Last spring, I traveled to the wilds of central Wisconsin to play in a small event to mark the opening of the new Mammoth Dunes course at Sand Valley, noted course developer Mike Keiser’s latest creation. Designed by David McLay Kidd, Mammoth was the second track to come online at that resort. There was a lot about it to like. The deft routing. The sandy soil that drains so well and allows ample fairways to run firm and fast. The rugged blowout bunkers. The big greens, many of which are cut on top of dunes or tucked into natural bowls.
Strangely, I was also drawn to another feature of Mammoth Dunes: a set of very forward tees that were described on the scorecard as “Royal Blue.” They were one of six sets on the par-73 layout. What set them apart was the overall length the course played from those markers (just 4,010 yards) and the fact that they were simply set in different parts of the fairways, not on formal tee boxes.
Only once before had I seen anything like that – Pine Valley, which some years ago had installed super-senior...
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