Sand Valley Golf Resort - Sand Valley Course

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4.3
14
5 Stars
9
4 Stars
2
3 Stars
3
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
3.9
Value
4.0
Layout
4.5
Friendliness
4.4
Pace
4.5
Amenities
4.5
85.7%
Recommend this course
12 out of 14 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
4.0
3
5 Stars
1
4 Stars
1
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.0
Value
3.7
Layout
4.3
Pace
4.0
Amenities
4.0
StaffFriendliness
4.0
66.7%
Recommend this course
2 out of 3 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
4.1
7
5 Stars
3
4 Stars
2
3 Stars
2
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
3.7
Value
4.1
Layout
4.4
Pace
4.6
Amenities
4.6
StaffFriendliness
4.4
85.7%
Recommend this course
6 out of 7 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Par 72
Length 6913
Slope 128
Rating 72.7
Type Resort
Tee Par Length Rating Slope
Black 72 6913 yards 72.7 128
Orange 72 6500 yards 70.7 126
Orange (W) 72 6500 yards 76.3 134
Sand (W) 72 6009 yards 73.6 128
Sand 72 6009 yards 68.7 119
Green 72 5557 yards 66.7 112
Green (W) 72 5557 yards 70.7 119
Silver 72 4757 yards 62.9 104
Silver (W) 72 4757 yards 66.7 108
Royal Blue 72 3883 yards 58.8 96
Royal Blue (W) 72 3883 yards 61.9 98
Scorecard for Sand Valley
Metrics:
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Black M: 73.2/134 335 431 216 593 175 455 568 136 305 3214 563 405 499 428 200 419 451 236 523 3724 6938
Black/Orange M: 72.0/132 335 395 192 557 175 445 536 136 305 3076 541 405 499 383 175 419 429 236 523 3610 6686
Orange M: 71.4/130 W: 77.6/138 325 395 192 557 164 445 536 115 290 3019 541 387 487 383 175 392 429 215 507 3516 6535
Orange/Sand M: 70.6/129 W: 76.3/134 325 369 168 522 164 415 515 115 290 2883 491 387 487 342 153 392 406 215 507 3380 6263
Sand M: 69.6/127 W: 75.1/131 299 369 168 522 153 415 515 97 273 2811 491 331 474 342 153 372 406 195 475 3239 6050
Sand/Green M: 68.1/119 W: 72.9/129 299 345 150 490 153 384 464 97 273 2655 457 331 474 326 121 372 374 195 475 3125 5780
Green M: 67.3/116 W: 71.7/125 256 345 150 490 143 384 464 88 235 2555 457 315 454 326 121 352 374 185 459 3043 5598
Silver M: 64.2/109 W: 67.8/121 245 265 150 420 141 305 407 82 225 2240 380 265 346 309 104 264 305 164 380 2517 4757
Royal Blue M: 60.8/105 W: 62.5/106 234 225 94 300 118 255 315 77 150 1768 350 220 305 215 104 235 235 146 305 2115 3883
Handicap 9 7 13 1 15 5 3 17 11 2 12 6 8 18 14 10 16 4
Par 4 4 3 5 3 4 5 3 4 35 5 4 5 4 3 4 4 3 5 37 72

Course Details

Year Built 2016
Golf Season Year round
Architect Bill Coore (2016) Ben Crenshaw (2016)

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes, for medical reasons only

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Caddies Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted Yes
Metal Spikes Allowed No
Walking Allowed Yes

Best of Lists

  • Golf Advisor: Top Courses in Wisconsin (2017 #7)
  • Golf Advisor: Ginella's Top 50 U.S. Courses You Can Play (2016 #24)

Reviews

4.3
14
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Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Chicago Advisor
Top 50 Contributor
Previously Played
Cold weather

Sand Valley - Continues to Get Better With Age

The Good: This is now the third time (and review) of Sand Valley. It continues to get better with age! The Coore & Crenshaw course is a rugged, sandy masterpiece of playable, yet intimidating golf that gives golfers plenty of options and challenges along the way. Fabulously conditioned despite being in its second year and huge, large greens that already putt true. The layout is fair with huge fairways and a strong variety of tough holes sprinkled with short Par 3's and drivable Par 4's to improve your confidence. The Par 3's may be the best collection I've ever played. Practice facility is excellent with full driving range and putting green. Superb service in place with full caddie program and friendly staff. First class clubhouse with extremely nice restaurant and bar, as well as awesome pro shop.

The Bad: Greens are borderline unfair in some areas due to being crowned and all falloff to devilish bunkers. Perhaps a little overpriced at $200+ for a new resort. Luckily I played in October and paid only $105!

The Verdict: Sand Valley is well on its way to being a Top 3 Wisconsin course and one of the best resort courses in the Midwest. While not quite as good as its younger brother Mammoth Dunes, I contend that the most memorable, individual holes are on Sand Valley. An extremely fun, playable track that will only get better with time. A truly memorable golfing experience that will only get better with age.

Best Hole(s): The closing holes on each 9 are great, but there is something about the punchbowl green on the long uphill Par 3 17th that is just magical. It is the most unique green complex I've ever played.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
3.0
First Time Playing
Wet weather

Sand Valley Review

Two courses: Sand Valley and Mammouth and a par 3. We enjoyed Mammouth better, but it is pretty easy. The courses are walking only, which is great. Recommend a caddie since there are blind shots and rolling greens and will make for a better experience. Links golf with very little in the way of hazards. Relatively easy for good players. Very generous fairways and large greens makes this a good place for a group with a wide variety of skills. Courses are still new, greens and fairways are hard. Consider playing longer tees since the ball rolls out. Also, there is sand everyone, but none of which is considered a hazard. They don't seem to bother to rake the sand so I ended up in footprints a couple of times.

Overall, overpriced for the quality of golf and the service received. You need to shuttle down to the practice range and you are expected to lug your clubs on and off the shuttle. I was with my wife and the shuttle drivers don't move from their seat to help out.

We found the buildings on grounds to be cold and uninviting. The style is rustic prairie meets modern. The food was good and reasonably priced and wait staff was great, but the atmosphere was lacking. Although the courses are very female friendly, this place caters to men and guy getaways.

Pro shop staff could be a lot nicer. Clothes are over priced.

We play resort courses all over the US and internationally. Sand Valley acts a little haughty considering it is in the middle of nowhere. You think they would be happy to see you. But the place is very busy and seems to be a big success for the owners.

Conditions Average
Value Fair
Layout Good
Friendliness Fair
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Played On
Handicap 15-19
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather

Lot of fun, enjoyable... bad caddie situation

Lots of fun and lots of sand. Yes, you'll most likely spend time in the sand, but not too difficult to get out and plenty of room for misses. The caddie situation sucked! My buddy and I each wanted a caddie and ended up with one caddie carrying two bags. He was never in the right place, couldn't read the greens and spent more time talking about all the people he had caddied for in the past rather than helping us. Ridiculous waste of money. We cancelled out caddie for out next day round at Mammoth Dunes.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Birmingham Advisor
Top 10 Contributor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather

A third of course employing temp greens

There is a tremendous amount of buzz surrounding Sand Valley right now, with the success of The Sandbox, the resort’s short course, and the opening of Mammoth Dunes, the resort’s second course, in a couple of weeks. A harsh Spring, however, has dealt a severe blow to the Sand Valley course.

One-third of the holes (Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 8 and 11) employed temporary greens. And I must say that the regular greens did not look close to returning to the rotation. The course is currently offering 18-hole play at the nine-hole rate, due to the temporary greens. The fairways were thin and sandy.

If you are planning a trip here in the next two weeks, be advised that you will want to call ahead and see how the course is coming along.

I must say, however, that my first trip to Sand Valley was only mildly tainted by the aforementioned conditioning. I could easily tell what makes SV one of the Best New Courses of 2017 and why it will undoubtedly continue to soar up all the course ranking lists.

This is not a tournament golf course. In this regard, it reminded me a lot of Gamble Sands in Washington. Coore and Crenshaw designed SV to be exceedingly playable for all skill levels. Fairways are beyond generous, and though I found the bunkers and waste areas numerous times off the tee, I did not think they were overly penal. This is definitely a second-shot golf course.

There is a ton of construction going on at the facility. More lodging is being created to inevitably handle the flood of players descending once Mammoth is complete. Currently, Mammoth is offering 13-hole preview play.

My only criticism is that the course was “out” of yardage/course guides. As a first-timer walking with my own bag, a book would have been helpful, though it was still mostly navigable without too much issue. A resort of this caliber, however, should never run out of anything in the pro shop. It would have been nice to have.

In conclusion, despite the limitations, I was still easily able to see why there is so much acclaim being garnered by Sand Valley, and look forward to returning in the future to see how it matures with the addition of Mammoth.

Conditions Fair
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather

Beautifully designed course, caddie issue

My brother and I stopped to play Sand Valley on the way home to Chicago after being in northern Wisconsin for the weekend. The service and overall "feel" of the resort is very comparable to Bandon Dunes. Because it is very new there is still construction going on but you can see that in the near future it will be the Bandon Dunes of the Midwest.

We only played the Sand Valley course and I must say the views and layout are stunning! We couldn't stop taking pictures from every tee box. I would love to play it again later in the year when the greens are repaired and rolling at true speed.

The one thing that did frustrate me though was the level of knowledge or lack thereof my caddie had of the course and golf in general. On the second hole my "A" caddie informed me that it was his FIRST time actually being out on the course and that we would learn it together because it was also my first time being there. He also had no idea how to give me a yardage, didn't know how to work his rangefinder or how to step off yardages from nearby sprinkler heads. Managing this course by yourself is very difficult as there are many blind shots into greens and from tee box areas. I am not by any means high maintenance when it comes to caddies and I am not upset at my caddie at all (he was a really nice and pleasant guy) but I am upset at the caddie director as obviously there isn't any sort of training. I would be totally fine if this was a junior caddie. But how can you send out an "A" caddie who has never even stepped foot on the course and doesn't know how to give yardage?

Conditions Fair
Value Average
Layout Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

This golf experience is outstanding for nearly any quality golfer. I can’t enough positives about it. Staff, layout, scenic views ...it’s as good as any other destination in Wisconsin or the Midwest!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
3.0
Previously Played
Windy weather

Carry your own bag!

I played the course last year and enjoyed it very much. I walked, carried my own bag, and had a wonderful time.

This year, going back I attempted to take advantage of some of the amenities, including the caddie service.

Bad move. The first thing the caddie did was to begin going through my bag, without asking, to unload things and make it lighter. Since I carry my bag, and had done so a few days prior, I know it was not unreasonably heavy.

When I catch him, I offer to lighten the load on my own.

The only personal thing left on my bag was a towel. It was lost. Upon returning home and noticing it is missing, I called the course.

I had to leave a message and after two days, and no call back, I had to call them again. Then, instead of getting a call back from a staff member, or the caddie master, I get a text on my personal phone from the caddie.

Towel lost and still no appropriate response from Sand Valley.

Very unprofessionally handled in my opinion.

Also, the course conditions were too difficult for the average player, and probably nearly unplayable for all but single digit handicappers.

It is a beautiful peace of land though, but best enjoyed walking and carrying your own bag.

Conditions Fair
Value Poor
Layout Good
Friendliness Poor
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Wisconsin Advisor
First Time Playing
Windy weather

Sequel better than the originnal

This visit was preview play so I'm going to get too picky on course conditions, caddie knowledge, etc as everyone is still learning.

If the first 9 holes are any indication, it will be better than Sand Valley. The property is massive and the name is fitting. Like Sand Valley, you can play a longer tee box as the course plays shorter than the advertised yardages due to the elevated tees, firm fairways and wind depending on the day. When my wife and I played, the wind picked up between 15-25 mph.

I played well that day. Where the caddie told me to hit it, I actually hit it. The massive fairways give multiple options off the tee to make the hole longer or shorter for your approach. If you hit the speed slot, your drive went 30-40 yards longer and nothing more than a wedge into firm, fast greens. The tees are set so every type of player can take advantage of these options. If you're playing well, you can score. If you're not, you will find the only hazard known at Mammoth Dunes, sand. You have to manage your misses on some holes as anything off the green will require a fine-tuned short game to get up and down. Certain holes offer you the chance to play links-style golf and keep it on the ground or close to it.

I cannot wait to play the drivable par 4 14th. It's not included in preview play but just seeing it makes you want to play it more than once.

When having fun on a golf course is not just what you make of it but what the course itself provides, you're in for a memorable experience and Mammoth Dunes is exactly that. I cannot wait to play the full 18.

There is plenty of love for Sand Valley right now and it shows in the staff and the service. The food in the clubhouse was awesome. Walleye tacos anyone? If you haven't tried the rosemary, parmesan fries at the clubhouse you must and can thank me later. .

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Chicago Advisor
Top 50 Contributor
Previously Played
Perfect weather

Sand Valley Golf Resort (Sand Valley)

The Good: Mike Keiser's "Bandon Dunes of the Midwest" is a majestic sand dunes restoration project in addition to a budding golf resort. The Coore & Crenshaw course is a rugged, sandy masterpiece of playable, yet intimidating golf that gives golfers plenty of options and challenges along the way. Fabulously conditioned despite being in its infancy and huge, large greens that already putt true. The layout is fair with huge fairways and a strong variety of tough holes sprinkled with short Par 3's and drivable Par 4's to improve your confidence. Practice facility is excellent with full driving range and putting green that connects to first tee. Superb service in place with full caddie program and friendly staff. First class clubhouse with extremely nice restaurant and bar, as well as awesome pro shop.

The Bad: Sand and waste area conditions are only course detractor as they need continued improvements as the resort matures. Greens could use another season or two to mature and hold shots better. Perhaps a little overpriced at $200+ for a new resort.

The Verdict: Sand Valley is well on its way to being a Top 3 Wisconsin course and one of the best resort courses in the Midwest. An extremely fun, playable track that will only get better with time. A truly memorable golfing experience that will only get better with age.

Best Hole(s): Each nine closes with fantastic holes: #9 is an excellent short Par 4 that demands precision an the closing #18 is an uphill, beautiful Par 5 that caps a religious golfing adventure.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Golf Advisor
Previously Played
Perfect weather

Another great addition to the Minimalist movement

It took decades for golf course architects to start intentionally moving as little dirt as possible, but such a philosophy is firmly back in vogue, and Sand Valley serves as a great new addition to this genre of course. The heaving central-Wisconsin sand dunes set a wonderful stage for compelling golf, as Coore & Crenshaw routed holes that tackle them in various ways, from the drop-shot par-3 5th to the curling, around-the-dune 16th and the hill-climbing 18th. The turf is bouncy, the greens are fun to putt, the accommodations are comfy and the people couldn't be nicer. Sand Valley is a winner.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Golf Advisor
First Time Playing
Hot weather

Sand Valley a great addition to top-shelf golf in the Midwest

To many Midwestern golfers, Sand Valley might be their first introduction to links-like golf. That reason alone makes Sand Valley a success story.

The first course in this giant sandpit in central Wisconsin probably won't end up being the best course here - just wait until you see Mammoth Dunes by David McLay Kidd - but it might be the most playable.

Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw routed mostly fun holes through the dunes, which provide some nice elevation changes. Giant wastelands of sand lurk on every shot, so pick your angles of attack carefully. There's really no chance to lose a ball anywhere. The fescue lining a few fairways is still quite wispy in most places. The most intimidating shot is actually the drive on the par-3 17th hole, a mostly blind shot up into a green set in a bowl. It's 220 yards from the men's tees so take enough club and pray you get lucky. In that respect, Sand Valley is very much a links.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Very Enjoyable

Sand Valley was a wonderful experience, the staff were welcoming, the facility and my room attractive and inviting, and the course was gorgeous and challenging. The view outstanding! I️ cannot wait to go back and experience the 2 new courses.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Wisconsin Advisor
Previously Played
Perfect weather

Something Special Brewing in Central WI

My wife and I first came out to SV for the 9 hole preview in July not really knowing what to expect. Being the avid golfer that I am, I had read about it from the beginning and was very curious to see what this place was all about.

It did not disappoint. There are two golfing destinations in this state where you don't feel like you're in Wisconsin, Whistling Straits and now Sand Valley. Both could not be two more different pieces of property which is what makes it even more amazing.

The 2nd time playing was the full 18 with my good buddies from high school. The course plays fast and firm. Even high handicappers will have a tough time losing a golf ball on this course. You can even play a tee longer as the firmness, wind, and elevation changes make it play shorter than the advertised yardages.

Like any high end resort course, you do need to know the best line for your tee shots and where not to miss on your approach shots because there are plenty of big numbers to be had. Coore and Crenshaw lay everything out in front of you and it's up to you to do something with it.

Bandon Dunes is on my bucket list but it looks like I don't have to go very far to get the same experience. I cannot wait to see what more this place becomes and couldn't be more proud that it's in Wisconsin

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Chicago Advisor
Top 50 Contributor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather

Sand Valley Golf Resort (Coore & Crenshaw)

The Good: Mike Keiser's "Bandon Dunes of the Midwest" is a majestic sand dunes restoration project in addition to a budding golf resort. The Coore & Crenshaw course is a rugged, sandy masterpiece of playable, yet intimidating golf that gives golfers plenty of options and challenges along the way. Fabulously conditioned despite being in its infancy and huge, large greens that already hold and putt true. The layout is fair with huge fairways and a strong variety of tough holes sprinkled with short Par 3's and Par 4's to improve your confidence. Practice facility will be excellent with full driving range, putting green that connects to first tee, and temporary 6th hole for those seeking a shorter round. Superb service in place with full caddie program and friendly staff. Will be very expensive for non-guests, but preview play rates are fantastic. The 19th hole area at tee boxes of #1, #10, and #18 green is awesome!

The Bad: Sand and waste area conditions are only course detractor as they need continued improvements for public play. Clubhouse is only a trailer (for now) and there are no restroom areas on course except for halfway house at turn. Will be a walking only course so may not be accessible for all golfers. A couple of greens were temporary but confident they will be excellent upon formal opening in May 2017.

The Verdict: You won't believe that you in Wisconsin when you set foot on the 1st tee. Sand Valley is well on its way to being a Top 3 course in the state and one of the best resort courses in all the Midwest. An extremely fun, playable track that will only get better with time. A truly memorable golfing experience.

Best Hole(s): Each nine closes with fantastic holes: #9 is an excellent driveable Par 4 that demands precision an the closing #18 is an uphill, beautiful Par 5 that caps a religious golfing adventure.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
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