The intelligent handicap system of this course changes the drilling difficulty every day

In Landmand, the handicap indicators on the holes – which determine where players get and give blows – change with the wind.

Josh Sens

The saying goes: “Nye wind, nay golf.”

No wonder.

Nature fans are a huge part of the game.

It affects shot shapes And choose a club.

It turns holes into easy holes, and turns benign holes into teddy bears.

Every golfer knows this.

But with rare exceptions, we don’t take that into account in the matches we play.

One such exception is the Landmand Golf Club, Newcomer in Nebraska. Landmand opened this summer, and it stands out for several reasons. The first 18-hole design by Rob Collins Tad King, the duo behind sweet cove, in Tennessee, Landmand is a large and bold scheme, located on approximately 580 acres, nearly four times the size of the average trail. It’s fun, fun, and catches your eye with its style and size.

The Landmand is located on a sprawling, windswept site in Nebraska.

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But it also makes a statement in lowercase.

Check out Landmand’s scorecard. Handicap indicators on the holes – which mark where players get and give hits – change with the wind.

Take, for example, par-5 1st. In the prevailing southeast breeze, the crater is very tamed. It’s index 17, the second easiest hole in the field. Little chance that anyone would wipe it. But when the winds turn, the rating on the scorecard changes, too. The first hole turns into a 3 pointer, aka the third hardest.

And so it continues all 18. Different winds. Various stroke customizations. Different conditions are recommended if you are playing a disabled match.

A closer look at the Landmand scorecard, which includes a handicap/wind column.

Josh Sens

How did this anomaly happen?

The concept was put together by Landmand owner and developer, Will Andersen, a local farmer and earnest stickman. A few years ago, on a walk to Sand Hills Golf Club, the famous minimalist design in Mullen, Neb. , Andersen notes that the course has not been evaluated. These were the wishes of the Silence Club. In the absence of formal hole indications, Sand Hills members came up with their own informal system, with drilling indications that varied with the prairie winds.

Andersen liked it. The idea stuck. When the Landmand was under construction, Andersen spent a lot of time on the site, shooting in the dirt as the track formed. Even in those early stages, in strong and choppy breezes, Jekyll and Hyde’s influence was palpable.

“Some of the holes were more difficult when the wind was going differently,” Andersen says. “I thought we should have something that recognized that.”

Handicap games are as old as the game itself. The earliest known reference to and obtained strokes dates back to the early 17th century, although the term “disability” was not used at the time. As for handicap single holes, the history of the practice is murky, but it is likely that it was born around the same time that the course rating system began, about a century ago. That’s according to the folks at the USGA.

In 2020, when the governing bodies adopted a file global disability systemThey implemented a feature that takes into account the weather and the training course. In Europe, where many beachfront courses have prevailing conditions that vary from morning to afternoon, the handicap system can be modified to suit the time of day.


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But nothing official, anywhere, tweaks the stroke assignments hole-by-hole.

Landmand has an official course rating. The Nebraska Golf Association took care of that. It is listed on the scorecard. If you are posting a result for disability purposes, this is the classification that applies. The flexible Landmand system is another thing. It was implemented as an informal guidance – a friendly suggestion on how to arrange the gaps in handicap matches, based on circumstances.

There is no system like it in many public courses. Come to think of it, we don’t know anyone else in this country that knows. Anderson doesn’t do that either. He adopted the system because he thought it would be fun.

He acknowledges that it is incomplete.

What happens, for example, if the wind shifts mid-round? Should you change your disability with it?

“I didn’t really think about that before the opening,” Andersen said. “Then someone asked me, ‘Hey, what do you do if a storm comes and you’re playing?'”

Andersen doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer.

but it does not matter.

Nye Wind, Nye Golf.

Then again, not golf either if you’re not arguing with friends about who should practice stroking in place.

Josh Sens

Josh Sens

Golf.com . photographer

Josh Sens, a golf, food and travel writer, has been a contributor to GOLF Magazine since 2004 and now contributes across all GOLF platforms. His work has been authored in the best American sports writing. He is also the co-author, with Sami Hager, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: The Cooking and Partying Handbook.

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