Green Bay Country Club might be the most underrated golf course in the state of Wisconsin. In fact, it might be the best private club in the state and to me is for sure the best modern private course.
I racked my head over and over, for days before starting this review, trying to reason with myself about how I felt:
It needs to be in the mix, even if it’s not officially reviewed often enough for consideration by “the big publications.”
The land Green Bay Country Club was developed on is probably the most dramatic golf landscape. It’s every bit as rousing as the layouts at Blackwolf Run, Pine Hills, West Bend, the Irish course at Whistling Straits, Sand Valley or Mammoth Dunes, and the Dick Nugent design works with that terrain as masterfully as any.
From the very first tee at Green Bay CC, players’ heads are consumed with thoughts. There’s nary a shot where doubt doesn’t creep in to their mind, whether it’s “Don’t go left… or right” on the first hole – or “Don’t go too far… or short” – this is a tremendously challenging golf course that will test players’ mettle.
Green Bay could host tournaments. Certainly state championships, but I’m talking bigger, too. It’s 7097 yards can stretch out even the best players, and it features plenty of target opportunities that require precision.
The course plays long, including from the blue tees – there was a lot of wind, but I found myself hitting a ton of hybrids and 5-irons in on par threes and fours. Even those usually came up short. This is not a driver-wedge course.
If you were to ask 25 members at GBCC what they think the signature hole is, I bet you’d get at least 8 different responses. I think you could make a case for all of these, and probably others:
- The par 4 1st hole – name me a better opening hole in the state
- The 634-yard par five 6th, one of the longest holes in Wisconsin
- The dogleg right, ridiculously downhill par 4 7th
- The island green par 3 8th
- The beautiful and challenging, twice dissected by water par 4 9th
- The insanely elevated tee shot on the par five 10th – WOW
- The scenic and long downhill par 4 14th
- The triple-fairway, semi-circular par 5 17th
- The downhill , water-surrounded par 4 18th finishing hole set in front of their awesome clubhouse on the hill
For me, I love the 17th. There are two great opportunities to swing away, or a ton to play strategically and hit a spot. And the green surrounds, tucked in a corner with a wide and narrow green above the creek, is absolutely beautiful.
The first par three on the course, the fourth is a challenging, slightly downhill one-shotter with trouble everywhere.
The tee boxes on the right side of five require a shot through or over a chute of trees to a fairway that runs left-to-right.
Tipping out at 634 yards, the par five 6th is one of the longest holes in the state. If you’ve been dreaming of an opportunity to hit your 3-wood (at least once), this should be it!
The seventh has one of the most severe changes in elevation on the course, playing left-to-right and significantly downhill.
This hole reminds me a bit of the 11th at West Bend Country Club.
The eighth is a tricky downhill par three to an island green. Aptly nicknamed “Rock Island,” the green complex presents a massive target but, at least during our round, had wind swirling all around.
Maybe the most challenging hole on the entire course, the par four 9th is a long par four with two forced carries. Regardless of the tee shot, the approach here is going to be really long, and will have to successfully navigate all kinds of trouble.
Green Bay Country Club is chocked full of “Ah-ha” moments. After we finished the front nine, I turned to my buddy Jeff and said, “That was unbelievable. It can’t get any better than that.”
Just look at the tee shot on the par five tenth hole.
Somehow, the back nine is even more dramatic and impressive than the front. We didn’t even think it was possible, but there it was.