Golf Course Review: Edgewood

The Oaks at Edgewood is the story of two drastically different golf courses.
The facilities at Edgewood are nice, with a full driving range, putting green, and sand/chipping areas. The course boasts two 18-hole layouts, but the story of these is “the new nine,” which is the back nine of the Oaks.
The front nine plays like most 30-plus year old courses: Not particularly long, but the fairway bends, subtle changes in elevation, and tightness between tree lines make you consider your club selection, while a number of holes with considerable water add a little difficulty.
The on-board GPS was an appreciated addition, and most of the course itself is in pretty decent shape. Dampness left areas of the fairways a bit bludgeoned, but that was unavoidable given the recent Wisconsin fall weather. The tee boxes are in rough shape, though, and it is very difficult to find clean grass areas on even ground. Not quite as bad as at Dretzka, but unnerving, nonetheless.
The back nine, on the other hand, is phenomenal. Crossing the street to this new nine, I was pretty unimpressed with my Edgewood golf experience so far. For $35, it was well in line with what I’d expected.
Walking up to the tenth hole engages a new, excited feeling. The tee shot looks out at a short waste area that looks deceptively deep from the tee boxes, with long fairway bunkers and an otherwise open driving area. I chose a three-hybrid and hit even with the fairway bunker on the right, thinking I hit short and would have a long approach. Heading over the hill, the fairway was much more open than I’d expected, and the beauty of Edgewood’s back nine was suddenly visible.
Even the greens are 180 degrees different. While the front nine’s greens are small and relatively unexciting (with the exception of the eighth hole, which was a formidably challenging postage stamp), the back nine features massive greens with significant slope. The tenth hole (which I should consider “the first hole of the back nine”) serves as a fantastic introduction to this new and improved style of golf course.
Hole 10: Par 4 (451/416/404/370)
Hole 10: Par 4 (451/416/404/370)
The 11th hole is fun, as well. With highly elevated tee boxes, the green is once again large with a wide open feel. Several well-placed sand traps will penalize errant sand traps, but a well-struck tee shot should be rewarded with putts or a short chip shot.
Hole 11: Par 3 (197/169/159/133)
The 12th is a long par five. At 519 yards, the tee shot is quite intimidating for left-to-right hitters. One in our group was able to play the draw, and the rest of us found trouble to the right. Significant mounding on the right side of the fairway leads to a drop-off in to wasteland, but the fairway is otherwise wide enough to be fair, and ends with a sharp dogleg left about 400 yards from the tee boxes.
Hole 12: Par 5 (555/519/503/463)
13 is an intimidating tee shot, as well. Tight over water and between trees, the first shot almost reminds me of the seventh at Ironwood’s Meath course. The fairway turns right, so the tendency is to play the drive down the middle and allow it to follow the fairway, but beyond the initial patch of trees on the right side is a large pond and marsh area that will take anything cut excessively. The left side of the fairway served as the right option.
Hole 13: Par 4 (397/364/303/268)
14 was a very pleasant surprise. Following a fairly lengthy drive through trees (I would not recommend walking this course), the cart path opens to elevated tee boxes overlooking a beautiful island hole. This gorgeous par three, measured at 153 yards from the white tee boxes, features a wide, deep green surrounded in front by a long sand trap and on all sides by water. The wind comes into play a ton on this hole. After initially splashing a 9-iron in the water, I found my seven to be the right club selection.
Hole 14: Par 3 (178/153/141/104)
Hole 14: Par 3 (178/153/141/104)
This fantastic stretch of holes continues on the 15th. A par five over 500 yards (550 from the tips, and 510 from the white tees), the entire fairway is lined by trees and the Fox River on the left, and the same huge pond of the 14th hole down the right side. From the left side of the fairway, the second shot was the most difficult for me, requiring almost 200 yards to cut the end of the pond, and stay away from the trees that jutted out from the left side.
Hole 15: Par 5 (550/510/483/450)
Leaving this tough par five, the 16th seems almost easy. It is tough to tell from the tee boxes that the left side is actually fairly open. Long fairway bunkers make you think a long tee shot is necessary, but the only real trouble on this hole is the fescue and woods to the right.
Hole 16: Par 4 (396/359/343/311)
At 402 yards with a dogleg to the left, the 17th hole begins with tee boxes between trees that allow you to see only the right side of the fairway, and a fountain from the pond that can not yet be seen. The more confident drivers in our group hit driver from these tee boxes, while I went three wood to not over-drive the fairway. The right side is a great area to approach from, but the second shot will be long if you hit anything but driver from the tees. This was one of the fastest and most heavily sloped greens on this back nine.
Hole 17: Par 4 (414/402/390/361)
Hole 17: Par 4 (414/402/390/361)
The new nine at Edgewood finishes in tremendous fashion. With a blind uphill tee shot, the hole map shows a dogleg left, and there is a tall birdhouse that is visible on the right side of the fairway. This birdhouse serves as a great target for your tee shot. Aim slightly left of this and you will be rewarded with an excellent look at the elevated green. The sand trap left and short of the green is huge, so holding the right side is a sound strategy.
Hole 18: Par 4 (364/352/339/263)
Rating Edgewood is difficult for me. While the front nine of the Oaks was nothing to write home about, the back nine is a must-play!
In contrast to a course like Fairways of Woodside, the two sides at Edgewood are so incredibly different that a single score or rating can not be achieved in aggregate. I feel that it is not only necessary, but fair to the new nine to split them up for an appropriate review. Including the front brings down the back, while there is no way to rate individual scores for the greens and general layout for its full 18. There is effectively no general layout or consistency. However, only one score can be used on my blog, so an average of the two nines will be used.
How does such an inconsistent golf course happen, you ask? I was curious as well, and asked the course’s manager. The original 18-hole Pines course (not reviewed here, but I am told it is similar to the front nine of the Oaks) was built in 1969, and the front nine of the Oaks was added in 1971. Not until 11 years ago was the back nine added. The advances during those 29 years in golf course architecture and layout are unavoidably evident, and are beautifully exacted to help mold this glacial terrain in Big Bend in to a fantastic golf course.

Hole 1: Par 4 (440/428/420/395)
Hole 3: Par 3 (210/196/164/149)
Hole 4: Par 4 (343/327/292/277)
Hole 5: Par 5 (488/471/431/401)
Hole 6: Par 4 (439/426/383/338)
Hole 6: Par 4 (439/426/383/338)
Hole 7: Par 4 (378/365/345/305)
Hole 9: Par 5 (493/481/448/417)
Course Wrap-up:
Location: Big Bend, WI
Yardage: Blue-6783, White-6414, Gold-5983, Red-5411
Slope/Rating: Blue-134/72.3, White-130/71.6, Gold-126/68.9, Red-126/70.8
Par: 72

3 comments on “Golf Course Review: Edgewood

  1. Hi Alex! I haven't played the Pines course yet, and it's hard for me to get myself to because I know how nice the back nine of the Oaks is.

    If the Pines is like the front nine of the Oaks, then I would rather warm up on the front nine of the Oaks and then play the back nine and enjoy the heck out of it 🙂

    That 8th on the Oaks is a TOUGH par 3 – one of the smallest greens anywhere, and runs off on all sides if I remember correctly.

    Thanks for the comment!

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  2. I golfed the back nine of the Pines Course yesterday and it's quite cool actually. There's nothing too special really on the front nine of the Pines but the back nine is fairly decent. Hole #10 through #12 make your way down to the lowest part of the course. 10 is a 408/395/345 yard Par 3, 11 is a 170/127/115 yard Par 3, and the next two holes are both par fives and their quite cool. The 12th which is 478/471/413 yards and is right of Oaks #2 and is a dogleg left from an elevated tee. The 13th on the other hand is 525/516/450 yards that's a dogleg right with water along the entire right side. The 14th was shortened due to wet condition but the par 3 15th is kind of cool too. It's entriely tree-lined at only 193/179/121 yards but it's a little uphill. The 16th through 18th holes are all par fours and their nothing very special really.

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