FAIR­WAYS

Golf World (UK) - - Contents -

Show­cas­ing four es­sen­tial cour­ses to add to your ‘to-do’ list, in­clud­ing Wis­con­sin’s Sand Val­ley, a must-play mod­ern clas­sic.

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.

Lo­cated on a huge nat­u­ral sand de­posit, it has the kind of dunes and ridges de­sign­ers dream about. Keiser en­gaged dif­fer­ent firms for the two cour­ses: Bill Coore and Ben Cren­shaw; and David McLay Kidd, who de­signed Keiser’s first course at Ban­don Dunes.

Coore & Cren­shaw’s course has just opened – an in­tox­i­cat­ing mix of wind­blown bunkers, ex­posed sand dunes, and fes­cue turf – and has al­ready been praised for coax­ing max­i­mum va­ri­ety and risk-re­ward op­tions from the site. “Made of sand, the per­fect sculpt­ing medium for the cre­ation of nat­u­ral look­ing, in­ter­est­ing fea­tures for golf, the ter­rain at Sand Val­ley is a col­lec­tion of me­an­der­ing ridges and val­leys over which and through the course has been routed,” says Coore.

McLay Kidd’s is slated to be un­veiled early next year, and his assess­ment of the re­sort (be­low) does lit­tle to dampen ex­pec­ta­tions that this could quickly be an all-world golf des­ti­na­tion.

Ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions are just as en­tic­ing: cot­tages lo­cated on the high­est ridge on the prop­erty, over­look­ing Lake Leopold; The Fair­way Lodge in the heart of the re­sort, just steps away from the 1st tee of Kidd’s course; and the Club­house Lodge, with views down Kidd’s 1st and 18th holes. Ac­com­mo­da­tion starts at £140 a night, green fees from £70. sand­val­ley­gol­fre­sort.com

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