Here are some of the comments I read about this course: a challenging track; need to think your way around the rolling terrain; name says it all – scenic & located on a high knoll; huge, undulating greens on which you will often three putt; difficulties include elevation changes, ponds, canals, side hill lies; and a good mix of short and long holes. But you can’t believe everything you read on the internet, correct?
Hole #1 is a nice opening hole. Par 4 of 315 yards (white) with a slight dogleg to the left. It has a large green with a false front. So, shoot for the middle of the green – no flag hunting here. So far, so good. I had no idea how to play Hole #2. It is a 315 yard par 4 with a pond fronting the green. I decided to take the safe route and hit it long, to the right of the pond. Decision and execution are two entirely different things! I mishit a 3-wood that went straight at (but short of) the pond – it worked out rather nicely.
Hole #3 is a long, straight, interesting par 4. The large, intriguing fairway has a few trees that divide it into two sections. Either side is fine for your approach to a large, undulating green. I now understand how the course got its name as there are plenty of “scenic knolls” from which to survey your second shot. You will find a nice risk/reward decision to make at Hole #4. This par 4 of 402 yards has a severe dogleg to the left with a very penal hazard (both water and bunker) to carry if you try to cut too much of the dogleg. Then it is all uphill to the green. Par is a good score at this fun hole!
Not much happening at Hole #5. A bland 153 yard par 3. Standing on the tee box of Hole #6, all I see is the canal winding its way along the hole and trees blocking my view of the fairway. I just aimed for the big tree that is straight ahead and hoped for the best – good call! There are plenty of “scenic knolls” on this par 5 that first goes to the right and then back to the left as you approach the green. A fun hole that makes you think twice about club selection.
Hole #7 is a par 4 of 354 yards with a dogleg to the right. It features a tree stump that looks as if it took a lightning strike at some point in the past. It is probably a good thing there is a shelter and porta potty at this hole. There is also the same combination at Hole #3, so it may tell you something about the weather at this course that sits high on a hill. Watch the sky for fast approaching storms and take cover! If your approach shot to the green leaks to the right, you may have a chance to play from the Nebraska-shaped bunker.
I must have been too focused on my landing area at the par 3 eighth hole, as I never saw the pond to the right side of the green. I should try this strategy more often as I easily found the putting surface and recorded a birdie. I had blind shots and obstacles all the way up the hill to the green at Hole #9. As I addressed my tee shot, the sprinkler in the middle of the fairway commenced with its job. It created a perfect “V” for me to dissect the fairway but still left me a 2nd blind shot. I now had a couple of those “knolls” on either side of the fairway to use as a guide. After that shot, I went to the top of the hill to find the green because I still had no visual of the putting surface with my 3rd shot. I finally found it up to the left and expertly three-putted for bogey!
Ace: Is everything you read on the internet true? In this case it was. I liked everything about the course. It was in good shape; there is a good combination of long/short holes; it offered a few risk/reward holes; and the staff was helpful and friendly.
Golf is finished and it is time to explore northwest Nebraska. Just a short distance from Mitchell is Scott Bluff National Monument in Gering. Explore the remnants of sandstone and siltstone formations and learn about the history of early settlers making their way west. Walk the Saddle Rock Trail (1.6 miles) from the visitors center to the summit or take your car or shuttle to the summit for the outstanding views.
20548 NE-29, Mitchell, NE 69357; 308-623-2468; www.mitchellcity.net