Officials at Dormie Network, a national network of private destination golf clubs, today named Michael Sheely as Director of Agronomy at GrayBull, a David McClay Kidd design set to open in the Nebraska Sandhills in 2024. GrayBull will be Dormie Network’s seventh course and first facility built from the ground up, joining the other Dormie Network clubs as a standard of first-class facilities and pristine course conditions to create true stay-and-play destinations.
GrayBull’s layout and hole designs have been worked into the property. In March 2023, course work will resume with a goal to have the entire course seeded by Fall of this year. Sheely will be onsite full-time at GrayBull starting this spring, and will be joined by an all-new recently hired team of superintendent Kit Lofgreen, assistant superintendent Katie Kramer, and equipment manager Tyson Kramer. Before joining Dormie Network, Sheely served as the Director of Agronomy at Arborlinks since 2016 where he oversaw the reimagination of their short-game facility, capillary concrete greenside bunker renovation, driving range enlargement/renovation, and a new 5,000-square-foot maintenance building to house all-new equipment.
“Dormie Network is well known throughout the industry for incredible course conditions, challenging, interesting and entertainingly playable course designs the meld with impeccable amenities which all come together to create an experience for members and guests that goes well beyond just birdies and bogeys,” Sheely said. “With David McClay Kidd at the helm, GrayBull will instantly become a bucket-list venue and I am thrilled to play a role in helping the Dormie Network’s vision for this facility come to life and prosper.”
GrayBull will be a links-style course: wide open dunes with no extraneous trees, built on a firm sandy soil structure that will allow shots to carry and roll. The terrain of western Nebraska promises less natural precipitation, lower humidity, and more wind than Sheely’s past positions.
“As agronomists, we love the challenge of balancing firmness and playability,” Michael said. With state-of-the-art irrigation systems, we’ll install Bentgrass putting surfaces and fine fescue low-mow bluegrass mixture on the approach areas, fairways and tees that will all be close-shaven, helping the course melt into the landscape. I’m sure we’ll see some windy moments that will cause sand erosion, particularly for the bunkers. But those sands are part of what makes this area of the world such a great location for golf.”
“This location in the Nebraska Sandhills brings with it the challenge of supporting the turf through intense temperatures, from extreme arid cold in winter to extreme arid hot in summer,” said Clint Tolbert, Dormie Network Chief Agronomy Officer. “Michael’s nearly 20 years’ experience with Nebraska agronomy will serve him well here. His leadership and vision for sustainability paves the way for ensuring David McLay Kidd’s course design stands the test of time.”
McLay Kidd, known for his design projects that include Bandon Dunes, Mammoth Dunes at Sand Valley, Nanea Golf Club, and The Castle Course at St. Andrews Links, brings the creative brilliance and proven credentials to realize Dormie Network’s intimate, pure golf experience in a curated, relaxing, and accommodating environment.
In addition to the impeccable playing experience through McLay Kidd’s design, amenities will include a full-service clubhouse, a practice facility, lit putting green, brand-agnostic custom fittings, and 60 beds onsite across 15 cottages for members to make the most of the evening entertainment available at network tournaments and private events.
About DMK Golf Design
The DMK Golf Design team has found great success in allowing the course to unearth itself while walking the grounds, an ideology demonstrated by David having a hand in choosing the site of his latest project: the 7th Dormie Network course, built from the ground up in the Nebraska Sandhills, with a projected open date of 2024. DMK Golf Design courses include Bandon Dunes, Mammoth Dunes at Sand Valley, Nanea Golf Club, and The Castle Course at St. Andrews Links.
About Dormie Network
Dormie Network is a national network of private destination golf clubs that includes ArborLinks in Nebraska City, Nebraska; Ballyhack Golf Club in Roanoke, Virginia; Briggs Ranch Golf Club in San Antonio, Texas; Dormie Club in West End, North Carolina; Hidden Creek Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey; Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Indiana; and a seventh course built from the ground up in the Nebraska Sandhills, with a planned opening of 2024. Each offers a premier golf experience in a relaxing and accommodating environment ideal for business or leisure. Learn more at dormienetwork.com/graybull.