The legendary Lido Golf Club will be restored, but not on or anywhere near its original Long Island locale.
Michael and Chris Keiser have hired Tom Doak and Renaissance Golf to restore C.B. Macdonald’s Lido in the sand dunes of central Wisconsin. The Lido will include the original 18-hole design and will operate as a small private golf club contiguous to Sand Valley in Rome, Wisconsin.
The majority of land for The Lido will be restored to its original sand barren landscape. Rough grading on the site is underway and grassing will begin in the spring. The restoration is expected to be completed in 2022 with a course opening in 2023.
“We couldn’t be more excited that Tom Doak and his brilliant team have agreed to bring the Lido back to life here in central Wisconsin,” Michael and Chris Keiser said. “Tom and Renaissance Golf hold a steadfast commitment to strict restoration, which aligns with our mission to rebuild the original Lido exactly as it was 100 years ago.”
The original Lido Golf Course was designed by Macdonald in 1914. Considered by many golf historians as one of the greatest golf courses ever created, it was demolished by the U.S. Navy during World War II.
“We have the information and the will to rebuild the course the way it was, and my team can supply the talent and the enthusiasm to build it in every detail,” Doak said. “I’ve been adamant that no project should be called The Lido unless it’s a faithful re-creation of the original course.
“I know there will be skeptics, and I look forward to the challenge and making them admit that they were wrong.”
Peter Flory, an amateur golf historian, spent three years researching the original Lido and has assembled the most comprehensive collection of historical information and photos. He used that info to re-create The Lido in a 3D digital model and has contributed his research to Tom Doak and the Keiser brothers to support the project.
“We are extremely grateful for Peter Flory’s generous support of this project,” the Keisers said. “Nobody has worked harder to preserve the historical record of The Lido than Peter. With our outstanding team, we look forward to seeing one of golf’s great gems brought back to life!”
“My appreciation for the Lido grew and grew as I tried to understand what C.B. Macdonald was going for with each hole,” Flory said. “At the time, the only other courses that were considered to be among the best courses in the U.S. were National Golf Links of America, Pine Valley and Merion. Given how well they aged, I think that The Lido in its original form will be enough and needs no improvement.
“As a scratch tournament golfer with modern clubs and hickory clubs, I believe that this course is going to hold up and provide a stern challenge for modern play while becoming one of the greatest venues in the country for hickory play. After spending so much time creating the 3D model for my own curiosity, while having no expectations that it would ever actually get built, standing on the first tee of The Lido near Sand Valley will be one of the most surreal moments of my life.”