May 20, 2024

A Modern Classic: Sand Hills Golf Club

The Sand Hills Club is known for its simple and minimal design set in the remote location in Mullen, Nebraska. Nevertheless, the club is commonly ranked as one of the top golf courses out there and is named the best course design in the past half a century. 

More About the Club

The Sand Hills Golf Club was established in 1994, and the golf course consists of 18 holes in total. Considered to be one of the most expensive golf courses in the US, this club reportedly has less than 200 members in total – most of whom live outside of Nebraska and visit the club only a couple of times a year.

Designing the Club

The architects behind the Sand Hills Golf Club were none other than Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. Nebraska’s landscape helped them in how they only had to move around 3.000 cubic meters of the earth when designing the course. Dick Youngscap, a developer who surveyed a few thousand acres of land in 1990, teamed up with Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw to help them explore the land and find the ideal spot where the golf course should be. During the next two years of surveying, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw found over a hundred “natural golf holes” considered suitable locations for hazards, fairways, greens, and teeing areas. After a period of planning, they decided that the golf course will have 18 holes.

The Perfect Piece of Land

While building the Sand Hills Golf Course around 1 million dollars were spent total; this is relatively a low price for a highly rated golf club. Investors saved tons of money when a sample of the soil was analyzed, and they realized that the quality of soil was supreme. They found out that the soil on the course was made out of perfect round grains.

This analysis showed that the soil was nearly identical to the “USGA greens mix.” The USGA greens mix is a type of sandy soil that is the USGA standard and ideal for every golf green. 

To build a golf green course by the United States Golf Association’s standards, the investors will need approximately $40.000. This price will cover the soil and the drainage system that is required. And in the case of Sand Hills Golf Club, where the soil is nearly identical to the United States Golf Association standard, the course doesn’t require a drainage system, which drastically lowered the costs to build a golf course. The Sand Hills Golf Club needed around $5.000 to construct all 18 greens, and they saved over $700.000 thanks to the quality of the soil.