A Classic Golf Course Reborn

Aug. 17, 2022
Resort developer Mike Keiser sought to recreate the famed Lido golf course

About 1,100 miles west of Lido Beach, New York, is an unlikely spot to build a dream golf course, but Integrity Grading and Excavating’s GPS-equipped John Deere dozers and Komatsu excavators are bringing success to an extremely precise earthmoving project in Sand Valley, Wisconsin.

Read how Integrity Grading & Excavating integrated GPS into its fleet.

Resort developer Mike Keiser and his sons, Michael and Chris, sought to recreate the famed Lido golf course that was once the gem of Long Island, New York. The original Lido was designed in 1914 by Charles Blair (C.B.) Macdonald, builder of the first 18-hole golf course in the United States. It was considered a classic masterpiece course. The U.S. Navy purchased the property during World War II and leveled it to build a military base, but its fame lived on.

Keiser’s plan was to replicate the original Lido as close to exactly as possible, hole for hole.

“Every tee, every fairway, every green, every bunker will be exactly as they were on Long Island,” said Michael Keiser. “It was such an extraordinary golf course that the pressure is on to faithfully deliver that.”

With none of the original plans from the first Lido available, architect Tom Doak used a scale model created by Peter Flory, an amateur architecture historian, who had developed a virtual, 3-D computer simulation of the course based on historical photographs and articles.

From there, a software programmer named Brian Zager, who designed golf course computer simulations on the side using LIDAR technology, scanned Flory’s model and converted the Lido’s previously established contours into a digital GPS canvas that was accurate to the inch.

Initially, the equipment operators building the course worked with staked coordinates until an elderly man staying at a nearby resort happened to stop by to observe the work. As luck would have it, he was a retired contractor and asked why they were manually operating the dozers and checking stakes when they could use more efficient GPS-guided machines instead.

Armed with the data specs provided by Craig Haltom, the course architect, Weinkauf’s team went to work modeling the required programming that enabled the Integrity machines to pull the whole project together. Integrity Grading and Excavating demonstrated what their GPS-guided dozer’s capabilities on an area that would eventually be the 17th hole.

Haltom was impressed with the dozer’s ability to automatically adjust its blade with each pass to exactly create the site’s specified elevations and contours. Additionally, the ability to make changes on the fly to accommodate unique topographical issues was an important feature on the job.

The recreated Lido course is expected to open in 2023. An interactive Lido course flyover is available at https://coursepreview.golf/thelido.