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Awarii Dunes
Awarii Dunes - Hole #17

Awarii Dunes Preview

Sneak Peek and Slide Show

By Brian Weis

On Memorial Day 2011, Awarii Dunes opened for play. Below is a sneak peek and slideshow of the highly acclaimed Jim Engh-designed course.


Located in the southern edge of the Sand Hills region of Nebraska, the course promotes itself with the slogan, "Where Ireland Meets The Heartland." Engh's inspiration for the links course came from his many trips to Ireland. On the first tee, the Irish influences quickly present themselves: strong winds, rugged sand dunes and tall natural grasses lining rolling fairways. Yet instead of an ocean, waves of Midwestern cornfields serve as backdrop.

Although most golfers will not be able to play the more famous Mullen, Nebraska-based Sand Hills Golf Course, because it is private, Awarii Dunes may soon make traveling golfers' bucket lists, since this private course offers stay-and-play packages to the public. Awarii Dunes is located near Axtell, Nebraska, just a few miles south of Kearney and Interstate 80.

Course Fun Facts

Fun Fact #1: Axtell is known as "The Windmill City" and Awarii is Pawnee for "Wind Blown." If you plan on golfing Awarii you might want to pack a wind shirt! 15-25 mile per hour winds are not uncommon.

Fun Fact #2: The front nine of Awarii dunes was formerly the Craneview Golf Club. The skeleton of the original course was used primarily to maximize the existing irrigation system. Engh widened fairways, expanded greens, moved tee boxes and replaced the bluegrass fairways with T1 bent grass.

Fun Fact #3: Hole 17, known as the "Bowl Hole," features a massive concave green that funnels slightly toward the fairway. As a joke, a member of our foursome putted away from the hole. The ball climbed up the drastically sloped green, briefly stopped at its apex, then released back toward the hole, just missing the cup. To put the putt into perspective, the ball traveled up the hill nearly 100 feet in distance and roughly a story and half in elevation change. The ball's rise and fall lasted more than 30 seconds.

Fun Fact #4: Less than 30,000 yards of dirt were moved to create the golf course. The course naturally winds through, around and over the dunes.

Fun Fact #5: The green complexes are out of this world. Holes 4 and 7 share a green that measures more than 35,000 square feet. Golfers should use a Texas wedge whenever possible from the apron and fairway. Short-game control is needed to roll the ball to certain shelves, ledges and sections of the green.

The Skinny
Private Course
Opened May 31, 2011
5 Tees: 6914, 6558, 6140, 5424, 4692 Yards
Par 72

Stay and Play

Awarii Dunes is a private course but public play is available through stay and play packages provided by the Holiday Inn or the Holiday Inn Express in Kearney. Both hotels are located just 4 miles from Awarii Dunes Golf Club. The package includes accommodations, green fees, golf cart and range balls.

Stay and Play Package Pricing
For more information or to book a stay and play package call 308-743-1111.

Awarii Dunes
524 S Road
Axtell, NE 68924

Photo Slide Show

Article Tags: Awarii Dunes

Revised: 06/27/2011 - Article Viewed 38,396 Times - View Course Profile

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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