Celebrated Dismal River is the Golden Bear’s
design work in Nebraska
MULLEN, Neb. (Aug. 4, 2006) – Even when reaching a career milestone, Jack Nicklaus finds a way to break new ground–literally and figuratively.
The Golden Bear, who is widely regarded among the world’s most successful and prolific course designers, will officially put his imprint on the Nebraska Sandhills with the grand opening Saturday of his new creation Dismal River. In doing so, Nicklaus will also celebrate the opening of the 250th golf course design in which he has been involved.
In a design career that is closing in on 40 years and has become as storied as his legendary playing career, Dismal River represents what has made Nicklaus one of the era’s preeminent designers. Playing across the rolling, grass-covered dunes of the Sandhills, Dismal River is as unique as it is traditional, as minimalistic as it is cutting edge. With his pick of any of the property’s 2,900 acres, Jack chose the 400 best acres as the site for his first course in the state of Nebraska.
“The experience of arriving at the Dismal River site was like stepping back in time and seeing what the dunes of Northeast Scotland must have looked like a hundred years ago,” the Golden Bear said. “In every direction I looked, I saw great golf holes.”
Nebraska is the 38th state in which Nicklaus Design is represented, and Dismal River becomes Jack’s 208th solo design to go along with 30 co-designs and 12 re-designs. “We are extremely proud that Dismal River represents my 250th design,” Nicklaus added. “And I say ‘we’ because every design I have been involved in, even as a solo designer, was a collaborative effort between dedicated owners and a talented group of design associates and support personnel we have assembled at Nicklaus Design. We are also very proud of Dismal River. In this case the team consisted of Nicklaus Design, a passionate group of owners, and a lot of Mother Nature.”
Dismal River boasts an 18-hole links style golf course that measures 7,600 yards from the Championship Tees and 6,700 yards from the Member Tees. Current amenities include an 18,000-square-foot clubhouse, complete with a “saloon” lounge, four bowling lanes, hunting and golf simulators, card room, pool tables, and a wine room. Fishing will be available during all summer months in either the Dismal River or one of the club’s four stocked ponds on property. Upland hunting is available after the golf season.
Lodging is available on-site in early settler-style cabins overlooking the beautiful Dismal River. Over 90 percent of the planned lots, which over look freshwater ponds and enjoy endless vistas of the Sandhills, are already sold. To enhance Dismal River’s secluded feel and pure golf experience, players will notice that all vertical structures, including the clubhouse, cabins, and houses are hidden from the course.
When all amenities are complete, Dismal River will include a second 18-hole course, 9-hole short course, Italian restaurant, world-class spa and wellness center, and general store. On-site lodging will include 160 beds broken up into single, 2-bed, 4-bed, and 8-bed cabins.
“I think our current and future members will be impressed with the amenities we have assembled at Dismal River, and it all begins with and revolves around our Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course,” said Managing Partner Bill Martin, one of the six Denver-based owners. “We are excited and proud to see what is coming to reality at Dismal River. To look back at what our dream and vision was a few years ago, and to see that dream taking shape, is a special and gratifying feeling to the partners and everyone involved.”
The Sandhills of Nebraska provide the ideal landscape for golfers who appreciate and respect the natural environment. The region consists of 20,000 square miles of grass-covered sand dunes, the largest such formation in the Western Hemisphere. The natural, undulating hills rise sometimes more than 450 feet higher than their sloping valleys. Those unique dunes provide a home to six different ecosystems in the area. Below the Sandhills is the Ogallala Aquifer, the world’s largest underground water supply.
Dismal River’s grand opening weekend will kick off with a press conference on Saturday morning, involving Jack and the Dismal River ownership group. Following the press conference, everyone will make their way to the practice range, where Jack will entertain hundreds of members and guests with a clinic. The highlight of the day will be the christening of the newest Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, where the Golden Bear will play all 18 holes and explain to guests the vision and design strategy behind each carefully created hole at Dismal River. A reception for members and invited guests will follow the completion of his round.
Nicklaus Design, the global firm founded by golf legend Jack Nicklaus and owned by the Nicklaus family, is widely regarded as the world’s leading design firm with 304 courses open for play in 28 countries. Of those, Jack Nicklaus has been involved in 250 courses. At least 47 Nicklaus Design courses have been ranked in various national or international Top-100 lists, and by the end of 2006, at least 79 Nicklaus courses will have hosted a combined total of more than 500 professional tournaments worldwide or significant national amateur championships.