It is not often a new course design has players getting their clubs out 2-3 years before the official opening. But then, the Bill Coore, ASGCA/Ben Crenshaw design at Sand Valley in Town of Rome, Wisconsin, is already proving to be somthing unique, from topography to geography and sand…lots and lots of sand.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel golf writer Gary D’Amato visited the site, which is the first of up to five new courses mapped out on more than 1,500 acres near the town or Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

D’Amato writes, “(Coore and Crenshaw) have routed the first course at Sand Valley on topography that words can’t adequately describe.

“Hundreds of thousands of red pine have been harvested, revealing a wondrous sand barren — a prairie-like habitat that once formed the bed of a massive prehistoric lake. The sand is 100 to 200 feet deep here, and over eons the wind has created towering dunes and ridges.

The land tumbles and heaves to the horizon in all directions, leaving visitors awestruck by its rugged beauty. Who knew such a place existed in Wisconsin?

“The Coore-Crenshaw course is in its infancy and probably won’t open until 2017, but it wasn’t hard to imagine rumpled fairways carpeting dunes and greens perched atop exposed ridges, flagsticks bending in the wind. Perhaps the wolf that has been spotted on the property will hang around long enough to see the finished product.

“Those with environmental concerns should know that the land is being returned to its natural state. This will be the biggest sand barrens restoration in Wisconsin history, according to the Department of Natural Resources”

The entire article can be found here.