David McLay Kidd made a name for himself by building a course in a far-flung outpost far from any major cities. His Bandon Dunes layout was the fuel that propelled the resort of the same name into the national spotlight a little more than 20 years ago, despite the effort required for golfers to reach the now-famous destination on the southern coast of Oregon.
Now Kidd is tackling a new project in a region known for out-of-the-way yet exceptional golf: The Nebraska Sandhills. But his new course might be a little easier to reach than most of the top destinations built in the Sandhills in recent decades.
Kidd and his crew have broken ground on the private GrayBull, a Dormie Network project just north of tiny Maxwell, Nebraska – less than a 30-minute drive from North Platte and its commercial airport. The site is in the southern reaches of the Sandhills, more than an hour south of several top courses such as Sand Hills Golf Club (Golfweek’s Best No. 1 Modern Course in the U.S.) or Prairie Club (with the Dunes, the No. 1 public-access layout in Nebraska).
Kidd just had to cross a river to find it.
A road stretches past GrayBull, a new Dormie Network golf course in Nebraska being built by David McLay Kidd. (Courtesy of the Dormie Network)
Dormie Network is a private course operator based in Lincoln, Nebraska. Currently available to its members are six courses spread about the central and eastern regions of the country: ArborLinks in Nebraska City, Nebraska; Ballyhack in Roanoke, Virginia; Briggs Ranch in San Antonio, Texas; Dormie Club in West End, North Carolina; Hidden Creek in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey; and Victoria National in Newburgh, Indiana. Members of the network have access to each course – many of which rank highly among private clubs in their states – and its amenities, which include on-site cabins.
Dormie began considering the addition of a new facility near North Platte several years ago, starting the search south of the Platte River. Kidd was recruited to scout one proposed site, but he didn’t like what was he saw that far south.
“The Sandhills of Nebraska, which are the famed area where Sand Hills (Golf Club) and Prairie Club and Dismal River and others are, are all north of the Platte River, not to the south,” said Kidd, who has built more than 20 courses around the world. “The first time I went there and we crossed the river headed south, I immediately thought, ooh, this is not the direction I want to be going in. I want to be going north, not south.”
To the south, Kidd said, he saw steep terrain with dense vegetation and heavy soils – “Not great golf terrain.” He and his group turned the car and headed north across the river into the Sandhills, starting a long search for a new site for what will become GrayBull.
By: Jason Lusk
Title: Architect David McLay Kidd breaks ground on GrayBull, a new Dormie Network course in Nebraska's Sandhills
Sourced From: golfweek.usatoday.com/2022/06/22/david-mclay-kidd-graybull-dormie-network-course-nebraska-sandhills/
Published Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2022 14:00:29 +0000