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Walking golfers get hungry A native Californian, Simons is no stranger to farm-to- table cooking, having cut his teeth in kitchens around the Golden State. But he also has a good grasp on how golfers like to eat. In a gig prior to assuming his post in Nekoosa, Simons worked as the executive chef at Bandon Dunes, a sister property, of sorts, to Sand Valley that dou- bles as a role model for its midwestern sibling. As at Bandon, the menus at Sand Valley are built on a basic truth: that golfers walking 18 holes get really hungry, even more so when they hoof it for 36. Hearty dishes are a must. So are generous portions. Yet even belly-filling fuel goes only so far if energy is all it offers. It must also be delicious. And the fresher the in- gredients, the better they taste. Just as Bandon spotlights local specialties such as line-caught steelhead and day- boat scallops, so does Sand Valley showcase regional fa- vorites, like pan-seared walleye and beer-braised brats. This being Wisconsin, cheese curds are a requisite, and Sand Valley's aren't composed of industrial gloop. They come from an artisan producer in Milwaukee. Simons prepares the curds both plain and ranch style, but he doesn't do a lot of fussing with them. The guiding principle of the culinary program is that cooking and course architecture have this in common: when nature shares its gifts, you should treat them with respect. "The more I've learned about food, the more I've come to appreciate that simpler is better," Michael Keiser says. "In that sense, it's like golf design. If you find the right piece of land, you really don't have to do a whole lot to it." >> The more I've learned about food, the more I've come to appreciate that simpler is better. —Michael Keiser —tacos and sliders on the golf course, and of course, our famous wisconsin cheese curds

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