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Sedge Valley Course Review

By Mason Savage

The 18th Green at Sedge Valley

On July 1st of 2024, Sand Valley Resort will be opening their 5th course at the resort in Sedge Valley. Sedge Valley is designed by Tom Doak and breaks a lot of “rules” in the golf course industry. In an age where courses want a Par 72 track and to get longer and longer towards 8000 yards in hopes of hosting a PGA Tour Event, Sedge Valley goes the other way. Tipping out at 5800 yards, this Par 68 may have people think it is easy but in reality, it is anything but easy. Sedge Valley is different than the rest of the courses at Sand Valley as this course is advertised to be their "Heathland" style course. The course feels secluded in the woods, it feels like a nature walk and despite the extra foliage, the course conditions are still sandy, firm, and fast as you would expect the rest of the Sand Valley Resort courses to be. It is a unique setting and condition combination that I can't say I have experienced elsewhere.

I had the honor of playing Sedge Valley before it opened to the public. Drew Westphal (@everydaydrew) of Group Golf Therapy was kind enough to have me as a guest at Sedge Valley Media Day. While he unfortunately had something come up and could not make it I was still able to play with Sev Saiz of Course Maps (@coursemaps) and Gehrig Parker of the Kemper Sports group. It was a genuine joy to play with those guys! Sev and I had the match of a lifetime and the course was absolutely breathtaking so I thought I would highlight somethings that I think make Sedge Valley so unique and special.

The Fox Logo of Sedge Valley

First I want to highlight the logo of Sedge Valley as I think it connects to the course really well (Plus we saw a Fox out on property when shooting some photos). The logo is a Fox with its front paw raised. It gives the impression that the Fox is in an alert position, ready to act in a sly or sneaky way. This logo is a perfect representation of the course as the course itself is sly and always looking to make a move when the moment is right, even when it appears harmless to the eye. This "sudden move" can happen anywhere on Sedge Valley whether it be an unconspicious tee shot or a green that suddenly jumps to life once you realize the contouring it contains. Features like these create memoriable holes and moments throughout the routing.

One of these times this happens is the Tee Shot on the second hole. After the handshake opening hole, you are faced with a large glaring mound in the fairway. If you are able to hit your tee shot on top of the mound, you will have a straight forward shot to the green with a view of the green. If you fail to hit the mound, your ball with trundle down away from the hole result in a more difficult shot. It might even find the bottom of one of the bunkers that frame the fairway. This feature may be visually stimulating to the untrained eye but to golf course architecture junkies everywhere, this is a great feature that adds strategy and technique to the hole.

The slopes of the second hole are dramatic and can create blind shots into greens

Another hole where the course can "sneak" up on you is on is the 12th Hole. The short Par 4 (282 yards) offers lots of options to play it. It is a demanding drive as there is a devilish pot bunker and the green contours can prove to be barriers to the approach but if pulled off, you will be rewarded. Even if you lay up, the contours of the fairway still make the "safe shot" more difficult. These subtle features and contours make a world of difference in the strategy in the hole. Selfishly, this hole will always have a special spot in my heart as I pulled off the heroic tee shot and was left with a 3 footer for eagle (which I made).

The Eagle Putt I had remaining on the 12th hole - The slopes and contours of this green are also visible

The final hole that I want to highlight is the 18th Hole. In a weird way, it feels like the perfect Frankenstein Monster (a piece of every hole) to summarize the entire Sedge Valley experience. The hole looks like it belongs in a video game with the over exaggreated slopes, the gnarly green complex and the giant bunker in the middle of the fairway. Unlike the rest of the course, this hole is not visually subtle and yet it still fits the rest of the golf holes as there is still a risk reward element to the tee shot that permeates the entire Sedge Valley routing. The 18th forces you to take on this massive "V" shaped ridge in the fairway and depending on the Pin Position, different sides are better. The mounding around the green makes the angle you take to the green matter and despite being extremely short, this is a fun challenging last hole that not only leaves a lasting impression but also ties together a perfect round.

The 18th Hole at Sedge Valley

I want to conclude this post and credit Andy Johnson of Fried Egg Golf. On the The Fried Egg Golf Podcast, he said that Sedge Valley contains a lot of "Half Par" Holes. What he meant is that there are a lot of long Par 3s that are super close to being a Par 4 and lots of Par 4s that are close to being Par 5s. This is a concept that I totally agree with and felt as I played Sedge Valley. My main takeaway is that Sedge Valley is my favorite course at the Sand Valley Golf Resort. While it may not be the "best" course out there, the uniqueness in design, the variety of golf holes and memorable golf shots required to hit have left a fun and lasting impression on me.

Sedge Valley is a must play!

The 3rd Hole at Sedge Valley


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