Sand Valley Golf Resort - Mammoth Dunes Course
|Royal Blue||37||2213 yards|
|Black M: 72.4/132||417||405||523||192||450||332||558||191||450||3518||6935|
|Black/Orange M: 71.4/130||394||405||523||181||450||308||558||191||423||3433||6762|
|Orange M: 70.5/124 W: 76.4/136||394||402||489||181||424||308||524||175||423||3320||6563|
|Orange/Sand M: 69.4/121 W: 74.8/130||394||360||489||164||424||264||524||175||393||3187||6307|
|Sand M: 68.0/117 W: 73.2/126||358||360||468||164||384||264||514||150||393||3055||6027|
|Sand/Green M: 66.9/113 W: 72.0/124||358||330||468||146||384||249||514||150||366||2965||5746|
|Green M: 65.7/110 W: 70.7/123||324||330||425||146||357||249||453||126||366||2776||5439|
|Silver M: 62.2/104 W: 66.8/111||221||286||403||138||293||231||333||124||314||2343||4699|
|Royal Blue M: 60.2/99 W: 62.8/101||198||236||330||124||265||156||281||92||260||1942||4010|
30 minutes backup at the turn
We were going along nicely on the front 9. We then got to current turn area and found what would ruin the rest of the round.
As we approached the tent we noticed a large crowd gathering. What we found out that there was one group teeing off in ten and it was not the group in front of us.
We noticed that there were 3 groups, including us waiting to tee off .
Probably 30 minutes to tee off on 10 and the backup continued thru the whole back 9
U GOTTA GO!
WOW! This is going to be the next #1 new course for the resort when the raters get to it. MAMMOTH means MAMMOTH- Fairways, waste areas, bunkers, greens, elevation changes, views, all larger than life. Hard to miss a fairway as most are 100yds wide or more but if you do you're in native(heavy) sand. Don't try blasting, just pick it clean.
Played in mid May on a not-so-nice weather weekend(cold) but then it is in central Wisconsin. Only 13 holes open(full course open as of May 31). Watch for $1 hamburgers at the turn.
The resort is still pretty new with a tent as a temp restaurant but ALL the staff,-bag attendants, starters, caddy masters, caddies, wait staff, pro shop folks super friendly(almost like family).
Play the Sand Valley course for comparison(an unbelievable course in its own right) and the Sand Box(17 hole par 3 course for fun.
My group visited Bandon Dunes a couple of years ago and thought it was fantastic because of the golfing experience and scenic views. This is a completely different experience. This has a countryside feeling with beautiful views and some golf skills . Few level lies, some driver carries over natural areas, huge fairways and greens. The rooms are wonderful and the food was especially delicious. Needs to be on any golfer’s bucket list
Sand Valley Golf Resort (Mammoth Dunes - Preview)
The Good: David McLay-Kidd is in the process of constructing the flagship masterpiece at Sand Valley Golf Resort, Mike Keiser's budding golf resort in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin. Even more expansive in scale compared to Coore & Crenshaw's Sand Valley course, Mammoth Dunes provided preview play for Holes 1-5 & 15-18. The course is engulfed in sand dunes that make it seem like you're on another continent. Excellent variety in Par 4 hole design with good mixture of doglegs and elevation change. Excellent Par 5's that are risk-reward depending the tees you play. Par 3 16th in particular is a masterpiece downhill shot over the largest dune on the course (thus far). Fabulous views of the closing holes from the brand new clubhouse. Great service and friendly staff.
The Bad: No yardage markers yet, but this is typical for a course in preview play stage. The greens are almost TOO large and could lead to a lot of time spent putting. May be a tough hike for those that don't walk many golf courses.
The Verdict: Mammoth Dunes is well on its way to be one of the best public golf courses in the Midwest. A playable, fun experience and can't wait to see the final 9 holes!
Best Hole: The downhill Par 4 #5 is one of the most beautiful settings at the the whole resort. Will be one of many spots where pictures are taken.
Mammoth Dunes (Six Hole Preview)
Need to start this review off with a couple of disclaimers –
1) I have played Keiser’s first property the private 9 hole Dunes Club in New Buffalo, MI. A Nugent design it is truly a special place and the very best 9 hole course I’ve ever experienced. If you are invited there do not miss it!!
2) I have not had the opportunity to experience Bandon Dunes but hope to get there someday.
Yes Sand Valley is in the middle of nowhere. It’s also quite a haul from the Chicago area. You can stay there/you should stay there if you can afford it (everything is extremely expensive) and yes it’s all about golf/golf and more golf. Walking only with caddies (or you can rent/bring your own pull cart). I only played the 6 hole preview of the Mammoth Dunes course – it was a beautiful very hot sunny day with light winds. All facilities are built on a surreal links type site with little shade…..the pictures really don’t do it justice. To be honest my impression walking off the preview holes was negative…..but after a few days of reflection I’ve tempered my opinion for several reasons.
I played the holes in benign conditions (hot/sunny) and everything about these six holes was supersized (I termed it Grand Big Mac size) from all aspects – huge bunkers/fairways/green sites……ever play a course that’s claustrophobic with trees/obtrusive housing? Completely reverse that thought - the vistas and site lines here are so vast it can be off putting. This course when it's complete was designed for much cooler weather and some winds to fend with. Extremely links like and very different unless you’ve traveled to Scotland or Ireland but this is a "supersized American links." I’d highly recommend playing it in the spring/fall seasons when rates are cheaper (a full 9 holes of Mammoth will be open in about a month)because a hot summer day doesn’t provide the intended challenges off the tee (the fairways are that large) so really all you’re dealing with is a long range chipping/putting contest which is what you’ll be doing anyway because the green sites are that large....some are a 4 club depth easy depending on where the flag is. Walking the width right to left on the 18th green toward the clubhouse will take you at least half a minute or more because I swear the finishing putting surface has a larger footprint than the clubhouse and lodging at the top of the dune!
Hole 1 – the opener has a large swaled fairway which gives you an option to go left (low) or right (high)….taking the high route opens up the green and allows a more playable rolling in approach. A very fair start/introduction of what’s to come.
Hole 2 – Nice dogleg left par 4 with a mounded bunker on the left but you must drive your ball as far as you dare right of that….fending off and carrying a large waste area down the right side of the fairway.
Hole 15 – a fairly straight away rolling par 5 which features kind of a double fairway for your drive (again a high and low side) and in some areas it’s probably 100 yard plus wide.
Hole 16 – A nice short downhill well contoured par 3 with sort of a large bowl like green.
Hole 17 – straightway par 4 which features a huge gaping deep bunker protecting most if not all of the green. Driving down the left side opens up the left side of the green a tad.
Hole 18 – a par 5 finisher that had the tightest driving area with deep bunkers on the left and right providing a nice risk reward. Your second shot should be routed as right as possible towards another bunker on the right for an easier approach. Going left you are faced with one of the deepest largest waste areas - containing a large patch of unkempt fescue and finally raked bunker protecting the putting surface except on the far right side….this final hazard should be avoided at all costs.
All of the greens are HUGE. Definitely spend time on practice putting green right out the proshop door to practice your feel for 70/80/90 and over 100 foot putts…..you’ll definitely have some of those.
Didn’t have time to experience the Coore/Crenshaw course but again after reflection I would go back to experience entire Mammoth course upon it's completion definitely with cooler conditions and wind.
So many options that each day this course will never play the same - so vast and so different -well named.