As its name suggests, Sand Creek Station Golf Course in Newton, Kan., evokes the town’s railroad history. Many of the holes are what they call in Scotland, “hard by the cinders,” continuing a long tradition of golf courses bordering railways. Many of the classic courses in Scotland, and a few in the United States, are easily accessible by train, including Prestwick (Scotland), Shinnecock Hills (Southampton, N.Y.) and Olympia Fields in suburban Chicago.
Designed by Jeff Brauer, Sand Creek Station features replicas of famous holes, including the Road Hole at St. Andrews and the Redan from North Berwick. The 16th at Sand Creek, which once sat adjacent to the railway, mirrors the famous 17th at St. Andrews, while No. 12 plays similarly to another famous Redan hole, No. 4 at the National Golf Links of America.
The ninth hole features a platform green, which can be found on many early American designs, and the par-5 fourth hole has a green with wild contours.
Holes 1, 2, 8 and 9 border Sand Creek, while the par-5 10th requires the golfer to negotiate water on all three shots. The round ends with a challenging par 4 requiring a tee shot to a narrow fairway flanked by bunkers.
Brauer, who now lives in Arlington, Texas, began his architectural career in the Chicago area, with his first project being Kemper Lakes Golf Club, site of the 1989 PGA Championship, as well as the 1992 U.S. Women’s Amateur and 2001 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links. Kansas residents also will be familiar with Colbert Hills Golf Course at Kansas State University in Manhattan, one of the premier public facilities in the state.