Lincoln Golf: Scratching the Itch

What began in Scotland in the 1457, can now be enjoyed in the Star City. Lincoln is known for having wonderful public and private golf courses where each course has something unique to offer. There are more courses per capita here than in most Plains and Midwestern cities, offering a course to suit nearly every golfer. 

Wilderness Ridgewas designed for quality play. Featuring 18 holes of championship golf (riding only) and a 9-hole, par 32 executive course, the resort-style facility includes 22 lakes, four large waterfalls, and over 5,000 trees. 

1800 Wilderness Woods Place, 402-421-2525, 

Hidden Valley is a challenging and fun par 71, 18-hole course. Rental carts are available to take on the smooth asphalt cart paths. One visit, and you may be vying to build a house on one of the adjacent lots.

10501 Pine Lake Road, 402-483-2532,

For a completely unique experience, take a swing at the Scottish links-style Highlands. This 240-acre, par 72 adds skill to your game as you work through the windy, wide-open, 7,095-yard course. Plenty of sandtraps, some water and few trees provided the hazards and some of the beautiful greens are tiered for an extra challenge. 

5501 N.W. 12th Street, 402-441-6081,

Built on a former apple orchard, you can expect many fruit trees to offer equal parts of shade, beauty and skill-testing obstruction at HiMark. The 27-hole course features what many describe as the best smooth and consistent greens in Lincoln. In addition, a lighted driving range lets you perfect your skills even after dark. 

8901 Augusta Drive, 402-4887,

Wrapping around the tip of scenic Holmes Lake, Holmesis a 200-acre, 72 par course with a combined 6,805 yards. Hilly and resplendent with trees, this course will test your skills in the long game and approach shots. Water hazards enliven four holes. Be sure to take in that gorgeous view of the State Capitol when you’re out for a round. 

3701 S. 70th Street, 402-441-8960,,

Since 1977, locals have been honing their chipping and putting skills on the elevated greens at Mahoney. Generally considered the toughest course in town, it’s officially a par 4, but some golfers insist it must be a par 6. Dense trees board open fairways, and the whole par 70 course totals just under 6,500 yards. 

7900 Adams Street, 402-441-8969,

The “grand old lady” of Lincoln’s golf courses is 75-year-old Pioneers. Popular for generations, Pioneers has huge pines, oaks and cottonwoods and the occasional deer strolling through the greens. A traditionalist through and through, Pioneers’ lush bluegrass fairways lead to grass-only bunkers—no sand traps—for a 71 par played out on 6,478 yards. Perfect your swing even into the evening on the lighted driving range.

3403 W. Van Dorn, 402-441-8966,

Just east of Lincoln city limits lies the sloping, par 72 Crooked Creek. Plenty of water, lush trees and five sets of tee boxes make for a satisfying game, and the greens are truly beautiful. The driving range is fully lit, from tee to landing area.

134th and O streets, 402-489-7899,

Golfers seeking a fun way to improve their short game won’t want to miss Jim Ager Junior Golf Coursein the center of town. It’s one of the few junior courses in the country. While preference is given to youth, anybody is welcome to play. Every year, hundreds of kids fill the course to participate in the summer golf league or just come out golfing with their parents. Golf Digestmagazine has listed the 9-hole, par 3 course as one of the best 100 “Bang for the Buck.” 

3761 Normal Boulevard, 402-441-8963,

Possibly the most decorated of all the Lincoln-area courses, Woodland Hills in nearby Eagle has been rated the Number 1 public golf course in Nebraska by Golf Digestmagazine, which also gave Woodland Hills a four-star rating in Places to Play in America. Woodland Hills is lush and challenging with nearly 40,000 trees and more than 10 acres of wildflowers and grasses. It’s a course that stimulates your mental game and sharpens your strategy with every swing. 

5 miles south on Highway 43 in Eagle, 402-475-4653,

Members Only

Lincoln’s members-only, private courses require you to be a member or a member’s guest to play. All six are excellent and unique courses for the Lincoln golfer:

 Country Club of Lincoln, 3200 S. 24th St., 402-423-2271

Firethorn Golf Club, 9301 Firethorn Lane, 

HillcrestCountry Club, 8901 O St., 

Links at Lincoln, 375 Fletcher Avenue,

Yankee Hill, 7600 San Mateo Lane, 421-1799

Something different?

Perhaps golf is not your cup of tea. Enter FootGolf!  Although variants have been played since the 1920s, FootGolf, as we know it today, was officially launched by Michael Jansen and Bas Korsten in the Netherlands in 2008. FootGolf is actually very similar to golf with a few differences. In FootGolf you replace the golf ball with a #5 soccer ball, the golf club with your foot and the golf hole with a 21 inch cup. It’s new, it’s popular and…when the weather warms up it’s a blast!

So if you’d like to give FootGolf a shot below are the two courses that offer access to this unique combination of soccer and golf, which only takes half as much time as a regular golf game and could be twice as much fun.

Wilderness Ridge Golf Club, 1800 Wilderness Woods Pl, 402-421-2525; Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons

Jim Ager Jr Memorial Golf Course, 3761
Normal Blvd, 402-441-8963; During regular golfing hours  

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