Washington entertained me to Lincoln. I left the snow and cold of Colorado and arrived at the wind and cold of Nebraska. College Heights Country Club (CHCC) is located on the campus of Doane University. I was welcomed at this semi-private course with opened arms. Correction – no welcome at all!
The course was deserted except for a lone Doane University golf team member who was practicing his stroke on the putting green. When I asked him about the course he said, “it is short but has character”. He also mentioned the course was probably going to be sold, that was why no one was around.
Off to Hole #1 and the course to myself. It is a short (he did say that) dogleg right (90 degrees) par 4 of 310 yards. Don’t be short of the dogleg or a large tree will obstruct your path to the green. Bombs away on the straight, 316 yard par 4 second hole. It has a tree-lined, wide-open fairway with your best approach from the left side. Twin bunkers guard the front left and right at the green.
Hole #3 is a par 3 with a large green awaiting your tee shot from 140 yards. Don’t be fooled by this benign description or your visual as the putting surface slopes away from the center on all sides. Just sayin’…center of green – good; sides of green – bad! Hole #4 is a long par 5 with a dogleg right. Be careful here to pull the correct club off the tee because you can drive it through the fairway. If you don’t top, slice or hit some stupid tee shot, now you have a football-sized fairway for your 2nd and 3rd (or 4th & 5th) shots to the green.
So far everything has worked out just fine for my nice high fade, now the course makes an abrupt switch and decides to take all the shots to the left. Let’s see how my draw is working today at Hole #5. Wait, I don’t have a draw, but it’s okay on this hole because this par 4 only has a slight bend to the left. I don’t have to try to work my ball, just hit it straight down the middle. Somehow this was accomplished. The only trouble is a large tree that blocks a view of the green if your tee shot is not long enough. You will find another long, 90 degree angled dogleg to the left, par 5, at the #1 handicap sixth hole. Now I need that nice, strong draw to set me up for a good second shot and a birdie opportunity. I would not suggest a driver on this hole or a nice high fade like the one that found its way off my clubface.
The par 3 seventh hole has too many decisions for me to make today. Did I mention I just finished driving seven hours across Colorado and Nebraska to play this course? I’m tired, hungry, and now have to decide what club to pull? It’s downhill; into the wind; trees left; road with traffic right; an altitude change from Colorado; and did I mention I was tired and hungry? Whatever club I hit was the correct distance, but my direction was a little wayward. I found the grass just to the right of the green and missed the road by “this” much.
Hole #8 is a drivable par 4 of 234 yards (white tees) that is if you split the trees and avoid the left green-side bunker. Then all you need to do is hold the small, crowned-shaped green. I didn’t achieve any of these! Hole #9 – I have no clue! As I write this article there are no notes about this hole. Did I mention I was tired and hungry? I have attached a picture of the hole and you can decide how to play it.
Birdie: The golf team member was correct – it has character! It is short and I made it shorter by playing the white tees (2683 yards). The greens were in outstanding shape and they are part of what gives the course it’s character. Also adding to the character are the many large trees that are strategically placed along the journey. Since no one was present at the clubhouse, I played this round at no cost. I enjoyed it so much that maybe I should make a small donation to the Golf Team and Doane University. What do you think? Hopefully the course is doing well because it is an outstanding asset to the college.
Did I mention I was tired and hungry? Now I am also thirsty! So, I decided to make the short drive into Lincoln for a beer at Backswing Brewing Company. How can you not visit a brewery by that name (started by two golfers) and sample a Backswing Brown Ale?
Washington entertained me Lincoln? It really had nothing to do with anything except I was listening to a book about Washington at Valley Forge on my way to Lincoln, NE.
1225 East 4th Street, Crete, NE 68333; 402-826-4653; www.collegeheightscc.com