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Ted Sturges

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Sedge Valley
« on: October 12, 2023, 03:17:14 PM »
I was fortunate enough to get to play a preview round at Sedge Valley last Sunday.  I believe it was the first day that all 18 holes were open for play.  What a treat!  Sedge Valley is the newest course at Sand Valley and is a par 68, 6,200 yard course.  It is like building a fun playground for golfers.  We've all played the grueling long and boring courses in our time, and Sedge is the exact opposite of that.  The course has great green complexes, is thoughtfully bunkered, has plenty of room to play, which all spells FUN. To me, it's the absolute perfect course for a quick 18 after lunch (and after a morning round at one of the other courses at this resort).  There should be more golf courses like this in the world.


Favorite holes:


3  (fun tee shot and a really cool blind second shot up a hill to a well placed green)


5-8 (this was my favorite section of the course.  5 is a short par 3, followed by a drivable par 4, then two more par 3's).  Fun golf!


12  (super cool short par 4 with an amazing green)


16  (my favorite hole on the course...an uphill par 4 with a huge fairway and a central bunker which must be avoided)


17  (another great two shot hole...a downhill par 4 with a great green complex guarded by several well-placed bunkers)


I think Sedge Valley opens up next spring.  Everyone needs to see this course (and The Lido too!).


TS

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2023, 04:38:11 PM »
A question (maybe for Tom): How many acres does the course sit on?


6,200 yards at par-68 still feels like meaty golf with plenty of two-shotters over 400 yards. But if Tom has also dialled back the scale / width of the landscape, it could feel completely different, more like an old school English course in size rather than a massive modern. More compact?

Thomas Dai

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2023, 01:21:54 PM »
Sounds splendid.
Some photos would be nice.
Atb

Ronald Montesano

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2023, 03:31:52 PM »
Hard to do photos here.

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Tom_Doak

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2023, 09:40:50 PM »
A question (maybe for Tom): How many acres does the course sit on?


6,200 yards at par-68 still feels like meaty golf with plenty of two-shotters over 400 yards. But if Tom has also dialled back the scale / width of the landscape, it could feel completely different, more like an old school English course in size rather than a massive modern. More compact?




Ally:


I don't know the total acreage but it is very spread out in between holes [even though the tee to green walks are mostly very close].  The middle portion of the property is quite rolling and previous architects who looked at it had trouble trying to find a routing for a "big" 18 holes.  The smaller scorecard gave me more leeway to route holes and avoid the difficult bits.


I don't think it would qualify as a "massive modern" but it is closer to that than compact.

Sean_A

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2023, 04:16:54 AM »
A question (maybe for Tom): How many acres does the course sit on?


6,200 yards at par-68 still feels like meaty golf with plenty of two-shotters over 400 yards. But if Tom has also dialled back the scale / width of the landscape, it could feel completely different, more like an old school English course in size rather than a massive modern. More compact?




Ally:


I don't know the total acreage but it is very spread out in between holes [even though the tee to green walks are mostly very close].  The middle portion of the property is quite rolling and previous architects who looked at it had trouble trying to find a routing for a "big" 18 holes.  The smaller scorecard gave me more leeway to route holes and avoid the difficult bits.


I don't think it would qualify as a "massive modern" but it is closer to that than compact.

Sounds a bit like Cleeve Hill. The course is spread through a large acerage, but the course itself is not big.

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Jim Tang

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2023, 09:06:31 AM »
I played the 12 hole preview loop at the end of September. Sedge Valley is going to be a gorgeous golf course once it's fully grown in. The par 3's really stood out to me as being varied and exciting. I look forward to getting back there next year to see all 18 holes.

John Mayhugh

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2023, 02:07:00 PM »
I was fortunate enough to go around Sedge Valley twice last weekend.

The course was a little different from what I expected going in. I thought it would be more intimate and compact, but it was WIDE. However where you hit it off the tee does matter a lot. The green complexes reward accurate play, and most holes also have at least place that must (but can) be avoided. Lots of ways to get it around the course and anyone can play it, yet good scoring will require solid play. I thought it was extremely fun. I loved all of the textures and the detail work was outstanding.

This may end up being the most popular course at Sand Valley and could change expectations around what a modern course can be. Hopefully some even shorter courses will follow. Very impressive.

More comments later. Maybe even a few more photos. Here's the 16th.
IMG_1904 sedge16 by john mayhugh, on Flickr

Ira Fishman

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2023, 03:25:06 PM »
John,


Your review actually is a bit of a let down. My understanding is that Sedge Valley is based on Colt's Least Bad Course. Swinley Forest is a favorite, but it is not "compact" but it definitely is not "Wide".


Ira

Tom_Doak

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2023, 05:10:16 PM »
John,

Your review actually is a bit of a let down. My understanding is that Sedge Valley is based on Colt's Least Bad Course. Swinley Forest is a favorite, but it is not "compact" but it definitely is not "Wide".



I don't think Sedge Valley is exceptionally wide - especially as compared to Mammoth Dunes - but for sure Harry Colt did not have to answer to Michael Keiser as his client.  Their standard for "playable" - especially if you're trying to leave the native stuff native, instead of turning it all to sand - is very wide.  But it's been a popular formula, so they can afford it!  [Especially with fescue fairways.]

Kyle Harris

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2023, 07:54:24 PM »
The width isn't available to everybody.

I was given a line, from the most authoritative source possible, on the 12th hole and hit it about 30 yards longer than he was expecting. I found a spot of bother.

Ran out of room rather quickly there. Would have needed to shift my aim to put the dispersion pattern on the green, which makes for a much tighter target.
http://kylewharris.com

Constantly blamed by 8-handicaps for their 7 missed 12-footers each round.

Thank you for changing the font of your posts. It makes them easier to scroll past.

John Mayhugh

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2023, 08:12:24 PM »
John,


Your review actually is a bit of a let down. My understanding is that Sedge Valley is based on Colt's Least Bad Course. Swinley Forest is a favorite, but it is not "compact" but it definitely is not "Wide".


Ira

Ira,
Please read all that I wrote again. I thought the course was terrific.

You can get a sense of the width that from the picture that I posted. It's not narrow, but it's definitely not Mammoth Dunes wide.. Importantly, if you hit in a safe spot or miss wide, being in the fairway does not mean you are in good shape. People will play this course, think about how many fairways they hit and be surprised that they didn't score better. Play should be faster than the other courses and I think it's way more fun than the far easier Mammoth Dunes. You get to use your head but you aren't being beat up constantly.

As Kyle points out, the course may be less friendly the farther you hit the ball. Sadly, my skill level didn't let me discover that.

There's nothing disappointing about Sedge Valley. I expected it to be more compact, but not sure I would change anything about it. Go and see for yourself.

Kyle Harris

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2023, 08:22:07 PM »
John,


Your review actually is a bit of a let down. My understanding is that Sedge Valley is based on Colt's Least Bad Course. Swinley Forest is a favorite, but it is not "compact" but it definitely is not "Wide".


Ira

Ira,
Please read all that I wrote again. I thought the course was terrific.

You can get a sense of the width that from the picture that I posted. It's not narrow, but it's definitely not Mammoth Dunes wide.. Importantly, if you hit in a safe spot or miss wide, being in the fairway does not mean you are in good shape. People will play this course, think about how many fairways they hit and be surprised that they didn't score better. Play should be faster than the other courses and I think it's way more fun than the far easier Mammoth Dunes. You get to use your head but you aren't being beat up constantly.

As Kyle points out, the course may be less friendly the farther you hit the ball. Sadly, my skill level didn't let me discover that.

There's nothing disappointing about Sedge Valley. I expected it to be more compact, but not sure I would change anything about it. Go and see for yourself.


Not to sidetrack the thread to Lido but I had a similar issue with some of the marker stones on The Lido.

It was difficult the first time around to follow those lines.

Subsequent plays I was able to alter the line and found myself in much better positions.

The only marker stone that made sense for my game was on the wonderful Cape 5th.
http://kylewharris.com

Constantly blamed by 8-handicaps for their 7 missed 12-footers each round.

Thank you for changing the font of your posts. It makes them easier to scroll past.

Drew Harvie

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2023, 08:47:29 PM »
Sedge is wider than I expected, but I suspect that will be a common first impression. I don't think the width is wasted, though, and as Tom said, it is not Mammoth Dunes wide, which is wide just to be accommodating and for no other reason.


I hit shots on all 18 holes at Sedge before the Renaissance Cup and wrote about the golf course with some first looks in photography (I think):


https://beyondthecontour.com/early-thoughts-from-a-not-so-early-visit-to-sedge-valley/

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2023, 09:15:40 PM »
Sedge is wider than I expected, but I suspect that will be a common first impression. I don't think the width is wasted, though, and as Tom said, it is not Mammoth Dunes wide, which is wide just to be accommodating and for no other reason.


I hit shots on all 18 holes at Sedge before the Renaissance Cup and wrote about the golf course with some first looks in photography (I think):


https://beyondthecontour.com/early-thoughts-from-a-not-so-early-visit-to-sedge-valley/


Drew:


I'd only seen your brief Instagram piece and not the full write-up, but thanks for the link.  I think you have done a good job of explaining what we were trying to build:  "the anti-Mammoth Dunes".


The one thing I'd correct you on is how you translate the scorecard.  Personally, I've always figured that every stroke off par adds 150 yards to the scorecard, not 100 . . . the USGA slope system actually allots 175 yards for each stroke in the course rating.  So Sedge Valley at 6150 par 68 from the back should play like 6750 or 6850 from the tips, and like 6300 from the normal tees.

Adam_Messix

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2023, 10:55:24 PM »
I've heard several comments about width at Sedge Valley and I agree that it is really wide.  However, similar to Royal Melbourne, the effective width on many of the holes is rather narrow.  The genius at Sedge is that the proper corridor may not be on the edges.  As an example, the proper angle to attack the sixth is from a corridor in the left-center of the fairway.  To me this is cool, unique and wonderful.

Drew Harvie

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2023, 12:23:00 PM »
Sedge is wider than I expected, but I suspect that will be a common first impression. I don't think the width is wasted, though, and as Tom said, it is not Mammoth Dunes wide, which is wide just to be accommodating and for no other reason.


I hit shots on all 18 holes at Sedge before the Renaissance Cup and wrote about the golf course with some first looks in photography (I think):


https://beyondthecontour.com/early-thoughts-from-a-not-so-early-visit-to-sedge-valley/


Drew:


I'd only seen your brief Instagram piece and not the full write-up, but thanks for the link.  I think you have done a good job of explaining what we were trying to build:  "the anti-Mammoth Dunes".


The one thing I'd correct you on is how you translate the scorecard.  Personally, I've always figured that every stroke off par adds 150 yards to the scorecard, not 100 . . . the USGA slope system actually allots 175 yards for each stroke in the course rating.  So Sedge Valley at 6150 par 68 from the back should play like 6750 or 6850 from the tips, and like 6300 from the normal tees.


This is good to know. I wasn't exactly sure what the conversion was, I just figured if I turned two long par 3's into shorter par 4's and two par 4's into par 5's = 400 yards. I didn't know there was an actual adjustment, and 67/6850 from the tips makes a lot more sense as I felt it played long. Appreciate the response


Ben Sims

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2023, 01:03:07 PM »
Some very smart people have reached out to tell me about Lido, and Iím sure itís everything they say it is.


But I canít help but be more excited about Sedge Valley. I have been very interested in photos and information about West Sussex (Pulborough) for some time now. I get an unusual sense of large scale in an intimate setting. I canít explain why but itís fascinating. Maybe someone else can help me formulate the *why* behind this feeling. Sedge seems to garner a similar feeling among those that have seen it so far.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2023, 01:04:53 PM by Ben Sims »

John Mayhugh

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2023, 02:56:50 PM »
The corridors at Sedge Valley don't look that much like the London heathland courses of today, but that's largely due to the amount of trees on those classic courses. Old photos do provide a similar vibe.

Doak did a great job in building something that pays homage to what makes those courses special, but no one should expect to be transported to Surrey. Wisconsin is just fine.

A few more photos. The 3rd has a daunting approach over an intimidating bunker, but you can play away from it and utilize a hillside to deflect you shot towards the green. Viewed from the right side, note how much room there is between the bunker (out of sight at the left side of the photo) and the green.

IMG_1846 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
IMG_1850 by john mayhugh, on Flickr

For some reason, the 5th green site reminded be a bit of the 2nd at Prairie Dunes. Not nearly as uphill, and this green is severe in a different way. Shallow with a trough running mostly in the direction of play through the center of the green. The par 3s were varied and clever.
IMG_1856 by john mayhugh, on Flickr

The gorgeous 15th, with a slope from left to right that let the conservative (and wise) try to get near right side hole locations without flirting with the nasty bunker.
IMG_1901 by john mayhugh, on Flickr

What a finishing hole. Sedge Valley has severally short but challenging par 4s, and the 18th provides temptation for all. It's a pretty easy hole if you hit something about 180 yards short of the bunker on the lower level and then then wedge it on. But it's so much more fun to try to hit it up top and have a look at the hole. That's a big hill to carry and the nearer the green you go, the greater the risk of being stuck on the hillside which is probably worse than the massive bunker.
IMG_1912 sedge18 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
Getting on the top shelf could yield a touch short approach thanks to the rumpled ground. I loved this lack of a clear reward.IMG_1915 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
The boomerang green from behind, with a slope that will mess with "easy" wedge shots from down below.
IMG_1919 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
I can't wait to get back there.





Tommy Williamsen

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2024, 01:55:54 PM »
From the Sand Valley website, it appears that the green fees for Sedge Valley are the same as for the SV and MD. I think it makes sense. It treats the course as a sister course of the other two. I just wonder if players will see it that way and balk at paying full freight for a par 68.
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

"Deep within your soul-space is a magnificent cathedral where you are sweet beyond telling." Rumi

John Mayhugh

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2024, 03:04:30 PM »
From the Sand Valley website, it appears that the green fees for Sedge Valley are the same as for the SV and MD. I think it makes sense. It treats the course as a sister course of the other two. I just wonder if players will see it that way and balk at paying full freight for a par 68.
For most of us, I think the number of shots taken will be lower on Mammoth Dunes than Sedge Valley.......

Tommy Williamsen

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2024, 06:25:26 PM »
John, that might be true. Yet, I wonder how much education needs to happen before most players don't think of Sedge Valley as a lesser course. I applaud what Sand Valley has done and hope that more courses of such length are built for various reasons. After I played Rye, a friend from the states saw the par and asked if it were an "executive" course. Yikes, it is one of the most difficult courses I've ever played.
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

"Deep within your soul-space is a magnificent cathedral where you are sweet beyond telling." Rumi

Joel_Stewart

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2024, 06:17:56 PM »


What a finishing hole. Sedge Valley has severally short but challenging par 4s, and the 18th provides temptation for all. It's a pretty easy hole if you hit something about 180 yards short of the bunker on the lower level and then then wedge it on. But it's so much more fun to try to hit it up top and have a look at the hole. That's a big hill to carry and the nearer the green you go, the greater the risk of being stuck on the hillside which is probably worse than the massive bunker.
IMG_1912 sedge18 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
Getting on the top shelf could yield a touch short approach thanks to the rumpled ground. I loved this lack of a clear reward.IMG_1915 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
The boomerang green from behind, with a slope that will mess with "easy" wedge shots from down below.
IMG_1919 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
I can't wait to get back there.


I thought the 18th was arguably the best hole on the property not including Lido.




Richard Hetzel

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2024, 07:16:37 AM »
John,


It looks awesome. I am playing Lido and Sedge on the same day in late July. Tees times are set. Should be in for an awesome day.
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Ted Sturges

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Re: Sedge Valley
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2024, 02:38:26 PM »
To:  Joel


I'm fascinated by your love for the 18th at SV (for me, there were several holes I liked better at SV).  What about that hole made you love it so much?


THX,


TS

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