Golf Course Reviews

Sand Valley Golf Resort (Mammoth Dunes) | 9.8 Score

Sand Valley Golf Resort (Mammoth Dunes)
The view from behind Mammoth Dunes' par-3 16th green. The new David McLay Kidd design at Sand Valley Golf Resort in Nekoosa, Wis., opened on May 31.

Location: Nekoosa, Wis.
Course architect: David McLay Kidd
Opened: 2018
Par: 73
Tees — Yardage | Rating / Slope:
Black — 6,935 | 72.4 / 132
Black / Orange — 6,762 | 71.4 / 130
Orange — 6,563 | 70.5 / 124
Orange / Sand — 6,307 | 69.4 / 121 
Sand — 6,027 | 68.0 / 117
Sand / Green — 5,746 | 66.9 / 113
Green — 5,439 | 65.7 / 110
Silver — 4,699 | 62.2 / 104
Royal Blue — 4,010 | 60.2 / 99
Saturday morning green fee: $$$$$ (Over $200) 
Caddie service: Yes
Walker friendly: Yes
Fairways: Creeping fescue 
Greens: Bentgrass

9.8 Fun Meter

Starter: Once an old tree farm, Mammoth Dunes is built on an extensive sand dune.  The dune is what brought developer Mike Keiser to Wisconsin and eventually attracted designer David McLay Kidd. The grandeur of the property is overwhelming and hard to believe is that it is located in a state whose claim to fame is cheese.

Play because ...: Many golfers will never get the opportunity to play a better designed course. The combination of experience, enjoyment and price — compared to other comparable properties — makes this a must play. Mammoth Dunes is less than a week old, so start revising that bucket list.

Takeaway: Kidd’s talent has been shaped by more than 20 years of successes and failures. He could never have done Mammoth Dunes in his 20s like he did with Bandon Dunes. Mammoth Dunes is a sign of his maturation as a course architect and might be the finest work of the last 30 years. There is an incredible amount of sand, and the property's beauty was unleashed as trees were cut away. In short, only fools would turn down a chance to play the Mona Lisa of golf courses.

RATINGS [1 to 10 scale, 10 being the highest]
Food | Beverage: 8.5
Pro Shop: 9.0
Clubhouse: 9.0
Difficulty: 7.5
Pace of play: 8.5

Best par 3: No. 13 (128 | 126 | 112 | 107 | 103 | 85 yards)
Landing either short or long of the green after hitting over a valley of sand that looks like a smallish Gobi Desert is not good. Beyond the green brings a large waste area into play. The optimal miss areas are either right or deep left. With the tee shot being a short 9-iron or pitching wedge, depending on weather conditions, this hole presents one of the best birdie opportunities on the course.

Best par 4: No. 10 (334 | 323 | 318 | 279 | 239 | 209 yards)
The beginning of the back nine offers intrigue as the most difficult shot may be the tee shot. The choice off the tee boils down to an iron or fairway wood as the second shot is all about the angle into the elevated green, which has a plateau on the front left. The most difficult hole location on the relatively benign green is on that plateau.

Best par 5: No. 18 (553 | 511 | 488 | 464 | 405 | 360 yards)
As enjoyable as the first 17 holes are at Mammoth Dunes, the 18th hole puts the bow on a great round. The tee shot appears more difficult than it really is because of a massive valley of sand that sits to the left and comes into play on the second shot, and another bunker on the right. Likewise for the second shot with the sand to the left and more bunkers on the right. Finally, the approach to the green looks ominous with a forced carry, but the shot is usually with a 9-iron or wedge into a very large green with a generous backstop.

Phone: 888.651.5539 
Facebook: @sandvalleygolfresort
Instagram: @sandvalleygolf
Twitter: @Sand_Valley

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