Sand Valley was built on an area ideally suited for golf given it enjoys terrific views helped by the fact in places it rises 20m above its surroundings. The natural elements of the area, such as old copses of trees as well as the river bordering the southern boundary of the property are brought into play. The name Sand Valley originates from the intriguing natural canyon that splits the centrally placed old forest into two separate sandy plateaux.
That is also where an expansive two-hectare waste bunker originates, extending nearly half a kilometre south, crossing three fairways, and finishing 20m lower in the river.
Lassi Pekka Tilander’s design features two returning nine-hole loops, with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th playing in a forested part of the course.
Sand is the dominant characteristic of the area, and that is evidenced throughout the course, adding significantly to its distinctive visual character.
Lassi Pekka Tilander’s design features two returning nine-hole loops rotating in opposite directions, with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th featuring in a forested part of the course.
The second area between the old tree-lined road to the south, and the forests in the north features eight holes with the seven holes south of the old road play along sandy river banks. Sand Valley features five sets of tees ranging from over 7,100 yards from the Championship tee to 5,500 for ladies.
There is great variety in the length of holes and traditional shot-making skills are often asked for, whether to shape an approach or especially around the severely contoured greens, which were sculpted by Tony Ristola.
It is only in the especially eccentric greens that Sand Valley has any question marks over it, and if you don’t mind some crazy putting challenges then you will love it.
There is a real taste of traditional architecture values here, with Tilander’s philosophy again finding favour with our panel. He is also responsible for Gorki in Russia and Estonia’s Parnu Bay.