After spending several amazing days at Sand Hills Golf Course, I checked out and started to make the long drive back to Denver from Mullen, NE. My flight wasn't schedule to depart until almost 10 p.m. so I found myself with six or seven hours to kill. While having breakfast, I started researching if any other courses on my list might be nearby. When I found Wild Horse G.C. was only a thirty minute detour, but generally along my way back to Denver, I called and made a tee time. It was a detour and four hours of my time that turned into a very positive experience.
The drive is through plains and several small towns. after a 90 minute drive south east of Sand Hills, I finally reached Interstate 80 that would eventually take me west to Denver. However, I turned east on I-80 and drove another 15 minutes. I saw nothing but farmer's fields, windmills, and the occasional warehouse.
|Upon arrival, you are met by a large sign that let's you know you've made it.|
|A look at the clubhouse from the 4th or 5th tee box.|
I was handed a score card and invited to take any cart I wanted. Above the counter, there is a sign advising what the locals call the rough at this course - "Wooga." I was told a member came up with the name several years ago to keep him from saying more choice words when trying to hit out of the rough. The name stuck and the membership of Wild Horse "adopted" the word. I can tell you, I found this Wooga several times and there were more severe words coming out of my mouth.
|What the locals affectionately refer to their rough.|
On the first tee box, I could see it was very well maintained. The fairways had also been recently mowed, and when I reached the greens, they were in immaculate condition. The conditions were better than some of the more well known, private courses I have played and it was a terrific surprise to find. It definitely made me happy I had decided on this detour. The course has four sets of tees - Gold, Black, Silver and Green. I decided to play from the blacks that 71.1/126 and a total of 6,335 yards.
The first hole is a 328 yard par 4. It doglegs to the left 120 yards or so down the fairway, so cutting the corner is almost a must. The tee is slightly elevated so it does help you get a decent view of most of the fairway. Luckily, there is a large landing area in the center of the fairway that will help to hold your ball in the short grass.
|A look down the fairway from the 1st tee box.|
|Cow skulls add a uniqueness to the course, serving as 150 yard markers on each hole.|
|A look into the 1st green from 100 yards out.|
|A look at the 1st green from the cart path just behind it.|
The second hole is a 414 yard par 4 that plays long a straight. The drive is across 70 yards of scrub brush to another wide fairway.
|A look down the fairway from the 2nd tee box.|
|A look into the 2nd green from 120 yards out.|
|A look at the 2nd green from the cart path just behind it.|
Hole three is a 494 yard par 5. The right-side fairway bunker is a long ways down, more than 300 yards, and is a good aiming point for the drive. There were several sizable bunkers on the left, so aiming towards the right bunker also keeps you away from, and out of, those.
|A look down the fairway from the 3rd tee box.|
|A look into the 3rd green from 110 yards out.|
|A look into the green from the 4th tee box.|
|A closer look into the green from the edge of the scrub brush.|
|The second color flag of the course - white.|
The fifth hole is a par 4 that plays to 339 yards. There is a bunker on the left side of the fairway that's right side makes for a good aim point on the drive. With the slight downhill slope, and winds likely behind you (at least they were on this day), a 3 wood is likely a better choice than a driver.
|A look down the fairway from the 5th tee box.|
|A look into the 5th green from 125 yards out.|
The sixth hole is the second par 5 on the front, playing to 527 yards. The hole is a strange shape, starting to dogleg right, then straightening before becoming a true dogleg, only to turn back towards the left. There are no bunkers on this long hole so the opportunity to hit it long and reach the green in two is very possible.
|A look down the fairway from the 6th tee box.|
|A look into the 6th green from 150 yards out.|
The seventh hole is a 345 yard, par 4. A fairway bunker sits directly in the center of the fairway. For the best approach into the green, you want to be to the right of that bunker.
|A look down the fairway from the 7th tee box.|
|A look into the 7th green from 1020 yards out.|
The 8th hole is a par 4 that plays to 433 yards. A large bunker on the left side is serious trouble if you end up in it so you may want to consider staying to the right side of the fairway. However, you should pay attention to the slope of the fairway that slopes from left to right. The high side is going to give a better angle of approach, but danger over on that side can easily come into play.
|A look down the fairway from the 8th tee box.|
|A closer look at the left-side fairway bunker.|
|A look into the 8th green from 70 yards out.|
The front nine finishes off with a par 3 that plays to 143 yards. The green runs from left to right. The lft side bunker hides more green to the left side so, depending on where the pin placement is, a shot over that bunker could be your best strategy.
|A look into the green from the 9th tee box.|
|A look down the fairway from the 10th tee box.|
|A closer look at the only bunker on the 10th hole.|
|A look into the 10th green from 75 yards out.|
|A look into the green from the 11th tee box.|
|A closer look at the bunkers that guard the 11th green.|
|A look down the fairway from the 12th tee box.|
|A look into the 12th green from 200 yards out.|
|A look into the 12th green from 75 yards out.|
|A look into the 13th green from the tee box.|
|A look to the right of the 14th tee box,|
|A look to the right and front of the 14th tee box.|
|A look down the fairway from the 14th tee box.|
|A look into the 14th green from 150 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the 15th tee box.|
The 15th is a short par four, playing to only 307 yards, but it has a good number of fairway and greenside bunkers. Three fairway bunkers are within reach of the tee shot and that run down the left side of the fairway. A fairway bunker right also comes into play if you slice your drive.
The green has bunkers in the front right and back left. The tiny, shallow green requires an accurate approach shot to have a chance at birdie. You can play a run up to the front left part of the green and take par if you want to be safe. The green slopes from back to front slightly making for some quick, breaking putts.
|A look into the 15th green from 100 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the 16th tee box.|
The approach is a tough shot to a green that sits on a plateau and is guarded on the right by two bunkers. The green is two tiered with a good many mounds.
|A look into the 16th green from 120 yards out.|
|A windmill next to the 17th tee catches the midwest feel of the course.|
|A gallery of one watches closely as you tee off at 17.|
|A look down the fairway from the 17th tee box.|
|A look down the 17th fairway from the top of the hill.|
|A look into the 17th green from 120 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the 18th tee box.|
The green is uphill from the fairway and guarded by bunkers all around.
|A look into the 18th green from 80 yards out.|