1697 Leopold Way, Nekoosa , Wisconsin 54457, US
(877) 261-1141
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About Sand Valley

Sand Valley has burst onto the Midwest scene in short order, becoming Mike Keiser's inland answer to Bandon Dunes. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw built the original Sand Valley course in 2017 and followed up in 2018 with the Sandbox, a 17-hole short course. Later in summer 2018, David McLay Kidd's Mammoth Dunes became a favorite of many, riding a ridge no other architect who submitted plans thought to use. All courses are walking only with the option to hire caddies. The accommodations from the lodge room and suites adjacent to Mammoth Dunes to spacious cottages with multiple bedrooms and Crenshaw's Cabin. Beyond golf, there's several dining options, 15 grass tennis courts, hiking trails, three lakes for fishing, bocce and a 24-hour fitness center. 

Facts

Price Range$$$$, $$$
Property Class★★★★
Acres1700
Year Opened2017
Number of Units100-300

Amenities & Services

RestaurantsBar, Casual
Room TypesRoom, Suite
Short CourseYes
TennisYes
Fitness CenterYes
Practice FacilityYes
Beach AccessYes

Rules

Is the resort pet friendly?Yes
Is resort stay required for a tee time?No

Golf courses at Sand Valley

Reviews

4.8
57 Reviews (57)

Reviewer Photos

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Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Walked

Gorgeous Destination Course

Had an incredible time here. Fairways are slighter tighter than Mammoth Dunes but still provide ample targets. Course was in superb condition with very fast greens. Tee boxes are links style so not always flat. Holes are challenging to the eye with deceptive fairways and hidden greens and if you're not in the sand you'll be hitting from a very firm lie.

The accommodations here are super nice and very clean. So many picturesque spots. If you can go for a couple days I highly recommend. Staff was super nice and the caddies were helpful and amenable.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
2.0
Previously Played
Walked

Don't trust your reservation

We had called weeks ahead to schedule an actual tee time here as we were staying 30 minutes away. We got there an hour before our tee time and the pro told us no rush, but he could get us off early if he wanted. When we went to tee off 15 minutes early, they told us they were going to have to kick us off earlier to get a bigger group in. Pretty disappointing,to get no call ahead of time or even tell us when we got their early to start right away. Seems like sandbox is super casual and if you aren't staying at the resort I would not recommend heading over cause it seems unorganized.

Conditions Average
Layout Average
Friendliness Poor
Pace Fair
Amenities Fair
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 9
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 9
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 9
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 209
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Virginia Advisor
Top 10 Contributor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

A Funky, Challenging Short Course

Need to kill time while onsite at Sand Valley? Probably not but the Sandbox is worth 2 hours of your time. The 17 par-3 holes all play shorter than 150 yards and yet you'll struggle to score better here than at just about any other short course you've played.

From mind-boggling slopes to extra firm surfaces, The Sandbox is best enjoyed as a casual round to have fun and not for scoring well. Many of the pins are in impossible locations and the best way to play each hole is often the most indirect way with a club you'd never normally consider (arguably the best way to play the course is with just three clubs: a putter, a sand wedge, and a short iron).

However you choose to play the course, just make sure you don't leave Sand Valley without playing it, you won't regret it.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 209
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Virginia Advisor
Top 10 Contributor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

A Top 5 Bucket List Course

There are few golf courses I've played that ellicit an emotion other than just "this is a great golf course" or "I'm having a lot of fun out here". There's a handful of them that raise that emotion to another level, to an almost spiritual nirvana. I'm talking about that feeling of "I wish I could stay here forever" kind of thing. Tobacco Road, Gamble Sands, and now Mammoth Dunes is added to that list (along with its sister course, Sand Valley).

Like Gamble Sands (central Washington), Mammoth Dunes is a David McLay-Kidd design and incorporates some of my very favorite golf course features. It's very much a links-style course with very firm fairways and greens that reward you for creativity and strategic play. Aiming for the center of fairways and at the pins on the greens isn't the best way to play here. The design pushes you to think outside the (tee) box and look left, right, front, and back of where you think the target landing spot is because often times the best option is one of those.

There are so many incredible holes throughout the course and amongst the group of 16 that I played with, each golfer had their own favorites. For me the highlights were the par-4 6th with the horseshoe green, the par-3 13th that is nestled in the ridge, and of course the driveable par-4 14th.

The course conditions are world-class (as you'd expect for the price) and it's a lot of fun to experience the tough, firm, fescue turf. You just don't get this kind of golfing experience hardly anywhere else in the US.

The price is, well, it's daunting to say the least. I think this will be my last $200+ round I ever play and it's not because this course doesn't deserve the price tag--it very much does. But I played poorly and paying $50/hour to play poorly just doesn't sit well with a "budget golfer" like me. This is a tough course and I think I could better endure some rough play when it's in that $110-165 range.

Even still, this is a fantastic course and a one-of-a-kind experience. Every golfer should play here at least once.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 65
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Iowa Advisor
Top 250 Contributor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

Incredible Scale

You can't believe the size and scale of Mammoth Dunes at Sand Valley resort until you see it with your own eyes. I thought I was prepared, but I was totally blown away by the sheer width of the fairways and size of the greens. It's like nothing I've ever seen before.

Mammoth Dunes is definitely a 2nd shot golf course. While there are a few well placed fairway bunkers, the majority of your tee shots will find the fairway, but that's where the challenge begins.

The greens at Mammoth Dunes are firm and fast with an unreal amount of slope. You have to hit your ball to the right spots on greens to have a chance at birdie, while wayward shots will leave you with a difficult 2 putt. Bogey is an easy score to get on this course, but par and birdie is a bit tougher.

The fine fescue in the fairways and greens is a really firm playing surface, so the course plays much shorter than it's yardage. That being said, I still recommend you play it forward as you'll want shorter clubs into the challenging greens.

The greens to come off as gimmicky in a few places to me. There were a couple of times when I hit the shot exactly where my caddie told me to, but ended up just on the wrong side of a slope or on top of a slope, leading to a 3 putt.

Overall Mammoth Dunes is a must play if you love golf. At $225 it's an expensive round. When I go back I will look for shoulder season opportunities, as the course would be an incredible value at half it's stated price.

My favorite hole is the long par 4 5th. The view from the tee is incredible, the approach offers options and the green is very fair.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 65
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Iowa Advisor
Top 250 Contributor
First Time Playing
Wet weather
Walked

Quirky and Fun

The Sandbox at Sand Valley Golf Resort is a nice little add-on to any round at the resort. It's a good way to tune-up for a round on one of the big courses, or to wind down after a round at one of the big courses.

This Coore/Crenshaw short course has a wide variety of holes, ranging from very short (39 yards at 13 the day we played) to 120+ yards. Many holes can be played along the ground, but some do require flying it on the green.

The greens are very demanding and firm, such that many less than perfect shots end up being rejected, leaving a challenging up and down.

At $65, I'm not sure The Sandbox is worth multiple plays when you're on-site, but it should be played at least one time.. Additionally, it can get to be a longer round, as 17 holes (even short ones) takes 90+ minutes to play, so make sure you budget enough time.

My favorite hole is the 3rd hole, which has a green that I feel will lend itself to holes-in-one!

Conditions Good
Value Fair
Layout Good
Friendliness Average
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 209
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Virginia Advisor
Top 10 Contributor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

A Pristine Experience

Much like its sister course Mammoth Dunes, Sand Valley offers a unique golfing experience that rises to a near-spiritual level. The ambiance of the scenery and the contours of the course elicit an emotion I've rarely encountered anywhere else. To walk this course is like a 4-hour glimpse of heaven.

Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw are the perfect architects for this plot of land. The design fits so seamlessly with the terrain you'd swear it was already here when they built the resort.

Sand Valley is also the perfect compliment to Mammoth Dunes. Its features are more subtle and conservative but perhaps even more beautiful and pristine. The variety of holes and shots to play will entertain you from now through eternity. You could probably play the whole course with just a single club from your bag 14 different times and have fun each time in different ways.

The conditions are immaculate, every aspect of the course is in perfect shape and looks and plays wonderfully. That does come at a cost: at $225, there are few who would call this place a "great value" but it certainly earns its premium price tag. But perhaps playing it in the off-season would be worth the chuck of change saved.

The resort is great as well, with friendly, professional staff and great food.

Make the trek to Sand Valley, spend 4 hours walking the course then spend another 4 hours walking Mammoth Dunes and soak it all in. It will be the highlight of your year, I guarantee it.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 40
Handicap 15-19
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 40
Handicap 15-19
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Walked
Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 7
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

Mammoth Dunes even Better!

After playing our morning round at Sand Valley... it was time to play the second of the two courses. Couldn't believe it, but thought Mammoth was even better! Not sure if it was because we got the first round jitters out playing at Sand, and were much more ready for our Second Round on Mammoth. Regardless, what a great time on Mammoth. Fairways were even more wide open, same goes for the greens. Have not stayed on property yet as a friend of ours has lake house on Castle Rock Lake. For Labor Day Weekend, we are staying on site at Sand Valley. Further reviews to come! You gotta make the trip up to Sand Valley Golf Resort!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 7
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

What a time.... Go Play Sand Valley Now!

Had the opportunity to play with a group of buddies in early June for the first time. Place is immaculate and had the best time out there. Both Bandon Dunes & Cabot Links are next on my list to play! They really have made it magical at Sand Valley. Playing there again this Labor Day Weekend and staying on property for the first time. More reviews to come... I'd absolutely recommend making the drive or flight to play Sand Valley in middle-of-nowhere Wisconsin!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 22
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Walked

First timer vs. the wind

Every review and discussion I had heard going into this round lead me to believe Sand Valley, although being built first, was playing second fiddle to Mammoth Dunes. Having played Mammoth last October I thought I knew I would be able to compare the two, and let me first say that I think it's every bit as good as Mammoth. The scale seemed just as large stepping to the first tee.

The greens seemed every bit as large as Mammoth and those undulations allowed for some extreme lines for the putts. Although there appeared to be marshals out on the course they never seemed to enforce pace of play, we had to wait on almost every shot. I know it's a special round for many golfers, me included, but it's a little tough to get into a rhythm. The walk is not the easiest and the wind was really blowing, so I'm sure that played a factor in the time.

The fairways allowed for some significant roll out which allowed our group of somewhat shorter hitters to play from 6,500 easily. The greens rolled fast and true, the sheer size caused a few three putts, but it was still enjoyable from start to finish.

One nice touch that I don't see very often around central WI was the food at the turn. Instead of the traditional hot dog and hamburger, Craig's Porch was serving tacos that were absolutely delicious. The staff was incredible considering the COVID restrictions, sanitizing wipes on each tee box and the starters made sure to maintain distances throughout the staging area through the first tee. This will be a repeat course in the future, I have no doubt about it.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 22
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather

Warm Up Time

This was our second time playing the Sandbox, we use it as a practice session rather than beating balls on the range. Since it's a short course it can be played with 2/3 clubs easily, and that allows for different shots and the ability to work on some different shot shapes. All 17 holes can be played with a putter it you prefer or have a late night bet to settle.

Since we played in early May, all holes had to be played off the built in mats, that's fine for me as tight lies from 65-100 yards are pretty difficult to execute shot after shot, at least for me. The greens are large have a great deal of slopes. You are able to see the majority of the slopes from the tee boxes it allows each person to try and play something a bit different and see who can execute the shot better.

As mentioned both times playing this course it was used as a warm up, but I can just picture a buddies group up there and finishing up the day on the short course. One of the best features about the short course, a few cottages are located right on the 17 green. Would recommend for anyone playing a stay and play get away.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 18
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
South Dakota Advisor
First Time Playing
Cold weather
Walked

Fantastic, unique course

Mammoth Dunes is the newest 18 hole course at Sand Valley and while both are top notch, my opinion is Mammoth Dunes is the more unique, more dramatic and more enjoyable course at the resort. Despite the dramatic views and terrain, the Mammoth Dunes course is extremely playable for all abilities. The massive sand dunes the course is routed along combined with extreme elevation changes and large, undulating green complexes make this one of the most enjoyable courses I've played to date. If you can get an early season or late season day with good weather, the value is extremely appealing as well.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 18
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
South Dakota Advisor
First Time Playing
Cold weather
Walked

Top notch resort

Sand Valley is the original 18 at the Sand Valley Golf Resort and is well worth the trip to central Wisconsin. The green complexes at Sand Valley are incredibly interesting and difficult and make the course what it is. The punchbowl green on #17 is one of the most unique green complexes in the country. Tee to green is enjoyable as well. This course is more difficult than its companion course, Mammoth Dunes but equally enjoyable.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 142
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 50 Contributor
First Time Playing

Wild course in the glacier sand of Wisconsin

Course is visually and strategically stunning. Sand is everything and completely different than anything I had previously played. Course has nice land movement and the greens are what you would expect from
C&C. This is another destination course from Keiser!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 142
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 50 Contributor
First Time Playing

Just a blast to play

Just what you would expect from a C&C short course. Wild greens and bunkering that will test your short game. You will have a blast.

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