Heathland Golf Heritage – From London to Central Wisconsin
Sand Valley Golf Resort is a continuation of founder Mike Keiser's mission to bring "Golf As It Was Meant To Be" to the United States.
Sand Valley Golf Resort pays homage to the great heathland courses of London, namely Sunningdale, Swinley Forest, Walton Heath, and St. George's Hill. Built on sandy soil with low lying heathland vegetation (scrubby oaks and pines, heather, bearberry, blueberry, kinnikinnick and more) these great Heathland courses were built to bring the drama and playing conditions of links golf to the inland "heathland" properties close to the bustling London city center. Similar to the great links courses, these properties feature dramatic sand dunes, windy playing conditions, unusual bounces from firm fairways, and a multitude of strategic playing options. Having played these great heathland courses we know how enchanting they can be and we hope to bring the same level of fun and enchantment to the great heathland property we have at Sand Valley Golf Resort.
Sand Valley is a place where massive, exposed sand dunes tower above you, where players walk, and where the fescue turf will play firm and fast. Situated on over 1700 acres of massive, tumbling sand dunes and unique heathland vegetation, Sand Valley brings the drama and playing style of a seaside links to the heartland of America.
Located near a small town named Rome in the heart of Wisconsin, Sand Valley is a short drive from cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, and Minneapolis but feels like a world on its own with little you’ll see or hear on property that will remind you of the busy world you left behind. With tasteful, comfortable rooms and the stunning views they offer, you’ll feel restored and rejuvenated by the scale of the property and the beauty it contains.
With the first course, Sand Valley by Coore & Crenshaw now open and a second course by David Kidd soon to follow, Sand Valley Golf Resort will soon host 2 world-class golf courses with lodging and amenities that offer relaxed comfort and excellent service. We cannot wait to have you join us and to experience the majestic, tumbling dunes of Sand Valley Golf Resort.
Sand Valley Golf Resort is located on 1,700 acres of sand dunes with dramatic 80 foot elevation changes.
The site for the resort currently sits on what was once the lakebed of an ancient glacial lake. In roughly 16,000BC the ice dam protecting the glacial lake burst, causing a catastrophic flood event that emptied the entire 150' deep lake in just two days, creating what is now the Wisconsin Dells. The sandy lakebed where our site now sits became exposed and over time blew into the 60' high dunes and valleys now seen today.
In the 19th century the site became a pulp tree plantation with red pine planted in rows. When we discovered the property it was being used as a pulp tree nursery by a major timber company and lacked the diversity of plant life that is natural to the site. Prior to the land being used as a pulp tree plantation it was naturally what's known as a "Jack Pine-Hill's Oak Sand Barren" with exposed sand areas, indigenous low-lying vegetation and flowers, and intermittent strands of Jack Pines and Hill's Oaks. Our goal is not only to develop two (and potentially more) world-class heathland golf courses but also to restore the native Sand Barrens by removing the red pine trees and encouraging the growth of native plants. One year after removing the majority of red pine from the property, we're happy to see a great diversity of vegetation come to life. Below are images showing just a few of the many species that are thriving in our sandy soil.