Sand Valley Aces the Golf Destination
Week of the British Open - Firm and Fast Playing Conditions of Sand Valley
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…
Inaugural Wisconsin State Par-3 Championship debuts July 30 at 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...
A 'Mammoth' Masterpiece: Golf spotlight continues to shine on Sand Valley Golf Resort
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.
Kidd delivers dazzling scale, technical prowess at Sand Valley's new Mammoth Dunes
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
Mammoth Dunes: 20 Years After Bandon, David McLay Kidd Delivers Fun Golf To Wisconsin
"NEKOOSA, Wisc. — This place is big. Like, ginormously expansive on a scale that’s playfully indulgent and at times overwhelming to the golf senses...
...The psychological effect of all of this is mesmerizing. Some will find the scale disorienting. I found it compelling."
Mammoth Dunes at Sand Valley: How David McLay Kidd used Bandon Dunes as inspiration to bring fun back to golf
As good as the original course at Sand Valley is, ask anyone who’s played both layouts – from golfers to caddies – and the consensus seems to be that Mammoth Dunes is better. I thoroughly enjoyed Sand Valley, but was blown away by Mammoth Dunes. There were several well-traveled golfers in our sizeable contingent who in the immediate afterglow said it’s the best course they’ve ever played.
Inside Mammoth Dunes: Breaking Down the Buzziest New Course of 2018
After visiting Sand Valley for the opening of Mammoth Dunes, Stephen Hennessey of Golf Digest discusses Mammoth Dunes and David Kidd's design philosophy.
Discussing the drivable par-4 14th hole at Mammoth Dunes, Stephen writes: "Part of the thrill, too, is the concept based on the Redan-style green, which is usually found on a par 3. But we achieved it on a par 4. So you have the thrill for a golfer hitting their driver and watching it chase on the ground for 15 to 20 seconds before it stops, who doesn't think that's cool?"
10 Best Golf Destinations to Visit in 2018
“Each is chock full of memorable holes and vistas. Still, if Coore and Crenshaw were motion picture directors, you'd say that they've delivered a popular movie, one that will be a box office smash, but it won't win the Oscar — even though we ranked it No. 52 in the U.S. in 2017, its first year of eligibility. David McLay Kidd's Mammoth Dunes captures the Oscar at Sand Valley. Its scale for the holes at times dwarfs what the original course presents, its shotmaking demands are stronger and it possesses the greater number of individually memorable holes.”
Golf Digest's Best New Course of 2017: Sand Valley
In a year's time, Sand Valley has become a 53-hole mecca of inland links golf set among rolling hills in remote central Wisconsin. On the heels of last May's opening of the Sand Valley course by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw comes the Sand Box, a 17-hole short course by the duo opening May 1, followed by the May 31 grand opening of Mammoth Dunes, the hyped David McLay Kidd project that allowed some preview play last summer. To keep up with demand, Sand Valley will be adding an intimate residential community, more lodging, a new practice facility, an expanded clubhouse with additional dining and a grass tennis court complex during the season. Perhaps not even developer Mike Keiser could have envisioned Sand Valley becoming so popular, so quickly.
Golfers flock to Sand Valley in Wisconsin, just as Mike Keiser knew they would
Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw's stunning Sand Valley is inspired by Pine Valley and Sand Hills
The visual impact of the stunning Sand Valley course at Sand Valley Golf Resort is immediate and gasp-inducing. It begins with the opening tee shot, off a high sand dune dubbed The Volcano, to a ribbon of rumpled fairway flanked by vast expanses of natural, exposed sand, dotted with low-growing vegetation and copses of pines.
The Wisconsin Wonder
Having visited Sand Valley twice - in August 2016 and again this month (September 2017) - I've stopped wondering and come to this conclusion: I'm done doubting Keiser. He has some sort of Vulcan-like mind-meld with serious golfers that goes far beyond any traditional business plan or marketing analysis.
The development of Sand Valley seems to be going exactly as Keiser had anticipated.
With Wisconsin's Mammoth Dunes, designer David McLay Kidd forgoes frustrating for fun
FOR GOLFERS, SAND VALLEY IS GOLF’S NEXT MUST-VISIT DESTINATION; FOR CENTRAL WISCONSIN, IT’S AN ECONOMIC LIFELINE
At South Wood County (Wis.) Airport, a 20-minute drive north of Sand Valley Golf Resort, airport manager Jeremy Sickler said local residents recently started swinging by the airport to look at the private aircraft parked on Alexander Field.
On a typical day, Sickler said, the tiny airport will receive three private aircraft, often more. That’s as many as he used to see in a month prior to August 2016, when Sand Valley opened its first course for preview play. Fuel sales, Sickler’s best gauge of traffic, have tripled in the past year. One day a couple of months ago, nine aircraft landed on the same day. Their passengers all were headed to Sand Valley.
Armchair Architect 2016: Construction and Kismet
Don't call it a comeback.
It's been more like an epiphany.
At least that's the word David McLay Kidd uses to describe his return to designing fun, rather than frustrating, courses. Kidd, the Scottish architect who developed a reputation for building penal, topsy-turvy tracks such as Tetherow in Oregon and the Castle Course in St Andrews, has warmed to the idea of shaping more user-friendly courses.
The Best Places to Play Right Now
Virtual golf design met the real thing in mid-July at Sand Valley Golf Resort in central Wisconsin. Brian Silvernail, winner of Golf Digest's 2016 Armchair Architect contest, spent a weekend consulting with golf architect David McLay Kidd on the site of the resort's second 18, Mammoth Dunes, now under construction. Silvernail's winning design, selected last fall by Kidd and resort owner Mike Keiser from among 532 entries, serves as the template for the downhill, drivable par-4 14th hole.
Silvernail, a 47-year-old Melbourne, Fla. graphic designer who moonlights as a computer golf game architect, got a generous taste of the full experience of building an actual golf hole, from flagging the edges of fairway grassing lines to receiving a crash course in operating both a bulldozer, used to shape fairways and greens, and an excavator, used in carving out bunkers.
Golf Odyssey: Our First Look
Sand Valley, Wisconsin Wisconsin was unusually the focus of the golf world in June when the heartland state of America staged its first US Open. Erin Hills impressed many, especially given it is just 11 years old. And yet its status as Wisconsin’s shining light in golf terms might be short lived, for a new resort with two courses of mouth-watering potential has just opened. Sand Valley is 130 miles north-west of Erin Hills and is the brainchild of Mike Keiser and his two sons, Michael and Chris. Keiser, of course, is the man who left his first career in greetings cards to create Bandon Dunes – arguably the most successful golf resort in the world.
Only an exceptional site would persuade Keiser to do another in America, and Sand Valley appears to be just that.
Mike Keiser Knows Where Golf is Alive and Well. (It's not Illinois)
If you are an avid golf traveler, you probably regard Mike Keiser with the same admiration New England Patriot fans feel for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. We certainly do. A Chicago-based greeting card magnate by trade, Keiser's foray into golf development began with the quiet back-to-golf basics Dunes Club in New Buffalo, Michigan, whose design, which reminds us of the great Pine Valley, is one of the best nine-hole golf courses in the world.
The Dunes Club being private, the greater golfing public took little notice of Keiser until the 1999 opening of Bandon Dunes on Oregon's remote southern Pacific coast. Naysayers acknowledged the merits of David McLay Kidd's design, but dismissed the place as a curiosity that was so difficult to get to that few but the most determined would go to the trouble to see it. Four more golf courses later, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is a pilgrimage site for all golfers, especially those who yearn for the sorts of links layouts on which the game was first played.
Sand Valley is the Bandon Dunes of the Midwest
Mike Keiser made his fortune in Chicago, co-founding a greeting card company that was sold for nine figures. Working from offices in Chicago, he then gained his fame as a golf course developer, constructing courses in Oregon, Michigan, Canada and Australia. His newest property, Sand Valley Golf Resort, laid out on 1,500 acres in central Wisconsin, stands to be the most important course to open in the nation this year.
Keiser has never built a course in Illinois and probably never will. The landscape is too flat and dull, he says, to interest modern-day golfing connoisseurs. "Illinois means cornfields, and cornfields are not good places to be building courses," Keiser says. "Wisconsin has more interesting land."
Sand Valley Community Day
It might be hard to believe now, but Bandon Dunes wasn't a guaranteed success story. The golf course celebrated its grand opening on May 2, 1999, and it was nestled in a tiny, hard-to-get-to town that most people, at the time, had never heard of. Two years later, Pacific Dunes opened, then Bandon Trails, then Old Macdonald, then Bandon Preserve, then the Punchbowl, and who knows what might open next.
On May 2, 2017, exactly 18 years after Bandon Dunes opened for play, Sand Valley celebrated its grand opening. Like Bandon Dunes, Sand Valley is located in a small, off-the-beaten-path town called Rome, which is almost exactly in the middle of Wisconsin. And like Bandon Dunes, Sand Valley is the first course of what will soon be a multiple golf course destination.
Wisconsin Golfer - Q&A with Michael Keiser
ROME – Despite the cold and rain, dozens of community members gathered Monday for Community Day at Sand Valley Golf Resort in the town of Rome.
The event was held ahead of the public grand opening on Tuesday. Residents gathered at Craig’s Porch, a restaurant and bar that overlooks the first hole of golf, and heard from the resort's managing partner and general manager.
Mike Keiser, one of the owners and the managing partner of Sand Valley Golf Resort, said the Rome resort is unique.
“(It has) incredible landscape,” Keiser said. “I have never seen any other place like it in the world.”
Keiser said golf is symbolic of endless opportunities, and he saw endless opportunities as well as warm hospitality in Rome.
After a season of preview play both satisfied curiosity of many golfers and whetted the appetites of many more, the much-anticipated Sand Valley Golf Resort will officially open its first course for public play on May 2, followed by a celebratory grand opening on June 19.
As opening day neared, Michael Keiser, who is overseeing the day-to-day operations at the Adams County facility, spoke with Wisconsin Golfer about the newest must-play destination on the state's golf map.