March 27, 2019—
In the mid-1990s, pure golf in this undisturbed wilderness was discovered for the first time.
Sand Hills Golf Club was revolutionary and officially put the Nebraska Sandhills country on the map as a destination for great golf. Since, we’ve joined, along with a few others, making this region one of the most coveted golf meccas in the entire world.
At The Prairie Club, we believe in creating an experience “that touches the soul of all who journey here.” This is done by setting the stage and getting out of the way. Our spectacular property in north central Nebraska doesn’t need additional help.
As you find yourself itching for golf season and yearning to experience a destination centered exclusively around golf, here are a few things to consider when planning your Nebraska golf vacation.
1. Key Airports
Though we’re a destination fortunate enough to draw interest from afar, the vast majority of our play still comes from within driving distance. If you’re driving, get directions before you hit the road (while GPS is typically reliable, coverage is often unpredictable).
However, if you’re flying in to experience pure golf, there are a few popular flight options. The six most popular regional airports to fly into are:
- North Platte Regional Airport
- Pierre Regional Airport
- Rapid City Regional
- Sioux Falls Regional
- Omaha’s Eppley Airfield
- Denver International
The closest big airport—Rapid City, SD—is about a three-hour drive through South Dakota’s Badlands and is arguably one of the most picturesque and peaceful drives in all of North America. The longest is the drive from Denver, which is roughly a six-hour drive through the entirety of the Nebraska Sandhills.
No matter how you travel, be sure to enjoy this special journey.
Aside from the world-class golf, comfortably appointed luxury rooms, and five-star Nebraska-style dining, the drive is half of the fun of booking a remote golf trip to The Prairie Club.
2. Get Ready to Disconnect
The nearest town is 17 miles away, and it’s not exactly a metropolis. Valentine—our home of just around 2,500 citizens—is one of the key stops for Midwest travelers.
Being this remote means that cell phone coverage and Internet can be sometimes spotty. Don’t plan on doing a lot of work while you’re on site.
We do have WiFi available for our guests, but remember, part of the point of getting here is disconnecting. We provide you the excuse.
Sometimes you need to unplug to recharge.
Our golf season extends from mid-May until early October (May 16 – October 6). We don’t have any shoulder seasons, and our resort is operating at full capacity during the entire 150-day golf season.
So when making your trip, be sure to take a look at the forecast a few days out. This helps when knowing the type of clothing needed to handle the elements of Nebraska golf. More times than not, 10-day forecasts are not entirely reliable, so check a few days before your arrival date.
Typically, temperatures during our golf season are extremely comfortable, as our summer golf climate provides for some idyllic conditions. Averages are as follows:
- Late-May: 71
- June: 82
- July: 89
- August: 87
- September: 78
- Early-October: 69
Annually, we receive roughly half of the rainfall of the national average, but our local ecosystem has evolved to withstand the arid climate. We sit atop one of the world’s largest aquifers, which serves as one of the main water sources for this region.
In short, prepare for sun and warmth, wind and rain. Like the true links golf destinations of the world, the elements themselves are half the battle.
Anything Mother Nature throws at you, you should be able to handle.
4. Prepare Your Game for Anything
Speaking of handling the conditions, your golf game need be ready as well.
In 2015, Golf Digest stated, “For pure golfing variety, The Prairie Club rivals even Bandon Dunes.”
120-foot lag putts? We got ‘em.
Massive, rolling sand dunes shaped by the natural wind? We got those, too.
Wide-open prairie with nothing in sight for miles? Yep.
Isolated, tree-lined fairways? Yes, and it hugs the rim of the Snake River.
A place to hit wedges for hours? It’s one of the great short courses in the world.
Many times, people assume that it’s just the patented Nebraska winds they need to prepare for. And though the Nebraska wind can howl some days, the diversity of golf found on our property is widespread.
Don’t simply rely on practicing your low “knock-down” shots, thinking you will be faced only with wind.
You’ll need every shot in the bag out here.
5. Come with a Camera
This special parcel of land has a photo opportunity everywhere you look.
Whether you have professional photography equipment or simply a phone, you’ll find yourself stumbling upon endless photo opportunities.
Also, if you do take a photo you’re particularly proud of, please feel free share them on social media, tagging our property and using the hashtag #PureGolf.
We’d love to see what you see.
6. Get Plenty of Rest
Sunrise early. Sunset late.
When you come to The Prairie Club, you can soak in 15 hours of golf in a single day.
For a long time, the town of Valentine was split by the time zones, dividing the city practically in half. It has since been moved to a few miles west of us, meaning that during the summer months, we get sun well past 9:00 p.m.
That match tied after 18? Go until you can’t see the golf ball fly anymore.
[For clarity, we are in the Central Time Zone.]
6. Locally Sourced, Nebraska-Raised Beef
We live in “God’s Own Cattle Country.”
This means that while you’re at The Prairie Club, you will be introduced to some of the best beef products in the entire country. We source all of our beef from our neighbors in the Sandhills.
Trust us, after two rounds of golf, you’ll be ready for a hearty Nebraska ribeye and a glass of your favorite spirit.
Not in the mood for a blackened steak? Our menu is full of five-star options that are ready to greet you.
7. Plan to Experience Our Area
Here at The Prairie Club, were all about the golf. No fancy day spas. No swimming pools. Just uninterrupted, unlimited golf.
But our area is known as a great tourist destination with many great attractions. The Niobrara River. Stargazing. Waterfalls. In 2007, National Geographic Adventure named it one of the best 10 wilderness towns and cities in the U.S.
Of course, we’d like you to spend as much time on our 46 holes as your heart can handle, but if you have time on either side, this diverse ecosystem really is one of a kind. Try to experience it, if you’re able.
Our goal when you come to The Prairie Club is to leave you unencumbered so that you can experience the restorative properties of this land and this area.
Come. Golf. Eat. Sleep. Do it all over again.
Your bed is ready.