Seeding has been completed with an eye toward a 2015 opening of the new Tatanka Golf Club in Niobrara, Nebraska. The course was designed by Paul Albanese, ASGCA.
A press release detailing the project states this is the first golf course on the property of the Ohiya Casino Resort of the Santee Sioux Nation; Nebraska’s first casino, which opened in 1997.
“This is easily one of the nicest pieces of property I have ever been involved with, and it has been incredibly interesting,” Albanese said. The land features rolling hills and ridges with views that stretch for more than 30-40 miles.
In his research of the culture, area and natural landforms, Albanese found the Sioux have a great respect for nature.
“I knew then we had to blend the golf course into the natural surroundings,” he said. “In beginning our process, myself, shapers, construction people, we all learned the stories. Some of the bunkers, though they may not literally look like something from a story, they were made with that story in mind. We looked at the clouds. We looked at the rocks, trees, all the natural surroundings and made the golf course fit there as if it belonged. One hole, inspired by a spiritual story, has a spirit bunker shaped after thinking about the story. It’s all very subtle, but impactful I feel to those who live there.”
Many of the stories include the great buffalo. In this, Albanese opted for literal interpretation. In some fenced in spaces very close to the golf course, great buffalo roam.
“You can actually hit a tee shot and have buffalo 20 feet from you,” Albanese said. “We were very careful on where and how we routed the golf holes close to the buffalo, but we felt it was important to have them within the course to be true to the culture of the area.”