Sand Valley resurrecting The Lido Golf Club in Wisconsin

NEKOOSA (Wis.) -- With the help of a videogame and GPS-guided tractors, a classic golf course called The Lido is being resurrected 1000 miles from its original location.

Sand Valley resurrecting The Lido Golf Club in Wisconsin

NEKOOSA (Wis.) -- With the help of a videogame and GPS-guided tractors, a classic golf course called The Lido is being resurrected 1000 miles from its original location.

The most ambitious golf course development project that the Keiser family has ever undertaken is the Lido at Sand Valley Golf Resort, central Wisconsin. They are trying to recreate the original Long Island course, New York down to bunker placement, fairway contours and even directional orientation.

The Atlantic Ocean will be all that is left.

The original The Lido Golf Club was established in 1917. It was considered to be among the top golf course designs worldwide, along with Royal Dornoch, Ballybunion and Pine Valley Shinnecock. C.B. Macdonald designed the course. Macdonald designed the course, which featured three holes that were inspired by Country Life magazine's golf architecture competition entries. Alister MacKenzie was the contest winner, and is considered one of golf's greatest architects.

The Lido was in decline during the Great Depression, and it was closed by the U.S. Navy when it took over the land during World War II.

Since then, it has been regarded as the "greatest course you'll ever play", by Golf Channel.

"It was there in thin air," Michael Keiser, who is leading Wisconsin's project along with his brother Chris, said.

The original course was made from 2 million cubic yards of sand. Extensive plans were drawn up to provide lots of details about the design.

Mike Keiser, the father of Chris and Michael, was instrumental in creating Bandon Dunes on the Oregon coast. He had read George Bahto’s C.B. and wanted to recreate The Lido. Macdonald biography, "The Evangelist of Golf."

Bahto suggested that Keiser resurrect it with the Old Macdonald Course in Bandon Dunes, but Keiser decided to pay homage to Macdonald as well as Seth Raynor, the construction engineer. Ballyshear Golf Links is another tribute to The Lido. It was designed by Gil Hanse, and opened recently in Thailand at The Ban Rakat Club.

Michael started looking for information about the old course that his father had been interested in, and it was then that The Keisers abandoned their idea of creating The Lido.

He said, "During COVID I went down one these rabbit holes of studying and convincing myself that the Lido was as good and as many people thought it was."

Peter Flory is a part-time historian of golf and a financial consultant. He had created a detailed version called The Lido by using The Golf Club. Flory scanned photos and other historical data to create a digital replica that could be used as a blueprint for replication.

The Keiser Family had already found the ideal spot for the recreation.

Sand Valley was constructed on the dunes that once sat at the bottom of a glacial lakes. This terrain was ideal for earth moving and shaping that were required to revive The Lido.

Brian Schneider and Tom Doak were enlisted by the Keisers to design the course using GPS-guided tractor GPS that can grade to the millimeter.

Michael Keiser stated that Tom and Brian have great routes on beautiful properties where they don’t have to do much. They have to touch every inch of this property. This creative focus of high intensity is what makes every square inch stand out.

The Lido will be built north of Sand Valley, Mammoth Dunes and among other high-level courses in Wisconsin, such as Whistling Straight and Blackwolf Run, Erin Hills, Sentryworld, and Erin Hills.

Rob Jansen is the executive director of Wisconsin State Golf Association. He said, "I don’t think I’m exaggerating when i say it’s going to be one the most anticipated new courses launchings ever,”

The Lido course will be private and only resort guests can access it. The course will be open for preview play on 13 holes next summer, and then fully opens in 2023.

You need to login to comment.

Please register or login.

RELATED NEWS