Winners: Landscapes Unlimited, Lost Rail

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When it comes to top golf course developers and construction companies, look no further than Landscapes Unlimited.

The 47-years-young outfit, headquartered in (of all places) Lincoln, Neb., has modernized with the times.

Case in point:   Lost Rail Golf Club in Gretna, Neb., brought to life by Landscapes Unlimited, was recently voted among the world’s top three new private clubs by Golf Inc. Magazine.

The best-in-class award recognizes the finest private clubs and daily fee / resort courses with the best new traditional and non-traditional golf courses (including short courses) that opened during the past year globally.

“The Golf Inc. honor shows that it takes experienced, creative and synergized talent to properly bring a club to life,” says Jim Flynn, President of Landscapes Unlimited’s development arm. “The work was arduous, but members’ smiles and the fun ‘escape’ Lost Rail contributes to the community makes it decidedly worth it.”

Designed by Scott Hoffman and operated by Landscapes Unlimited’s sister company, Landscapes Golf Management, Lost Rail is pure golf across 7,200 yards (par 71) with 30-second walks from green to tee.  There are neither homes nor roads across 155 acres, and a smaller, classic clubhouse reminiscent of a 1920’s home.

An abandoned, 100-year-old Burlington Northern railroad line that once connected Omaha, Neb. to Sioux City, Iowa is incorporated on several holes.  Most trees and native vegetation were retained while still allowing for wide fairways and lending to environmental sustainability.  The property boasts 20-mile views and 40-foot ravines, one of many Lost Rail signature characteristics.

Landscapes Unlimited and Hoffman let the land dictate the design.  The output is a routing that traverses an enjoyable and breathtaking combination of twists through wooded corridors into parkland golf scenarios, then plunges into ravines into pastureland reminiscent of classic, links-style courses.

“From an aesthetic standpoint, Lost Rail’s feel constantly changes, making the course very memorable and worth playing thousands of times,” says Flynn.  “There’s a lot of elevation change and dramatic topography, but there’s nothing fake or fabricated out there.”

Situated only a few miles from downtown Omaha yet presenting a getaway vibe, travel time for members and guests is minimized, so they enjoy the club more frequently.

Membership was all but sold out prior to opening in mid-2022, testament to Landscapes Unlimited and Landscapes Golf Management’s stellar reputation for building and operating, respectively, in-demand golf clubs and experiences.

As if that’s not enough, Landscapes Unlimited also excels at building sports fields for professional teams, colleges and municipalities.  Leading the march is its proprietary, cutting-edge M4 Precision Modeling Program that leverages airborne and terrestrial technologies to produce super-accurate data sets for developing sports surfaces with aplomb.

It’s amazing how companies like Landscapes Unlimited evolve with the times, cultivating contemporary approaches and not giving into the too-often-followed mantra of “we’ve always done it that way.”

 

Rich Katz

Rich Katz is Founder and CEO of Katz Strategy, a golf business and marketing advisory firm. One of golf’s most networked executives for 30-plus years, he founded golf-marketer Buffalo Agency (now Buffalo Groupe), was agent to PGA TOUR players and held leadership positions at Billy Casper Golf. rkatz@katzstrategy.com.

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