As part of the package of renovation stories, a sidebar review of "different" courses is included. Brad Klein slipped this not-so-glowing review of Dismal River in:
Anytime you open a golf course with a windmill smack in the middle of a hole, you raise some eyebrows. Dismal River, a Jack Nicklaus design in the middle of Nebraska's Sand Hills, did just that, on its par-5 fourth hole, and the windmill looks perfectly natural on what was an old ranch. There are some fine, natural looking holes here, but also some significant tweaks that already are being planned to fix some rough spots, including a partial regrading of three fairways and significant softening of the slopes on a half-dozen greens.
Lest anyone think that rerouting a course out here on such natural terrain is easy, remember that in routing Sand Hills Golf Club, which sits only five miles east of Dismal River, co-designers Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw took two years to settle on a sequence of holes that would work in the wind and that would accommodate the ground game.
Dismal River couldn't be more different, not only in playing character, but also in its overall business model. A 26,000-square-foot clubhouse/lodge looms over the property, and the club includes high-end real estate, spa, bowling alley, corporate outings and an exclusive dining room for founding members.