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Sand Valley News includes the latest updates on Sand Valley Golf Resort as reported by the golf world. 

Sand Valley News

 
Sand Valley’s Bold New Additions Shape a New Convention for Golf

Talk about making an impression.

Sand Valley Golf Resort, in the heart of Wisconsin, has certainly done that over the past two years uncovering the sand barrens of the region and adding to the Mike Keiser golf destination experience (see Bandon Dunes and Cabot Links among others in his portfolio). After the public opening of its original course (by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw) in 2017, Sand Valley opened two new courses in 2018. It also announced that a fourth – projected as a par 68 on the scorecard – will soon be built by Tom Doak on a site already being hailed as one of the best inland for golf.

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Logan Block
Travel – On Wisconsin! Sand Valley Golf Resort

For a state roughly the size of noted golf hotbeds England and Scotland, Wisconsin has done a remarkably good job of producing special public golf resorts for its brief, but spectacular golf season, running from late April to October, possibly early November.

First came the Whistling Straits Resort, the Herb Kohler owned, four-course property and five-star American Club lodging which will host the 2020 Ryder Cup. Then Erin Hills Golf Resort, the site of the 2017 US Open, but the latest addition, the Sand Valley Resort in Central Wisconsin, might be the closest to the Scottish Idea.

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Logan Block
Best new course of 2018: Mammoth Dunes at Sand Valley

Architect David McLay Kidd faced a tall order when tasked with creating the second course at Central Wisconsin’s Sand Valley Golf Resort. After all, its Coore/Crenshaw–designed track, Sand Valley, captured our Best New Course You Can Play award in 2017 and ranked No. 52 in the U.S. among all courses. How do you match or possibly top that? Easy. You craft a layout that checks every box—from its distinctive, sand-based setting and joy-filled appeal for both low- and high-handicappers, to its plethora of individually memorable, strategy-laced holes that unfurl on a massive scale.

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Logan Block
19th hole: Tom Doak taking on old rival, your notions with new course

Tom Doak waited more than 35 years for the opportunity that was presented to him this summer, ever since he first saw Swinley Forest and Rye. Those two Harry Colt courses in England – renowned for being short on yardage but long on challenge – are the genesis of Sedge Valley, Doak’s recently announced course at Wisconsin’s Sand Valley Resort.

Great architecture exposes weaknesses in skill or judgment, and Doak’s proposed design probes the psyche even before a shot is struck. Sedge Valley is just 6,100 yards, par 68, guaranteeing that some will dismiss it sight unseen as too short to bother with, while others will assume it’s a pushover.

“It will be easier to break 90 than on a 6,800-yard, par-72 course,” Doak concedes, “but it won’t be any easier to shoot a low score. The hardest golf course I know in relation to par is Rye, and it’s 6,300 yards, par 68.”

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Chris Keiser
Tom Doak’s Sedge Valley – A Sub-Par 70 Design at Sand Valley

I’ve been thinking I’d love to do an even shorter course for many years.”

Doak will get his chance at the Sand Valley Golf Resort—Mike Keiser and his sons’ (Michael and Chris) pine and sand-covered oasis in the middle of Wisconsin where Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore’s eponymous Sand Valley and David McLay Kidd’s Mammoth Dunes are already drawing thousands of golfers to a remote part of the country.

Doak’s course, tentatively called Sedge Valley, won’t be a nine-hole, executive, or par 27 layout, but a regulation 18-holer of irregular length. The proposed scorecard suggests it will be slightly more than 6,000 yards long and have a par of 67 or 68.

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Chris Keiser
Tom Doak to design resort’s fourth course

Sand Valley Golf Resort in Nekoosa, Wisconsin, has hired golf course architect Tom Doak to design a fourth course at the resort.

The new course will be located next to the back nine of the original Sand Valley layout and will be routed within a restored sedge savannah. Doak's routing measures 6,100 yards with a par of 68.

“It’s a concept I have wanted to pursue for years – to build a great par 68 course for America like England has so many of,” said Doak in an interview with The Fried Egg. “Courses like Swinley Forest, Rye, West Sussex, Cavendish and St. Enodoc are some of my favourite places in golf, and it's a shame there is nothing like them over here."

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Chris Keiser
Sand Valley, Rome strike ‘when the pan is hot’

Rick Bakovka and the town of Rome, Wis., gambled on Sand Valley Golf Resort in 2015, and that bet has paid off for all involved. Now Bakovka and Rome appear ready to double down.

The news Sept. 5 was that Tom Doak and the Keiser family – who first teamed up to build Pacific Dunes at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in 2001 – would reunite to develop a fourth course at Sand Valley. Doak’s concept is for a 6,000-yard course filled with par 3s and drivable 4s – an alternative to the resort’s two regulation-length courses and the par-3 course.

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Chris Keiser
Doak's inland innovation - New Course at Sand Valley


Big news from Wisconsin as Tom Doak is set to design the next course at burgeoning golf resort Sand Valley. Doak is coming off his acclaimed Tara Iti design and this will be his first American design since The Loop at Forest Dunes. The Doak course, which is tentatively being called “Sedge Valley”, will add to the resort's stellar lineup alongside the original Coore & Crenshaw designed Sand Valley, David McLay Kidd's Mammoth Dunes and the Coore & Crenshaw par 3 course The Sandbox. Doak earned the job, beating out Mike DeVries and Gil Hanse.

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Chris Keiser
Dare to be different: Tom Doak’s unconventional design gets nod for next Sand Valley course

It was a three-way horserace, down to the wire in Nekoosa, Wisc.

In a photo-finish, Tom Doak prevailed.

The vaunted architect, known for his modern-minimalist designs, will build the third 18-hole course at Sand Valley Golf Resort, edging fellow designers Gil Hanse and Mike DeVries by a nose.

In keeping with his reputation for out-of-the-box thinking, Doak earned the nod with an unconventional idea. His proposed routing, tentatively named Sedge Valley, calls for a shorter-than-usual par-67 or 68 course that will tip out at no more than 6,100 yards, and feature a mix of drivable par-4s.

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Chris Keiser
Sand Valley's Sedge Valley course announced as resort's newest addition, a unique par-68 course designed by Tom Doak

he fact Tom Doak has been selected to design the next course at Sand Valley should be a surprise to few people paying attention to the golf-course design world.

The unique, 6,100-yard routing that Doak and his team will build at the Nekoosa, Wis., resort is not your conventional golf course. And that's by design. When you consider the success Mike Keiser and his sons have had thinking outside the box—not just at Sand Valley but at Bandon Dunes, Cabot Cliffs and elsewhere—this story fits into their vision. A par 68? The new course, Sedge Valley, will continue to disrupt the traditions of golf design.

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Chris Keiser
Grass Tennis Courts Best New Resort Amenity 2018 - Golf Inc

Tennis has played a role at Sand Valley since the resort’s initial 65 rooms opened in 2016. A grass court situated near the opening tee of the initial course got a lot of use, but it was highly informal and regarded as something of a novelty.

“People played with a beer in hand and barefoot,” Keiser said. “But we saw how much fun they had, and they told us that they wanted to schedule more time playing tennis on their return trip.”

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Chris Keiser
The 13 most spectacular golf course restaurants

When you build a golf resort in a unique setting, the food should fit uniquely in the surrounds. So it goes at this Wisconsin golf mecca, the latest project from Mike Keiser and his family, who also brought us Bandon Dunes. Like McKee’s Pub, at Bandon, on the Oregon coast, Sand Valley’s main hangout, the Mammoth Bar & Lounge, serves the kind of hearty fare you want after a long day on the links, but it does so with a menu rooted in the Midwest.

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Chris Keiser
Sand Valley's 'Sandbox' hosts inaugural Wisconsin State Par 3 Championship

ROME, Wis. —

In an event that was a first of its kind, it’s only fitting that a first-time winner took home The Sandbox trophy at the inaugural Wisconsin State Par 3 Championship on Monday.

Bill Feehan Jr., a 58-year-old from La Crosse, shot a 3-under 48 to win the event held at The Sandbox, a 17-hole short course at Sand Valley Golf Resort . He was one of only two players under par in a field of 72 players.

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Chris Keiser
Inaugural Wisconsin State Par-3 Championship Held at Sand Valley's Sandbox

The Sandbox, a new par-3 course at the Sand Valley Golf Resort in the Town of Rome, more than held its own against some of the best golfers in the state Monday.

The 17-hole course, designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore and featuring wildly contoured greens, was the site of the inaugural Wisconsin State Par 3 Championship, conducted by the Wisconsin State Golf Association.

Only two golfers broke par (51).

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Chris Keiser
Sand Valley Aces the Golf Destination

If you are a golf nut, follow mainstream golf media, and have been at least half awake over the past year and a half, then you have heard of America’s new golf destination, Sand Valley Golf Resort in Nekoosa, Wisconsin.

I’ll cut to the chase quickly; Sand Valley Golf Resort is the perfect golf trip destination. The golf courses are unique and memorable, but it’s an absolute ‘must visit’ for reasons that extend beyond the golf itself. Plenty has been written about the Sand Valley golf courses, and I’ll gush over the golf in separate posts over the next week. However, it is paramount that the Sand Valley Resort leadership team and its staff receive a great deal of credit. They absolutely must be recognized for their incredible attention to detail, for taking what I had previously thought to be exceptional service to the next level…

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Chris Keiser
Week of the British Open - Firm and Fast Playing Conditions of Sand Valley

Each July the Open Championship showcases a style of golf course that is rarely seen in the U.S. Faded green and brown fairways represent firm and fast playing surface that force players to think about what happens to their ball after it lands. This truly brings to life the imagination and intent of the great architects who built these courses and invokes the imagination of the players who compete on those same courses. Bump and runs, long putts, drives bounding down the fairways...

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Chris Keiser
Inaugural Wisconsin State Par-3 Championship debuts July 30 at Sand Valley

The Wisconsin State Golf Association and Sand Valley in Rome are working together this summer to identify the top par-3 player in the state of Wisconsin.
The inaugural Wisconsin State Par-3 Championship, scheduled for July 30, will be a one-of-kind championship. The event will be played on Sand Valley’s new par-3 course, The Sandbox, which features 17 par-3 holes designed by Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw and Jimmy Craig.

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Brendan McCarthy
A 'Mammoth' Masterpiece: Golf spotlight continues to shine on Sand Valley Golf Resort

Sand Valley Golf Resort opens two new courses, Mammoth Dunes and The Sandbox. Three courses now sit on natural sand dunes in central Wisconsin, which is becoming a premier golf destination.

Mammoth Dunes is already regarded as the nation's top new course of 2018. The Sandbox will host the inaugural Wisconsin State Par Three Championship on July 30th.

Click to View the Video Coverage from WISN 2

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Chris Keiser