Serene and Sporty, the “Hidden Gem” of Gaylord
Local golfers refer to Wilderness Valley as the “hidden gem.” The Al Watrous-designed course does not garner the publicity of its much-tougher Black Forest sister layout, but it's plenty “hard enough for most people,” according to David Smith, founder and owner. He also says, “Good players will have a good time.”
One feature Wilderness Valley definitely shares with its newer neighbor is the serene beauty of the surrounding emerald forest. And among the evergreens and hardwoods, in the early morn or settling dusk, you may notice a few whitetail deer, a wild turkey, or even a badger.
Winding between ridges that rise a couple hundred feet, Wilderness Valley is gently rolling but nonetheless includes a few dramatic elevation changes.
The fairways appear generous but frequently narrow in the prime landing areas, and many of the holes bend left or right, putting a premium on accuracy. The rough is resort-friendly, and many of the greens can be reached by bouncing the ball rather than requiring a carry over one of the 45 bunkers. Women, seniors, and other players with a low trajectory ball flight especially appreciate this feature.