Sand Valley has joined 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.
Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw have designed Sand Valley, with their 18-hole course winning plaudits.
David McLay Kidd, the man behind Bandon Dunes and Gamble Sands among other gems, has won praise for his Mammoth Dunes course.
There's a 17-hole short course called The Sandbox already open, and there is a new 18-hole, full-length Tom Doak course in development.
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.
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 Oct. 20 - April 19. From April 19-May 14, resort guests pay $110. From May 15-30, the green fee is $162. From May 31 - Sept. 28, the green fee is $225. From Sept. 29 - Oct. 19, the green fee is $155.
Sand Valley also has a strong replay rate of 50 percent off the rack rate that day. Juniors aged 16 and under pay anywhere from $30-$50 per round, depending on time of year.
Carts are not allowed at Sand Valley; it's a walking-only facility. Caddies are available with a call to the resort.
At The Sandbox, green fees range from $30 to $65, depending on the time of year.
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. Rates range from $165 per night for a king room in low season to $1,800 per night for the four-bedroom special Mammoth Suite in high season.