By Roger Cox, Editor
Sand Valley Golf Resort took shape in 2016 in a landscape of rolling sand dunes and red pine trees in Nekoosa, near the center of Wisconsin. The first of three courses that would eventually open there made both Golf Digest's and Golf Magazine's list of best new courses, so given its sandy terrain and golf-centric focus the resort seems like an unlikely venue for that increasingly rare resort amenity: grass courts. Sand Valley has a whopping 15 grass tennis courts, laid out in three groups of five, with sand dunes that act as backstops. Golf and tennis aside, the resort affords opportunities for swimming and fishing in its lake, fat-tire biking, and hiking. Accommodations run the gamut from lodge rooms to cottages and residences. There's also a farm-to-table restaurant and a bar.
USPTA Elite Pro Costin Fink, who's originally from Madison, WI directs the programs. He briefly played college tennis for St. Nnorbert College in De Pere before going on to a teaching career at country clubs and municipal facilities, the latter with a heavy component of summer junior camps. At Sand Valley he is in charge of private lessons, clinics, and summer camps.
Courts & Fees. 15 grass courts. Court fees: No charge to guests.
Golf. There are scenic 18-hole courses laid out through restored sand barrens and one 17-hole par 3, all three walking only.
Lodging ranges from rooms and suites all the way to 4- and 8-bedroom cottages
Aldo's Farm & Table, which overlooks Mammoth Dunes, 1st and 18th holes, uses it own locally grown produce for a diverse menu that includes Great Lakes walleye, Northwoods chicken, locally grown pork and lamb, and beef. Mammoth Bar, too, draws on local purveyors for its menu of salads, sandwiches, and light entrées. Finally Craig's Porch serves still more light fare, but is notable for its 17 kinds of ice cream sandwiches.
If you're looking for other opportunities to play on grass courts, check out:
Visit the website for current rates
Travel Instructions. By air: The nearest gateways are Dane County Regional Airport (MSN), in Madison, WI, 90 miles to the south; General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) in Milwaukee, 170 miles to the southeast.
General Tourist Information. Visit the Travel Wisconsin website or contact them by phone at 1-800-432-8747.