21 Apr 2023

 

In exciting news for public access golf in America, the celebrated Dream Golf development family have announced their latest multi-course golf project – Rodeo Dunes in Colorado.

Founded by Mike Keiser with the opening of Bandon Dunes in 1999, Dream Golf now includes the expanding Sand Valley Resort in Wisconsin, which is co-owned and managed by his sons Michael and Chris, as well as a stake in the global Cabot brand.

Michael and Chris Keiser are driving the Rodeo Dunes project, having taken a leaf from their father’s Dream Golf playbook by purchasing an enormous swathe of sprawling duneland in Roggen, Colorado, a short drive from the Denver airport. As was the case at Sand Valley, though there is no ocean or natural water body nearby the sand at Roggen is plentiful, as are the opportunities for expansion.

Initially there will be two courses built on the Rodeo Dunes property, with construction of the first course getting underway later this year. Long-time Keiser collaborators Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw are designing the first layout, with one of their lead shapers, Jim Craig, in charge of the second. The property itself stretches more than 2,000 acres, with room for several more designs in the years ahead.

Unlike Bandon Dunes, Sand Valley and the Cabot Links / Cabot Cliffs properties, Rodeo Dunes is readily accessible from a major US population base. The drive from downtown Denver is around an hour, but less than 45 minutes from an airport with excellent connections from across the country.

Accessibility was a key attraction of the site for the Keiser’s, who stated that “when we dream about a site like this, we never expect it to be easy to get to.

Of the dune formations across the property, Michael Keiser added that, “the moment I set foot on this land, I knew this was the place. I first came here at sunset – the colors of the sky reflected by the sand, and the long shadows stretching out from the mountains. You understand why settlers were drawn to this land. And the dunes are perfect – tall and rolling, with unlimited possibilities for great golf holes.”

We are fortunate to have seen this incredible site in person, and excited to follow progress of the first two courses at Rodeo Dunes. It’s expected, at this stage, that golfers will be able to play the Coore and Crenshaw course in 2025.

 

From the Rodeo Dunes announcement:

From the grandeur of Oregon's rugged coast, we're proud to welcome Rodeo Dunes to the Dream Golf family. Set on more than 2,000 acres of pure sand, this is a place where the rollicking dunes of the rugged Irish links meet the mystique and romance of the American West. Set against a sea of golden prairie with 125-mile views of Colorado’s Front Range, Rodeo Dunes blends world-class golf and legendary western hospitality - all this only 35 minutes from Denver International Airport and less than an hour from downtown Denver.

Two routings are complete, one by legendary duo Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw – who return to the type of inland-links landscape that marked their groundbreaking work at Sand Hills – and one marking the solo design debut of longtime C&C associate Jim Craig. Golf construction will begin this summer, and Rodeo Dunes expects to welcome golfers in the 2025 season.

Michael and Chris Keiser, owners and developers of Sand Valley, in the central sands of Wisconsin, are bringing their vision of world-class golf, memorable experiences and environmental sustainability to a heaving parcel of pure sand with 85-foot dunes and sweeping views of Longs Peak and the Front Range.

Drawing from its Dream Golf lineage of Bandon Dunes, Sand Valley, and Cabot Cape Breton, Rodeo Dunes will provide another captivating outpost for golf travelers from day one. The property has room for up to six total courses. But first come two layouts from some of golf’s most creative designers.

WHY COLORADO?

Set amid the historic ranchlands of Colorado’s high plains just 50 miles from Denver, this rollicking dunescape immediately reminded us of Irish links such as Lahinch, and we believe the golf will deliver the same thrilling strategies and shotmaking opportunities that make links golf the true soul of the game. That’s why we have chosen Rodeo Dunes as the site of the newest Dream Golf endeavor.

 

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USA, Ben Crenshaw, Bill Coore, Design News