Sand Valley is vying to join the pantheon of great American golf resorts, and the 1,700-acre, Rome, Wisconsin property, owned by Mike Keiser of Bandon Dunes fame, is well on its way to doing so -- even before it opens fully in 2017 (preview play is now available). Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw have designed Sand Valley, with the course now available. David McLay Kidd, the man behind Bandon Dunes and Gamble Sands among other gems, has six holes finished on a forthcoming second course.
If you're thinking of taking a special golf trip, Sand Valley should then be on your list. So how does it compare to other golf Meccas in terms of price? How much does it cost to play golf at Sand Valley?
The green fees at Sand Valley hinge on three factors: the time of year you're playing, the day of week you're playing and if you're staying at the Sand Valley resort.
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Based on time of year, the year is divided up into five sections, with three pricing pools that go in a bell curve. The courses are closed from Dec. 1 - April 15. From April 15-May 14 and all of November, resort guests pay $85 from Monday-Wednesday and $105 from Thursday-Sunday. From May 15-June 11 and Oct. 2-31, resort guests pay $115 from Monday-Wednesday and $145 from Thursday-Sunday. In primetime, from June 12-Oct. 1, resort guests pay $150 from Monday-Wednesday and $195 from Thursday-Sunday. Depending on time of season and day of the week, day guests can pay anywhere from $10-$25 more than a resort guest.
Sand Valley also has a strong replay rate of 50 percent off the rack rate that day.
Carts are not allowed at Sand Valley; it's a walking-only facility. Caddies are available with a call to the resort.
If you're planning to stay at Sand Valley, you have three lodging options, with two overlooking David Kidd's course. The Fairway Lodge offers room for 1-2 people. The rooms are high-end and modern, with a somewhat rustic feel. The nightly prices range from $175 per night during the tips of the year to $350 per night during primetime in the summer and early fall.
Cottages overlooking Lake Leopold and part of Kidd's course house either four or eight people. They have a variety of amenities on top of the rooms, including decking that pays off the views. The rates range from $900 per night for the cottage during the tips of the season to $1,800 per night.
The Clubhouse Lodge has rooms in the Sand Valley clubhouse with fire pits, dining and other homey features and amenities. With three room types accommodating 1-4 people, the lodge will be the nerve center of the resort. It opens next June, with rates ranging from $205 per night at the end of the season for a queen room to $1,600 per night for the four-bedroom special Mammoth Suite.