Gnarly in Nebraska: Landmand Golf Club

The first 18-holer by architects Rob Collins and Tad King targets all of the modern, avid golfer’s pleasure centers at once. It is an exciting addition to the new breed of adventure-golf destination courses.


Landmand Golf Club pushes the boundaries of golf course design on several occasions. Its 17th hole has one of the largest single greens in the world.

HOMER, Neb. (POP. 582) – You didn’t come all this way for subtle, safe golf.

You didn’t fly into Omaha and drive 100 minutes north through quaint and quiet farm towns, past thousands of acres of corn and soybeans and into the Loess Hills to see modest, lilting undulations and prim bunkers that amuse you up until the moment you finish your round and promptly forget about them.

You came here to see things you’ve never seen on a golf course before. A Punchbowl green with a backboard 12 feet high. A nightmarishly pitched sliver of a putting surface on a 100-yard par 3 that might just be the most fearsome hole on an otherwise enormous golf course. A bunker called “The Milk Carton” because if your ball goes in, you may not be seen or heard from for a while.

Landmand's "Milk Carton" bunker swallows up golf balls that miss short and left of the 18th green.

You came to have your hair blown back and buddy, architects Rob Collins and Tad King (i.e. King Collins Golf) brought the amp. Landmand Golf Club, the pair’s first 18-hole design, is golf turned up to 11. This isn’t Mark Knopfler’s sensitive picking. It’s Eddie Van Halen shredding his fingertips off.

RELATED: See photos of all 18 holes at Landmand Golf Club

After gathering a rabid, fun-loving following thanks to their efforts at the nine-hole Sweetens Cove Golf Club in Tennessee and Inness in upstate New York, King Collins received their first 18-hole commission from the Andersen family, who have been farming corn and soybeans in northeast Nebraska for generations. Will Andersen, 39, is the main man on site, selling hats out of the modest clubhouse one hour and taming acres of wild native grass bordering holes the next.

The Andersens originally came to the U.S. from Denmark; Landmand means “farmer” in Danish. The family initially dabbled in golf when they built a friendly, affordable nine-hole course, Old Dane, just a few miles north of Landmand in the town of Dakota City in 2012.

Landmand might as well be on another planet, though. It sits up high on a 600-acre tract of loess (silty soil) hills 200 feet above Homer and Dakota City. On a clear day, from the diminutive clubhouse, you can see out over thousands of acres of farms, all the way past the Missouri River to the point where the states of Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota meet, around Sioux City, 10 miles to the northwest.

The par-5 first hole at Landmand Golf Club is a great introduction to the course's boldness.

It's from this perch that Landmand’s par-73 thrill ride begins. The opening par 5 tips out at 575 yards but looks like it’s half a mile long, with a gargantuan putting surface draped over a wicked false front, meandering ridge and bowl-like gathering features like a pale-green tarp. The way it dwarfs the distant white stick and windsock that the course uses in lieu of flags is an abrupt and appealing reminder that the scale of this golf course – and the intensity of this experience – will be different from what you are used to.

Which is not to say Landmand is brutishly difficult. Many tee shots careen downhill, so each tee set plays shorter than what the scorecard says. Fairways surge 80 or more yards wide in many cases. That kind of width is necessary to account for wind (different wind directions change individual hole handicaps, in fact), but on calmer days, it is a grip-and-rip delight. There are at least eight different holes where a golfer could be putting for an eagle after a smashed drive that bounds along the firm turf and up onto a green.

This isn’t Mark Knopfler’s sensitive picking. It’s Eddie Van Halen shredding his fingertips off.

Thanks to the sheer size of those greens – 14,000 square feet on average, making them as large as any in America – golfers who play the right set of tees will hit more of them in regulation than they are used to. Of course, they will likely face more of a putter workout than ever before, too. Putts of 40-plus yards, often over contours heaving three feet above or below the surrounding surface, are common.

Nearly every individual green is a set piece of its own at Landmand. Even though the hole stretches as long as 245 yards from the tips, it looks like a golfer could throw a ball onto the gigantic 5th green, with a massive pimple in the middle that conceals most rear-half hole locations.

With its backstop that looks two stories high, the 10th green is a Punchbowl for mythical titans. A ball placed on the very back edge of the green will roll some 40 yards back toward the front.

The back slope of Landmand's 10th green can be used to bring a ball 40 or more yards back toward a front hole location.

On every putting surface, a change in hole location could make any given hole half a stroke easier or tougher one day to the next.

Then there’s the short par-4 17th, home to America’s version of a meandering, multi-section, no-longer-existent green Alister MacKenzie built at a course near Sheffield, England called Sitwell Park. Landmand’s version is three-quarters of an acre, with some 10 feet of overall rise thanks to two enormous main slopes: one at the very front of the green and one just beyond the midway point. Interspersed within its perimeter are various terraces and fingers where a dozen or more distinctly different hole location zones sit. Accounting for the various tee positions, wind directions and hole locations, there are hundreds of ways the hole could play on a given day.

This embrace of multi-faceted setup possibilities and wild swings in how a single hole can play puts Landmand squarely within golf course design’s exciting recent trend toward destination courses with spacious fairways and large greens that reward golfers who plan their route from tee to cup strategically and are ready to adapt when something goes wrong. It has roots in acclaimed – and occasionally maligned – modern courses like Tobacco Road, Streamsong Black, Mammoth Dunes, Gamble Sands and even recent U.S. Open hosts Erin Hills and Chambers Bay. But it has its own feel and flair, too.

Golfers from uber-traditional golf course mindsets who blow into town for a day and play Landmand once will likely not get it. Some may even hate it. But passionate opinions generally are evidence of excellence in golf course architecture. Golfers who take the time to get to know Landmand, understand the different set of rules that govern its design and answer its audacity with their own spirited sense of adventure will be rewarded for their open-mindedness with the desire to play it more and more.

Green fee: $150
Public tee times sold out through the end of the 2022 golf season. Times for 2023 will be available at

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Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for GolfPass. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
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Gnarly in Nebraska: Landmand Golf Club