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

Sand Valley Golf Resort News

 
10 Best Golf Destinations to Visit in 2018

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.

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Chris Keiser
Golf Digest's Best New Course of 2017: Sand Valley

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.

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Logan Block
Golfers flock to Sand Valley in Wisconsin, just as Mike Keiser knew they would

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. 

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Logan Block
The Wisconsin Wonder

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.
 

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Logan Block
With Wisconsin's Mammoth Dunes, designer David McLay Kidd forgoes frustrating for fun

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.

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Chris Keiser
Armchair Architect 2016: Construction and Kismet

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.

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Chris Keiser
The Best Places to Play Right Now

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.

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Chris Keiser
Golf Odyssey: Our First Look

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. 

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Chris Keiser
Mike Keiser Knows Where Golf is Alive and Well. (It's not Illinois)

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."

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Chris Keiser
Sand Valley is the Bandon Dunes of the Midwest

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.

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Chris Keiser
Sand Valley Community Day

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.

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Chris Keiser
Wisconsin Golfer - Q&A with Michael Keiser

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.

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Chris Keiser
Golf Advisor's Top 10 Golf Destinations to Visit in 2017

Sand Valley, plus the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills, are two reasons why it's a big year for Wisconsin golf. (Matt Ginella/Golf Advisor)

We're counting down the top 10 golf destinations to visit in 2017. For destinations 10-6, as well how we determined our list, click here.

The five best golf destinations to visit in 2017 are at the top of their game in different ways.

Two centennial celebrations highlight the festivities, as well as a prestigious, new No. 1 ranking, as well as domination in our own Top 50 ranking.

So start rallying the group and tallying up those credit card miles, here are the five best destinations to visit this year:

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Chris Keiser
Bill Coore’s Contribution to Game is a Less-is-More Proposition

f you are a fan of the National Football League, it’s safe bet you’ve heard of the phrase Coaching Tree. It’s used to describe a group of coaches that all went on to greatness after mentoring under a legend. Prime examples of this phenomenon include The Bill Walsh, Mike Holmgren, or Bill Belichick Coaching Trees.

When it comes to golf, an Architectural Design Tree has evolved around the legendary Pete Dye, who will celebrate his 91st birthday this year. The Disciples of Dye include Tom Doak, Tim Liddy, and Lee Schmidt, who have all produced masterpieces throughout the Midwest. Of that impressive list, Bill Coore has set himself apart as the lead understudy that now is a master of his craft.

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Chris Keiser
Sand Valley Officially Opens May 2nd, 2017!

In 1996 Bandon Dunes founder Mike Keiser started building Bandon Dunes golf course with young designer David McLay Kidd and Dream Golf was born. 20 years later his newest project, Sand Valley Golf Resort, is emerging as a thrilling national golf destination. Situated on over 1,700 acres of tumbling sand dunes, Sand Valley brings the drama and playing style of a seaside links to the heartland of America. With its first course by Coore & Crenshaw opening May 2, 2017 and the second course by David McLay Kidd already under construction, Sand Valley is a golf destination worth visiting. The tradition of Dream Golf continues...an entirely new experience awaits you in the prehistoric sand dunes of Central Wisconsin. 

 

 

Call 888-651-5539 to reserve your stay

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Chris Keiser
Second Course at Sand Valley Begins to Take Shape

The first course at the resort, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, has now opened for preview play. Currently under development, the second course is set to formally open in 2018, with a third course following soon after. An announcement on the designer of the third course is expected in the near future.

GCA caught up with McLay Kidd, who previously worked with Keiser at Bandon Dunes, to discuss the second course and putting his own mark on one of the biggest current golf developments in the US.

“The site is as near-perfect as you’re going to find, short of being on an ocean,” he says. 

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Chris Keiser
As Sand Valley prepares to open next summer, Mike Keiser talks about his successful formula

Mike Keiser is the driving force behind the most dramatic golf resort developments of the past two decades. Starting with Bandon Dunes along the remote coast of southern Oregon, Keiser has continued on with Cabot Links in Nova Scotia, Canada, and is a driving force behind Barnbougle Dunes in Tasmania. These highly rated destinations are geographically diverse, but share many similarities that are important elements in their ongoing success. Keiser’s latest project – Sand Valley in Nekoosa, Wisconsin – is scheduled to open next June.

PGA Magazine recently conducted an exclusive interview with the Chicago-based avid golfer to discuss his current and future projects, hear his suggestions for improving golf at other facilities, and learn more about the formula behind the “Keiser mystique.”

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Chris Keiser
Could Wisconsin's Sand Valley Be the Bandon Dunes of the Midwest?

LOST IN WISCONSIN—Pardon the dateline, but I’m not exactly sure where the hell I am.

That’s strange because I lived in Wisconsin for 18 years and even graduated from a small-town high school maybe an hour away. But I couldn’t put an I Am Here dot on a map.

Here is Sand Valley, a fabulous new course and future resort that’s about to open for public play. It is the brainchild of Mike Keiser, the man who put Bandon Dunes on your golf bucket list, and his sons, Michael Jr. and Chris. There’s only one drawback to Sand Valley: getting there. Funny, but Bandon Dunes, on Oregon’s remote coast, initially had the same problem. Now, 81 stunning holes, spectacular ocean views and an upgraded commercial airport have made location a moot point. Bandon is a smashing success.

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Chris Keiser
Golf Digest Armchair Architect Winner Named!

Brian Silvernail first developed an interest in golf architecture in the late 1980s, when Accolade released its first computer golf game. Not content just to hone his computer golf skills, Silvernail, trained in graphic arts, began designing golf holes on computer, then entire courses, becoming so skilled he beta-tested several Jack Nicklaus Golf games and even helped lay out some imaginary courses.

It was that background that helped Silvernail win Golf Digest's 2016 Armchair Architect contest...

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Chris Keiser
America's Next Great Golf Resort

Two hours north of Madison, tucked away in small Rome, Wisconsin, is the home to America’s next great golf resort, Sand Valley. Up until now, Rome’s fame has been the paper mills that employ much of the area and supply paper to the world. Sand Valley is the latest project by Mike Keiser, who has the goal of bringing the seaside links golf we see at the Open Championship to the heart of the midwest. I was able to make a trip up to Sand Valley with three buddies for preview play a few weeks ago, and we were all blown away at what’s being built. As of now, two courses are under construction with many more on the way.

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Chris Keiser