Another links-like course for Nebraska?

Can Nebraska accommodate another links-like, minimalist-inspired golf venue?

The Santee Sioux Nation sure hopes so, because, after a two-year delay, it’s officially broken ground on an 18-hole course on property it owns in Niobrara, a town hardly anyone has heard of (estimated population: 370) in the northeastern part of the state.

The track has been designed by Paul Albanese, who intends to produce “a natural golf course that fits with the beautiful surroundings,” even though those surroundings will include a casino, a conference center and other commercial attractions.

Naturally, the tribe is hoping that Albanese’s creation compares favorably with the highly regarded layouts at Nebraska’s established golf destinations – Sand Hills Golf Club, Dismal River Club and Prairie Club. But those are stand-alone properties built by passionate people for the love of the game. Will Albanese’s work be discredited by its context?

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