The Lido, Wisconsin’s next great golf course, is a walk back in time
Now we know how the Keizer family works. The team that brought us Bandon Dunes, Sand Valley and Cabot Cliffs need only a couple of things to imagine another golfing paradise: sandy lands and fascinating topography. Much of the rest is left to the architects at the top of their game: Tom Doak, David McLay Kidd, Coore-Crenshaw.
Much more complicated is the most recent Keizer project in Wisconsin – a recreation of the Lido, CB Macdonald’s long-lost legendary and long-lost course by the oceanfront on Long Island in 1914 – is much more complicated.
Using century-old records, Doak and Renaissance Golf were hired to render, as accurately as possible, what was considered by some to be one of the greatest courses on the planet. This means strict routing and little leeway to make the Central Sands of Wisconsin feel like the vast shores of the Atlantic.
“If this were just a beautiful golf course lost in history, I would have no interest in rebuilding it,” said Michael Keizer, son of Bandon Dunes founder Mike Keizer. “But the Lido was really exceptional, so anything we build that isn’t in that upper rung – we can only blame ourselves. So that’s another kind of pressure.
The pressure indeed, especially from the crowd of design enthusiasts who pushed the hype to 11. The Keizers will rely heavily on Peter Flory, a Chicago businessman who has researched the Lido for years, going so far as to create a 3D computer model of the original track. His work was so extensive that he was hired as a consultant historian of the project, an angel on Doak’s shoulder.
The course is slated to open in 2023, and its exclusivity adds to the stratospheric anticipation. The Lido will be a private club associated with the neighboring Sand Valley Resort. Public play will only be permitted on certain days. How many times? It remains to be seen, but it’s a course Keizer wants the world to experience.
“I don’t think golf in this country would exist in its present form,” he said, “if it hadn’t been for this [Macdonald] brought to the game.
To learn more about the Lido, check out its story at thelido.com.