Should golfers combine Sand Valley, Erin Hills and Destination Kohler into one trip?

'Ask Golf Advisor' shares the best routes to check off your Wisconsin golf bucket list.
Mammoth Dunes is spread across 500 acres.

Sand Valley has become such a hot destination in such a short amount of time - opening three courses in central Wisconsin since 2017 - that it's no surprise golf travelers have more than a few questions about how to best enjoy this unique resort.

I tackle the latest question in this "Ask Golf Advisor" segment, a comment dropped by reader 'Lawrence' in my story comparing Bandon Dunes and Sand Valley.

"Planning a trip to Wisconsin at end of August. Will play Whistling Straits and Erin Hills. Wondering about including Sand Valley or do at a separate visit? Thanks"
Reader 'Lawrence'

As with any golf trip, it comes to how much money and time do you have? But, in a perfect world, I'd split The American Club/Destination Kohler and Sand Valley into two trips, which it sounds like Lawrence can do. My reasoning? Both are standalone bucket-list destinations that deserve your full attention. Stay awhile. Don't rush them. If you want more golf, there are options near both.

Green Lake, Wisconsin
Public
4.3452285714
106
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Public
4.8571
14
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Public
4.6661294118
586
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Public
4.6715882353
156
Nekoosa, Wisconsin
Resort
4.8122117647
31
Green Lake, Wisconsin
Public
4.4566571429
91
Nekoosa, Wisconsin
Resort
4.75
9

The first time I visited Sand Valley in 2017, I wrote about a great "golf trail" in central Wisconsin. Within 60 miles of Sand Valley, you could easily drive to find SentryWorld, a splendid parkland Robert Trent Jones Jr. design in Stevens Point; hit up Wild Rock at Wilderness Resort or the 27-hole Trapper's Turn in the Wisconsin Dells or explore the 36-hole Golf Courses of Lawsonia in Green Lake, where the Links course has become a favorite of architecture buffs. When the new boutique inn opens at SentryWorld in 2021, all three of these locations (Green Lake, Stevens Point, Wisconsin Dells) will offer their own lodging.

Add any of these side trips to the trio of Mammoth Dunes by David McLay Kidd and Sand Valley and the 17-hole Sandbox par 3 course (both by Coore & Crenshaw), you've got yourself an incredible week of golf. I'd be tempted to go around Mammoth Dunes a second time and/or take a lesson with hickory clubs, which includes more golf on The Sandbox.

Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Public
4.9350571429
25
Kohler, Wisconsin
Resort
4.9096588235
20
Erin, Wisconsin
Public
4.9650235294
44
Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin
Public
4.6974882353
132
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Public
4.6471
17
Saukville, Wisconsin
Semi-Private
4.0941176471
112
Kohler, Wisconsin
Resort
4.8214285714
10
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Public/Municipal
4.1428571429
3

Going back to Lawrence's original itinerary, he already should have five rounds booked - both courses at Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run, plus Erin Hills an hour away in Hartford. If battling four Pete Dye courses and the 2017 U.S. Open host isn't enough to thrust your game into submission, he could also tack on The Bull at Pinehurst Farms, a tough Jack Nicklaus course in nearby Sheboygan Falls. If traveling up from Chicago or Milwaukee, Brown Deer Park (long-time PGA Tour host) or The Bog by Arnold Palmer in Saukville are on the way.

As you can see, Wisconsin's an embarrassment of riches when it comes to golf. It's only getting better, too. In 2021, Kohler will debut The Baths at Blackwolf Run, a 10-hole, par-3 course, and hopes to eventually add a fifth course that is currently entangled in political and environmental red tape. I personally can't wait to see what Tom Doak comes up with while adding a fourth course, the par-68 Sedge Valley, at Sand Valley in 2022.

Golf Packages
KOHLER, WI | Enjoy 2 nights’ accommodations at The American Club or the Inn at Woodlake and 3 rounds of golf at Blackwolf Run (River or Meadow Valleys Course) and Whistling Straits (Straits or Irish Course)
Golf Packages
KOHLER, WI | Enjoy 3 nights’ accommodations at The American Club or the Inn on Woodlake and 4 rounds of golf at Blackwolf Run (River & Meadow Valley Courses) and Whistling Straits (Straits & Irish Courses).
8 Min Read
August 1, 2018
Wisconsin has emerged as a golf trip worthy of a national audience and features PGA Championship, U.S. Open and Ryder Cup venues. From Kohler to Sand Valley, here is how to make the most of your trip to the state.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Commented on

Is sedge valley still planned for 2022? I’ve heard they’re working on a private lido re-make across the street that’s delayed sedge. Also would add that Lawsonia is a must on any trip, especially for the value. I liked the links course as much as anything I’ve played, though the overall experience at sand valley certainly pushes it over the edge.

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Commented on

I certainly don’t disagree with the advice of splitting it up and staying a while, but it can easily be done in one trip. I drove up to Wisconsin from Alabama three years ago and played all four courses at Whistling Straits, Bull at Pinehurst Farms, Sand Valley (Mammoth was not yet open) Links at Lawsonia, and two rounds at Erin Hills all in seven days.

Staff
Commented on

It can be done in one trip, but Sand Valley has added two courses since your visit (Sand Box, Mammoth Dunes), which makes it harder to fit all that golf into one getaway. Plus, after doing my share of golf marathons in Scotland and Ireland, playing 10 courses one after another with all that driving in between resorts just doesn't sound all that fun anymore. Split it up to get more enjoyment and appreciation for each place.

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Commented on

Appreciate your reply and input. Thank you Jason

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Should golfers combine Sand Valley, Erin Hills and Destination Kohler into one trip?