NEKOOSA, Wisc. - Sand Valley Golf Resort, the growing central-Wisconsin paradise developed by Bandon Dunes Golf Resort mastermind Mike Keiser, announced that its fourth golf course, Sedge Valley, begins construction this spring and will be designed by Tom Doak.
When it opens in 2024, Sedge Valley will join Sand Valley's original Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw layout, David McLay Kidd's Mammoth Dunes and a 17-hole short course, The Sandbox, also a Coore/Crenshaw creation, at the resort 2 1/2 hours northwest of Milwaukee.
A concept that has been in the works since 2018, Sedge Valley Golf Club will bring a feel and scale that will contrast well with the rest of the resort's golf.
While Sand Valley's current courses are known for their expansive scale - especially Mammoth Dunes, which, living up to its name, has some fairways that measure as much as 100 yards across - golfers should expect Sedge Valley to feel more intimate, in large part because it will play much shorter than its bigger siblings while offering a fuller test than the nevertheless-fun Sandbox.
A more compact routing frees Doak and his shapers and associates to find ways to push the envelope closer to the cup. "When you don't have to think about stretching a course to 7,300 yards," said Doak, "you can start thinking about finding cool green sites, without worrying about how close together they are."
In its initial stages, Sedge Valley was expected to play to around 6,000 yards, with a par of 67 or 68, echoing some noted courses in England like Swinley Forest south of London and Rye, some two hours farther south along the coast, two par-68 layouts that pack a punch in a smaller footprint. Other great English heathland courses like those found at The Berkshire, St. George's Hill and New Zealand Golf Club, will serve as Doak's inspiration.
"The heathland courses built around London in the early 1900s were the first great inland golf courses, and Sedge Valley will integrate some of those characteristics – native groundcover as a strategic element, for instance," said Doak. "This property has sand, open expanses, good terrain and intriguing green sites – the fundamentals of holes that stand up over time."
Doak and his team are currently putting the finishing touches on another course within the Sand Valley family: a reproduction of The Lido, a C.B. Macdonald design that was known as one of the best courses in the world during its short lifespan on New York's Long Island in the early 1900s. Using extensive historical aerial and ground-level photography as well as sophisticated contemporary GPS systems, the new Lido will be as similar to the original course as is possible with today's technology. When it fully opens in 2023, it will be a private club that also grants limited access to Sand Valley overnight guests.
Other golf course news & notes
CHILI NAME OFF - The former Chili Country Club in Scottsville, N.Y., has a new name: Morgan's Crossing, after the area's first settler, Revolutionary War captain Joseph Morgan (different from the "Captain Morgan" after whom the rum is named). Morgan's Crossing will also be the home of RockBottomGolf.com's flagship store. Rock Bottom CEO Tom Rath bought the course along with his brother and company COO, Todd, in 2021.
SAUDI-BACKED SERIES ANNOUNCES VENUES - LIV Golf Investments, the Saudi-Arabia-backed golf tournament operator may not have any players committed, but it has announced host courses [LINK: Sports Illustrated] for seven of its tournaments, starting with an event June 9-11 at the Centurion Club outside London. Four of the venues are in the United States:
- July 1-3: Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club - North Plains, Ore.
- July 29-31: Trump National Golf Club - Bedminster, N.J.
- September 2-4: The International Golf Club - Bolton, Mass.
- September 16-18: Rich Harvest Farms - Sugar Grove, Ill.
LEGENDARY MUNI LOOKING FOR OPERATOR - The city of Asheville, N.C., is looking for operators to handle the day-to-day running of its historic, Donald Ross-designed Asheville Municipal Golf Course. The course is pivotal in Black golf history in the U.S., as its Skyview Open became a mainstay on the tournament circuit for African-American pros who were denied PGA Tour playing opportunities. It was the subject of the 2020 documentary, Muni. [LINK: City of Asheville]
GOLF-ADJACENT - Even though you'll probably never play football in Pasadena, Calif.'s iconic Rose Bowl, several people will be hitting golf shots there next weekend in a March Madness-inspired event. [LINK: AmateurGolf.com]