New Course: Another Mike Keiser Masterpiece
Mike Keiser, the creator/developer of popular, high-impact golf resort complexes like Bandon Dunes in Oregon and Cabot Links in Nova Scotia, Canada is at it again.
Keiser’s latest magnet for golf vacationers is Sand Valley Golf Resort in central Wisconsin, which situated near the tourist town of Wisconsin Dells about a two hour drive north of Madison and about a two hour and 40-minute drive from Milwaukee.
Slated to open to the public on September 1, 2016, the Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw designed course promises to offer Bandon Dunes quality and excitement. A second course, designed by David McLay Kidd (who also designed at Bandon Dunes) is expected to open in 2017.
The Coore/Crenshaw layout is a walking only course with a caddie program. Visually stunning, the course is natural looking with exposed sand dunes, ridges and valleys. The front nine is hilly, the back nine plays through valleys and the fescue turf makes it play firm and fast.
While there’s always lots of fanfare with new golf courses, especially Coore/Crenshaw layouts, some experts are predicting Sand Valley will live up to all its early accolades.
One writer said, “The long vistas and big rolling hills give it a Shinnecock feel.” Another suggested Sand Valley is comparable to the great Heathland courses in Great Britain.
Highly respected Golf Digest editor and co-designer of Erin Hills said: “Sand Valley is big, bold and pure sand. It could become a public Pine Valley.”
“It’s a very impressive golf course in a unique midwestern setting and it helps put Wisconsin front and center as a must visit American golf destination,” says Bill Hogan, international golf travel consultant for Premier Golf, who is a panelist for Golf Magazine’s Top 100 world and U.S. course rankings and has played golf in nearly 60 countries. “Sand Valley has a different charm from Keiser’s other (seaside) projects. Here, you drive through beautiful farms leading up to the resort.”
For golf vacationers, Hogan suggests an itinerary that includes flying into Milwaukee, then staying and playing at Erin Hills for one to two nights, Sand Valley for one to two nights and at Kohler (Whistling Straits) for one to two nights.
Erin Hills will host the 2017 U.S. Open and Whistling Straits will host the 2020 Ryder Cup matches.
The 1,700-acre Sand Valley Resort, near a small town named Rome, sits in one of the deepest natural sand basins in the country, a result of the glacial Lake Wisconsin that drained many centuries ago. The 40-room lodge offers rooms with views of Sand Valley and amenities such as a 49 inch flat screen T.V, reliable and fast Internet, 300-thread cotton sheets, L’Occitane bath accessories, and Keurig coffee maker.
“Sand Valley exudes Mike Keiser quality,” Hogan said. “It makes playing golf in Wisconsin even more appealing.”