9. Sand Hills Golf Club
The golf course wasn’t so much designed as discovered. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw trudged back and forth over a thousand acres of rolling sand hills in central Nebraska, flagging out naturally-occurring fairways and greens. By moving just 4,000 cubic yards of earth, and letting the winds shape the bunkers, the duo created what is undoubtedly the most natural golf course in America, a timeless course design. For decades, winter winds had always reshaped the bunkers, but course officials have recently discovered a method to prevent that. At the close of the season, they spray the surface of the sand in bunkers with a product that creates a crust to resist the howling winds.
100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1999. Highest ranking: No. 9, 2011-14, 2017-18. Previous ranking: 9
“I don't even feel like I am on earth at Sand Hills. I love the desolate feeling the course gives you and constant natural beauty featured. When I think of my ideal course surroundings and ambiance, I think Sand Hills.”
“The naturalness and serenity given back to the golfer is unlike any other course I’ve played. This was like visiting the Sistine Chapel of Golf. And in Nebraska? More people need to know how good Sand Hills is.”
“Reflects sheer brilliance in course design. The flow of the course and its routing are masterful, going through some of the best natural bunkers in the world. You’ll want to return the second you leave the property.”
"How neat that the club will change hole handicaps per day based on wind direction and strength of the gusts? With 10,000 acres to work with, Coore-Crenshaw certainly found their best 18 holes in their minimalistic style. Every young course architect should spend time at Sand Hills to learn from this masterpiece.”
“Coore & Crenshaw have a gift of using the land with their design to make the course feel like it has been there for 100 years. Very natural. This C&C classic with short holes offering small challenging greens and longer holes offering expansive greens. The rolling fairways allow for generous landing areas for tee balls."