As head professional at Bandon (Ore.) Dunes Golf Resort’s Pacific Dunes and Old Macdonald courses, Brandon Carter estimates he played hundreds – perhaps thousands – of rounds on Bandon Dunes’ six courses. I know, it’s a tough job, but somebody had to do it. 

Carter has spent the past four years at Sand Valley Golf Resort in Nekoosa, Wisc, including nearly three years as the resort’s director of marketing.  With Bandon Dunes, fabled developer Mike Keiser created a paradigm shift in the way high-end resort golf is developed, managed and even played. Sand Valley, which currently features three golf courses – Mammoth Dunes (David McLay Kidd), Sand Valley (Coore/Crenshaw) and 17-hole short-course Sandbox (Coore/Crenshaw) – has taken that shift even farther and will continue to do so with the 2023 opening of the Lido and the 2024 opening of Sedge Valley, each Tom Doak designs.

Of those two new layouts, it’s Lido that has Carter nearly jumping out of skin in anticipation. Lido actually is a recreation – call it a sequel – of the legendary Long Island course created in 1918 by Charles Blair Macdonald and Seth Raynor. Lido featured several memorable holes, the most famous of which was the “Channel’’ that featured two alternating fairways and a man-made lagoon.

Michael and Chris Keiser (Mike Keiser’s sons) along with Doak and Chicago golf historian Peter Flory – the world’s leading expert on the original Lido design – are recreating the Macdonald/Raynor masterpiece in central Wisconsin. The original Lido, by the way, closed in 1942 when it was taken over by the U.S. Navy

“I’ve played the ‘preview’ loop five times. I like it more every time,’’  Carter told me during Golf Tourism Network’s ecent Wisconsin Golf Tourism Week. “That’s starting with a very high bar, knowing I was going to love it. But it’s only grown stronger.

“In my 10 years at Bandon Dunes, there wasn’t one time I ever grew tired of any of those courses. Lido is the first time I’ve been reminded of that Bandon experience.’’

Photo Courtesy Sand Valley Resort