Courses & TravelJuly 11, 2011

Doak designing new 18 at Dismal River

In keeping with Mike Keiser's* theory that you need at least two courses to be a true golf destination, Dismal River is doubling its effort to attract business. "The land is much better than the first course,"* *says my source.**__

__**Ron Whitten has more:*

Dismal River Club in Mullen, Neb., whose Jack Nicklaus-designed course ranks fifth among the Best in Nebraska by Golf Digest, announced that it has begun construction of a second 18-hole course designed by Tom Doak.

Doak, president of Renaissance Golf Design, is known for his work at Pacific Dunes and Old Macdonald at Bandon, Ore. (the latter co-designed with Jim Urbina) as well Sebonack Golf Club on Long Island, N.Y., which he co-designed with Nicklaus.

               During the first week of July, Doak's associate Brian Slawnik mowed out the proposed fairways on the Dismal River property, and Doak will spend the second weekend in July reviewing his routing. Sources close to Doak say the routing follows the existing folds of the land and anticipates very little earth will be moved in creation of the course. A timetable for construction and opening date for the new 18 have yet to be announced.

Dismal's new course solidifies the Great Plains as the last frontier of new golf course construction in America.  Last month, Ballyneal in the sand hills of northeastern Colorado announced it will soon begin building a second 18 to the design of former Doak associate Bruce Hepner.

Earlier this spring, the Jim Engh-designed Awarii Dunes opened in the southern edge of the sand hills in Axtell, south of Kearney, Neb.

Last year, The Prairie Club near Valentine opened two regulation 18s, the Dunes Course by Tom Lehman and Chris Brands; the Pines Course by Graham Marsh, as well as a 10-hole pitch & putt, the Horse Course, designed by Gil Hanse, Jim Wagner and Geoff Shackelford.

Sand Hills.jpg

--Ron Whitten

(You can follow Ron on Twitter __@RonWhittenGD__. You can follow me @Matt_Ginella.)

More from The Loop