades. Though by many measures completely different from Scotland, there’s something of ye olde game in many Cornhusker courses, an intangible sense of the game’s rugged origins and purest expression.
Happily, that continues in Landmand Golf Club, Nebraska’s newest course and an inspired addition to the wider golf landscape. Sited in Homer, roughly 90 miles northeast of Omaha, and about a ½ hour from the Sioux City Airport, the design is from the Sweeten’s Cove King-Collins team, and to say it’s a big deal doesn’t really do it justice. I mean, a 40,000 sq ft green? Why not?
If you haven’t heard of Sweeten’s Cove, you must have spent the last decade focusing on your tennis game. The 9-hole track 25 miles outside of Chattanooga, Tenn., quickly built a cult following after it opened in 2014, not least due to its metal-shed clubhouse and the fact that its designers, Rob Collins and Tad King, were so committed to the project. (Collins mortgaged his life and took over the property’s lease to get it done, with the final cost coming in around $1 million.) Creative, curious and lauded by many as a 3,300-yard design in which not a single inch was wasted, it begged the question of what King-Collins would do if given (a lot) more space. Now we have the answer.
Landmand sits on 580 acres and features at least four greens in excess of 25,000 square feet, with the aforementioned 40,000 sq ft yard on the par-4 No.17. But the greens don’t tell the whole story. A myriad of choices come into play due to sometimes massive fairways, near-constant wind and all manner of nooks and crannies to be targeted or avoided. The duo’s first 18-hole design is startling in some ways, as inspiring as it is unbridled, the kind of course that can rekindle passion for the game and whet the appetite for another round, and then another.
Named after the Danish word for “farmer,” Landmand was built on hilly farmland owned by the local Andersen family, cleared of trees some 50 years ago and mostly left fallow since then. Now, memberships are sold out but it’s open for public play—and well worth a visit. As Collins told Golfweek regarding his approach to Landmand’s design, “You had to just put the pedal down and go for it… Every time I go out there, I laugh about it. Things that are gigantic in reality just shrink in this landscape… We had to build features that embraced that boldness.”