The Takeaway: Located just over 30 minutes from Omaha, ArborLinks enjoys a rural setting with a farming theme. While not being able to see the landing areas when playing from the tips gets old throughout the round, there are some proper holes to enjoy including the closer. Ultimately though, ArborLinks teeters on being a Top 10 course in Nebraska. Grade B
Designer: Arnold Palmer 2002
Phone Number: 402-873-4334
Course Website: Official Website - Visit ArborLinks's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 6038 H Rd, Nebraska City, Nebraska 68410 – UNITED STATES
Photos: See additional photos of ArborLinks
What to Expect: Part of the Dormie Network, ArborLinks outside of Omaha features a farming theme that blends in with the surrounding environment that is decidedly agricultural. The private club sends a forecaddie out with each group and gives the option for players to either ride in a cart or walk the relatively tame terrain the course is laid out on. With the fescue type grass framing the exterior of the fairways, the course attempts to have a links look, but it doesn’t necessarily play like one given the grass type and turf base the course features. There is a solid variety of hole shapes and lengths to enjoy with the par fives standing out most, and interestingly the par threes don’t play very long which is unusual considering the course tips out over 7000 yards. The property is maintained in good shape with the greens running faster than most courses and puts a premium on the short game to be successful. While many players may not have frame of reference for Royal Isabella golf course in Puerto Rico, I was having flashbacks to the coastal course while playing ArborLinks; not because of the setting, but due to the views from the back tee. From the tips there are very few fairways where you can see the landing zone due to the overgrowth of foliage between the tee and the short grass which gets a bit tiresome and unnecessary. All in all, ArborLinks is a solid track. While it battles to lay claim to a spot in Nebraska’s Top 10 best courses, it proves to provide an enjoyable way to spend half a day.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 18th Hole – 426 Yard Par 4 – The home hole at ArborLinks pays homage to the course's theme by finishing at a green next to a silo inspired structure that the carts drive through. The tee shot should play over the fairway bunkers on the left in order to find the center of the short grass since the terrain kicks balls right towards South Table Creek. The approach shot plays over a penalty area to a heavily bunkered green that calls for a fade to best avoid the trouble. It is ArborLinks most picturesque hole and one of its most difficult to walk away with a par on.
Best Par 3: 11th Hole – 139 Yards – A crafty little one-shotter, the 11th plays over North Table Creek to a unique hourglass shaped green with steep falloffs each direction except in the back where bunkers reside. With tight lies around the green and a sloping surface on the green, missing the putting surface with your tee shot will make saving par a stout task to accomplish. I love par threes that feature creativity rather than brute length, and the 11th at ArborLinks delivers with flying colors here.
Best Par 4: 12th Hole – 425 Yards – The dominant feature on the 12th is the large waste bunker flanking the right side of the fairway which should encourage players to take their tee shot up the left side. The fairway doglegs sharply around the bunker and players that think they have the juice to carry the sand to shorten up the hole better be able to fly it over 300 yards. The further up the left side you keep your tee ball the better the angle you'll have attacking the green that features a bunker protecting the front right corner. The ideal approach is a fade that starts at the left edge, and if it doesn't fade, your best chance of saving par is from the front left.
Best Par 5: 4th Hole – 550 Yards – From the back tees the ideal line is just left of the third fairway bunker on the right, but you better hit your line because tee balls that sail too far left will find themselves in the lake that hugs that side of the fairway. If you are going for the green in two you need to start your ball up the right side where a small opening is afforded to chase a ball through, but if you are laying up then staying on the left side will help you avoid the final fairway bunker and give you an angle with the most amount of width on the green to play with.
Birdie Time: 2nd Hole – 347 Yard Par 4 – A fun hole presents itself early at ArborLinks with this short par four. The conventional play calls for a tee shot that stays short of the large bunker on the far side of the fairway. From the tips, 240 yards will put you in prime shape to attack the green that is on the opposite side of North Table Creek with a chute of trees requiring players to hit an accurate approach shot. The false front is penalizing to players that aren't aggressive enough with their distance control. The alternative play is to bomb a drive over the trees that run the entire left side and try to reach the green. From the back tee box the tree line is probably too close and too tall to go for the green, but from any of the other tee boxes the green light is on.
Bogey Beware: 9th Hole – 457 Yard Par 4 – As is the common theme at ArborLinks, the view of the fairway is mostly obscured due to the fescue grass growing taller than visuals afford of the fairway from the back tee. What you can see is the fairway bunker on the left, so aim just right of it to find the best place in the short grass. The approach shot is brutal with a large bunker and water consuming the area left of the green and another bunker on the right, but it is the skinny green that stretches out three times longer than it is wide that is difficult to hit in regulation. Keeping your ball right is critical to avoid a big number and protect your score on the front.