2024 Sand Valley
Sand Valley was founded on the dream of bringing incredible, public golf to the prehistoric sand dunes of central Wisconsin. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw began designing the routing in 2014 and opened Sand Valley, the resort’s first course, in 2017. They gave us massive and exposed sand dunes, firm and fast fairways, and a multitude of strategic playing options. Sand Valley is fun and playable but can be set up to provide a serious challenge
Sand Valley is the fifth course that the firm of Coore and Crenshaw has designed for resort maven Mike Keiser, and the first not located close to an ocean. No matter. It’s still on a thousand acres of rolling sand hills in Central Wisconsin, and Coore and Crenshaw were given carte blanche to route their course. (Rumor has it Coore routed a hole outside the property line and Keiser reluctantly bought that additional parcel.) Given the name, many conclude Sand Valley is a combination of Nebraska’s Sand Hills Golf Club and New Jersey’s Pine Valley. But Sand Valley has its own personality, with some dual fairways, gigantic sand spits, enormous greens and even a hidden putting surface. Sand Valley was Golf Digest’s Best New Course of 2017.
Established 2018 Par 73 – 6988 Yards
David Kidd began building a second 18 at Wisconsin’s Sand Valley Resort just before Coore and Crenshaw had completed their 18, which would be named Golf Digest’s Best New Course of 2017. Kidd was intent on topping their work, so he gave his meandering layout enormous fairways, big accessible greens and visually-unique hillsides of exposed sand, “mammoth dunes” that became the course moniker. “This could be the best course I and my team have yet created,” Kidd wrote in late 2017. “We can’t wait for the critics to decide if they agree.” They were disappointed with results of Golf Digest’s 2018 Best New Course survey, which placed Mammoth Dunes second behind Streamsong (Black). But balloting for Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest continued for an additional month after the close of Best New, and additional evaluations pushed Mammoth Dunes ahead of Streamsong (Black), which is now ranked No. 178.
It’s a big course (playing to a par of 73 with five long par five holes) that’s built on a massive scale with an overall design philosophy of bringing fun back to playing the game. Fairways are unfeasibly wide, some measuring as much as 120 yards across, offering multiple paths from tee to green on many of the holes.
Established 2023 Par 72 – 7387 Yards
The Lido Golf Club – designed by C.B. Macdonald – opened on Long Island in 1914. Like all of Macdonald’s routings, The Lido included many classic templates such as the Alps, Redan, and Edan. The Lido was touted by many at the time of its opening to be comparable in shot quality to Pine Valley and National Golf Links – another C.B. Macdonald design. Sadly, the course was demolished by the U.S. Navy after the Navy purchased the property for use as a military base during World War II. Ever since it disappeared, the promise of The Lido has intrigued many as one of the great lost wonders of the golf world. We are excited to announce that The Lido has been brought back to life.
Michael and Chris Keiser decided to recreate the course adjacent to their Sand Valley Resort. Key to the equation was Peter Flory, who open-sourced hundreds of vintage photos of the original Lido and fed them into a software program that modeled the new Lido as accurately as possible. The Keisers then hired Tom Doak and Brian Schneider (who spent more than 230 days on-site) to build the course. This process included the use of GPS bulldozers, though discretion by Doak and Schneider was certainly required in getting the green contours just right. The scale of the course, the depth of its hazards and the size of the greens, which average over 12,000 square feet, is dazzling. Almost all of the great template holes are represented, from the Alps 10th to the Redan 16th, making this course a strategic marvel. Panelist Clyde Johnson calls Lido the “ultimate IQ test for golf-course architecture.” One of America’s great designs is back!
Established 2023 Par 68 – 6200 Yards
Sand Valley’s newest course may have the oldest soul of the bunch. Construction is well underway at Sedge Valley, a Tom Doak design that draws on the great heathland and links courses of London and the English coast. “Sedge Valley is unique,” says Sand Valley’s co-owner Michael Keiser, Jr. “With Sedge Valley, Tom Doak shares some unique design insight. This is a golf course intended to engage your imagination and decision-making at the game’s most visceral levels. You will re-think some of your assumptions – in a great way.”
Sedge Valley blends an intimate piece of Sand Valley’s property, rich with sandy soil, native groundcover and a prominent rock outcropping with a belief long held by Doak – that great golf holes built around the finest green sites and natural features can create a course that is fun and challenging for all players and one that holds up over time with minimal alterations. A round at Sedge Valley will provide contrast to the broad, links landscape of Coore & Crenshaw’s Sand Valley and to the massive scale and friendly contours of the resort’s second 18-hole course, David McLay Kidd’s Mammoth Dunes. At Sedge Valley, golfers will encounter the timeless strategies and elements of courses that Doak believes have best withstood the endless advances of the game.
Established 2018 Par 51 – 1652 Yards
The Sandbox, the 17-hole short course at Sand Valley, provides an intimate connection to the sand county landscape of central Wisconsin. Located 50 yards from the Clubhouse and in the backyard of some of the lodges, The Sandbox plays through a restored sand prairie that sits within the same V-shaped sand ridge that frames Mammoth Dunes. With holes ranging from 40 to 140 yards, the short course features unique green complexes found on the property, including a biarritz, double plateau, lion’s mouth, and a redan.
The Sandbox at Sand Valley Golf Resort is a nice little add-on to any round at the resort. It’s a good way to tune-up for a round on one of the big courses, or to wind down after a round at one of the big courses. This Coore/Crenshaw short course has a wide variety of holes, ranging from very short (39 yards at 13 the day we played) to 120+ yards. Many holes can be played along the ground, but some do require flying it on the green. The greens are very demanding and firm, such that many less than perfect shots end up being rejected, leaving a challenging up and down.
Tuesday July 9th – Friday June 12th, 2023
Tuesday July 9
- Arrive – check in @ main building .. shuttle to Dunes Valley Cottages
- 5:42pm – t-times start @ The Sandbox – https://sandvalley.com/short-
course – 17 hole par 3
- Dinner @ Green Fire BBQ @ The Sandbox
Wednesday July 10
- 8:30am – t-times start @ Sand Valley – https://sandvalley.com/sand-
valley (#17 Public Course – GolfWeek)
- 2:45pm @ Mammoth Dunes – https://sandvalley.com/
mammoth-dunes (#15 Public Course – GolfWeek)
- 8pm – Dinner catered @ Dunes Valley Cottages
Thursday July 11
- 10:10am – t-times start @ The Lido – https://sandvalley.com/thelido – Open 2023. CB Macdonald’s 1914 Long Island recreation
- 4:05pm – t-times start @ The Sandbox – https://sandvalley.com/short-
- 8pm – Dinner @ Aldo @ Clubhouse – https://sandvalley.com/dining
Friday July 12
- 9:18am – t-times start @ The Sedge – https://sandvalley.com/sedge-
valley – Opens 2024
- Depart. Advil. Adieu. Sayonara. Safe travels home.
The 4 bedroom Dunes Valley Cottages overlooking Mirror Lake provide a spacious living area with room with fireplace & TV, dining table, and full kitchen. All rooms feature sweeping views of Mirror Lake nestled into the rugged sand barrens with oaks and jackpines surrounding for privacy.