Sand Valley Offers Up Wimbledon Experience in Central Wisconsin

Pam Hammond, left, executive director of the Wisconsin Tennis Association, looks over one of the three-court pitches at Sand Valley Golf Resort in Adams County. The 15 tennis courts are the only public grass courts in Wisconsin. (Image from BARRY ADAMS, STATE JOURNAL)

Pam Hammond, left, executive director of the Wisconsin Tennis Association, looks over one of the three-court pitches at Sand Valley Golf Resort in Adams County. The 15 tennis courts are the only public grass courts in Wisconsin. (Image from BARRY ADAMS, STATE JOURNAL)

When famed golf course developer Mike Keiser and his two sons decided in 2013 to buy 1,700 acres in central Wisconsin, the idea was to take advantage of the massive amount of sand left behind thousands of years ago from receding glaciers.

Their Sand Valley Golf Resort now has three courses, and a fourth is under development. Last year, the resort drew golfers from all 50 states and 20 countries, some arriving via private jet at Alexander Field in nearby Wisconsin Rapids. The resort has been praised by national golf publications and has become part of golf vacation tours that include other prime Wisconsin destinations like Whistling Straits north of Sheboygan, Blackwolf Run in Kohler and Erin Hills near Hartford, which hosted the U.S. Open in 2017 and will host the U.S. Women’s Open in 2025.

Now the Keisers are touting a new amenity that’s creating a buzz not in golf circles but those who use a racquet and dream of Wimbledon.

Sand Valley has built one of the largest collections of grass tennis courts in the country. There are no fences, only dunes of sand and pine trees surrounding the 15 courts that are grouped in threes on five pitches next to the golf practice range.