The Lido at Sand Valley Golf Resort is a faithful recreation of a long-gone layout once celebrated as the best in the world. The original version was built on New York’s Long Island in the early 1900s by renowned architects C.B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor but demolished by the U.S. Navy during World War II as the land was used to support the war effort. While the course was lost, its mystique grew over the years.
Enter the Keiser family. The family’s patriarch, Mike Keiser, is the visionary behind Bandon Dunes, the remote Oregon resort that gave rise to destination golf properties like Cabot Cape Breton and Sand Valley, also a Keiser project. With The Lido, its Mike’s sons, Michael Jr. and Chris, who took the lead in bringing the lost course back to life, enlisting one of the game’s most revered modern architects, Tom Doak, and his Renaissance Design team to turn research into reality.
After getting an early look at The Lido, here are six important details to know:
1. It took three years for amateur golf historian Peter Flory to recreate a 3D digital model of the lost Lido that’s based on historical information and photos of the original design. This comprehensive research and visual modeling, originally done for a computer game, were shared with Doak and the Keiser family to faithfully recreate the original 18-hole par 72 layout.
2. Doak didn’t want design credit for the new Lido. “I don’t think of it as my design at all. It was an interesting project to do, but certainly more of my ego is tied up in the new one across the street,” Doak says, referring to the forthcoming par-68 Sedge Valley course that will soon complement Sand Valley and Mammoth Dunes. “Those are my ideas.”
3. Although it’s considered a private destination club with a growing roster of national members, there will be limited opportunity for guest play at the reborn Lido. Details for public access have yet to be announced, but one possibility is that those staying at the resort will have access to a window of tee times in the late morning or late afternoon on certain days.
4. There are familiar and truly terrific template holes—like Redan, Biarritz, and Punchbowl—but some of the real showstoppers at The Lido will be more foreign to most. Perhaps the most unforgettable hole is “Channel,” a par-five that dares golfers to attempt a heroic carry to reach an island fairway. It’s the most dangerous but direct route to a raised green fronted by a deep bunker and protected by a sheer face as imposing as the wall of a castle.
5. Some may know that another familiar name, Alister MacKenzie (of Augusta National and Cypress Point fame), in his younger days submitted the winning entry in a competition that inspired the original Lido’s multi-fairway 18th hole. But another hole at The Lido—”Strategy”—was also from the same design contest. English architect Tom Simpson submitted the original design, a wild hole with bunkers stretched across a massively wide fairway that narrows approaching the uphill green.
6. The Lido’s logo (a Siren), like the course itself, harkens to a bygone time. Sirens are a recurring symbol in ancient mythology, known for alluringly beckoning sailors to crash their ships along the shoreline. There’s little doubt that The Lido, now in the heart of Wisconsin instead of on the shore of Long Island, will put out a similar Siren call to golfers the world over.
What are you most excited for about The Lido at Sand Valley? Let us know in the comment section.