Lakeside Country Club

The fourth stop on the 2020 Early Break Golf Tour is Lakeside Country Club, just to the south of Johnson Lake, near Elwood, NE. I’d never played the course before, so I was excited to get on the road out west and see what there was to offer. I was immediately intrigued on the drive in by seeing the lake so near the course—it made it pretty easy to decide what I’d be doing after my round.

Lakeside was in great shape. It’s been a pretty wet spring in Nebraska, and the course was indicative of that with green grass everywhere and fast greens. I played the tips, which is just shy of 6,400 yards for the entire course. Hole 1 is a straightaway par 5 that goes downhill the last 100 yards—I was informed by Richie (the course’s general manager) that the hole was flooded last year, but you couldn’t tell. The course has been well taken care of by the maintenance staff.

Hole 1, Lakeside Country Club

After a few short par 4s on holes 2 and 3, you reach the toughest hole on the course, which certainly defeated me. I was 1-under going into the hole, and ended with a double-bogey. It’s a 430 yard par 4 that doglegs left the final 100 yards of the hole, and the green is protected by a massive tree on the front left side. So, if you want a chance of getting on for a birdie, you’d be best served by going to the right side of the fairway, or even in the right rough. I pulled my drive left and had to drop, and then played the rest of the hole poorly after that.

Hole 4, Lakeside Country Club

Hole 5 is a nice looking par 3—164 yards from the tips. Hole 6 is a gettable par 5, and holes 7 and 8 are par 4s that take a slight dogleg to the right, with protective bunkers on hole 7 in the landing zone from your drive. Hole 9 is a difficult 165 yard par 3 that is downhill, but has a very narrow green that is tough to hit. If you go right at all, it will carom off the hill and present a difficult chip. If you’re left at all, you’ll find a bunker. Richie said that even though it’s a shorter par 3, bogey is the most common score on the hole.

Hole 7, Lakeside Country Club

The back 9 is the easier side for sure. Hole 10 is a 340 yard par 4, and hole 10 is a 515 yard par 5, but plays much shorter than that since it’s a severe dogleg right, and if you hit it over the trees, you can have a short iron into the green for your 2nd shot—eagle and birdie are common here. Same goes for hole 12, another short par 4, about 320 yards in length, straightaway. Hole 13 is another good-looking par 3, about 170 from tips, and 150 yards from the next tees up.

This brings us to hole 14. I had a group behind me and they asked me if I was looking for the back tees, and I said yes—because they are so far behind the other tees. The guys said they had never seen anyone hit from those tees (Richie informed me before the round that 95% of players play the tees up from the backs). That hole played as a 520 yard par 4 (!), which doglegs left. If you make a birdie or par on 14 from any of the tees, you’ve done well. I pulled my drive left again and had to drop, and came away with a double bogey. Very difficult hole.

Hole 15, Lakeside Country Club

Hole 15 is a nice break after that, as a short par 5. Hole 16 and 18 are both 165 yard par 3s.

Lakeside is a very enjoyable course that is in great shape. I was a little bummed I couldn’t see the actual Johnson Lake at all from the course, because it’s below the dam on the other side of it, but otherwise, it is a course worth playing if you’re headed out that direction for the weekend for camping.

General Manager:   Richie Bennett

Website:      www.playlakeside.com

Phone:   (308) 785-2818