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Situated in Homer, Neb., Landmand spreads across 580 acres, nearly four times the size of an average course.
Size matters. Just ask Tad King and Rob Collins. At Sweetens Cove, the Tennessee nine-holer that made their names, the architects were given a small, flat plot, which they shaped into a petite beauty, precisely what the site demanded. Now comes Landmand, their first 18-holer. It, too, fits its setting, but it couldn’t be more different in style and scale.
Situated in Homer, Neb., in the northeast corner of the state, Landmand (pronounced lan-man) spreads across 580 acres, nearly four times the size of an average course. Everything is big here. The skies. The vistas. You could land a 767 on the fairways. The greens are as large as any in the game.
In an age of minimalism, King and Collins didn’t have the luxury of treading lightly. The wild site needed taming. Luckily, the soil was glacial till, rumpled stuff left over from eons of upheaval, easy to scrape, good for sculpting. The architects moved a lot of it, shaving slopes and brows, raising hollows, softening elevation changes. In ways, Landmand is a piece with trends in our Top 100 Courses in the U.S. rankings, which increasingly favor ground-game fun on sites with ample movement in the country’s heartland. It’s maximalist, a manufactured layout that looks like it belongs.
Landmand takes its name from the Danish word for farmer. Its owner, Will Andersen, is exactly that — a farmer whose forebears came from Denmark in the early 1900s and put down roots. Andersen, 38, came of age tending crops while cultivating a love for golf. In Homer, his hometown, he rebuilt a nine-hole track but longed to put his stamp on a full-grown local course.
The land he set aside gave King and Collins ample room to operate. The duo responded with a course that does the same. Wide corridors give golfers leeway, which doesn’t mean you can just rear back and blast it. It helps to play positions, navigating false fronts, finding speed slots off the tee. Landmand combines those quirks with classic features, amplified. The par-4 10th plays to a giant punchbowl. The par-3 14th is an outsize Redan. A round here is a day of rollicking fun on a course that closes with a drivable par-4 and a reachable par-5.
That’s right. Go big or go home.
A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.
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