Getting To Know: The Prairie Club
An Insightful Interview With Kyle Schock, Sales & Marketing Director
By Brian Weis
Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with Kyle Schock who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.
Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
The Prairie Club sits right on the edge of the Snake River canyon, which cuts right through the heart of the Sandhills and is admittedly close to the middle of nowhere. We chose this completely unique land because it allowed us to create two very distinct championship golf courses--one stretching across miles of sand dunes, and the other running in and out of ponderosa pines along the edge of the Snake River canyon. Yet different as they are, both of them stand as testaments to what we believe 'pure golf' was meant to be--fun, minimalistic, and uncluttered by distractions. We moved an almost unthinkably-low amount of land when creating the courses. Some holes we literally removed the native grasses and seeded the land just as it was.
And when you combine the golf with our luxurious (yet very much unpretentious) lodging and incredible food, the experience is truly remarkable--there is a level of peace here that simply must be experienced to believe. To top it off, our staff takes pride in ensuring every one of our guests receives truly authentic Midwestern hospitality throughout their stay (that's right--Nebraskans are collectively quite proud of how humble their service can be!). All-in-all, we strive to make the total Prairie Club 'adventure' is one that you won't find anywhere else in the world, and worthy to be a true bucket-list experience for everyone who truly loves the game of golf.
If Someone Was Looking To Golf In The Area, Why Should They Play Your Course?
The Sandhills is a remarkable landmass. The combination of being unsettled by mankind, having perfect sandy soil, and undulating dunes that scream "golf" allows for a completely natural golf design with a uniquely American twist.
The Prairie Club sits right on the rim of the Snake River canyon, which cuts through the heart of the Sandhills in dramatic fashion. Its three courses are so dramatically different, you will think you are in different countries at times. Combined with world-class lodging and dining and authentic Midwestern hospitality, the total experience is a sort of paradise for the golf nut.
What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
As famed golf architect Alister MacKenzie once said, "The ball is meant to roll". Our courses were designed according to the way the game was meant to be played, and we encourage everyone to put away the lob wedge around the green, and take out a lower-lofted club. Heck, take out a putter from 50 yards if you have to! Take note of the undulations, and let the ball do what it was meant to do.
We also encourage all golfers to walk our courses and to take a caddie. Their knowledge of the courses and the game adds something completely intangible to your experience, and we would stand to argue that any course must be walked to be truly enjoyed. If you've never experienced golf by walking or taking a caddie before, we encourage you to give it a shot. You won't regret it.
Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
GOLFWEEK Top Resort Courses in the U.S. (2012)
- #19 - The Dunes Course
- #93 - The Pines Course
Top 100 Modern Courses in the U.S. (2014)
- #86 - The Dunes Course
Top 100 U.S. Courses You Can Play (2012)
- #78 - The Dunes Course
Best New Courses You Can Play (2011)
- #2 - The Dunes Course
- #8 - The Pines Course
Top 10 Places For 36 Holes (2013)
Top 100 Courses in the U.S. (2012)
- #100 - The Dunes Course
"Best Overnight Golf Destination" (2010) Top 50 Most Fun Courses in the U.S. (2012)
- #10 - The Horse Course
- #19 - The Dunes Course
- #32 - The Pines Course
What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
This is a subject of much debate among members and our public guests. Some favor #4 on the Dunes Course, while others favor #16 or the risk-reward par 5 #18 on the Pines Course. Ultimately, it comes down to a matter of personal preference, as the absence of any buildings or man-made structures on every hole out here allows each hole to be appreciated all by itself.
What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
My personal favorite is the 16th hole on the Pines Course. It is long (around 430 yards from the tips) and plays into the prevailing north wind. Your tee shot must be played through the thick stands of ponderosa pines on each side of the fairway, and the further right you challenge your drive, the better angle you will have at attacking the tightly-guarded green, which has a collection area on the right to serve as a bailout. If you bomb your drive you can attack the green with a higher-lofted club, otherwise you need to carefully plan your miss on your approach. The visuals make the hole appear far more intimidating than it is in reality. Overall, it is a surprisingly fair par 4 that offers a good chance at birdie, with an equally good chance at bogey or worse if you make a few mistakes.
Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole?
The Nebraska grass-fed beef is beyond compare and the ribeye, strip, and filets are all simply must-haves. For fish lovers, the canyon walleye is one of the best freshwater fish in the world.
Who Holds Course Record and What Was Their Score?
The course record on the Dunes is currently 66 (-7) from the back tees. The Pines course record is 67 (-6) from the back tees.
Back Tee Stats
Par: Dunes Course: 73 | Pines Course: 73
Yardage: Dunes Course: 7,583 | Pines Course: 7,403
Slope: Dunes Course: 135 | Pines Course: 133
Rating: Dunes Course: 75.0 | Pines Course: 75.1
The Prairie Club
88897 St Hwy 97
Valentine, Nebraska, 69201
Revised: 06/18/2014 - Article Viewed 53,600 Times
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About: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler