Golf Course Review: The Bog

Located in Saukville, The Bog is the Milwaukee area’s top rated golf course, and viably so. An Arnold Palmer signature course, The Bog is a hilly track that rolls through the Cedarburg Bog, and ritually plays host to some of the state’s top amateur events.

Even in mid-March, the course was fabulously maintained. The greens are quick, and the tee boxes and fairways are impeccable. The only knocks I have on the playing conditions are the aeration holes still evident around the green areas (but not on the greens, themselves), and the hard sand traps. It is March, though, and the rate was reduced by $60.

One of the complaints I have consistently heard from other golfers about The Bog is the excess of blind tee shots. I believe there are three or four, but if checked out beforehand they are not overwhelmingly difficult and primarily play well to a soft fade. The first hole, for example, is best played right of the large birdhouse in the tree line.

Hole 1: Par 5 (530/491/471/427/401)
The second hole is also the second blind tee shot on the course. The fairway is very tight, and plays to a narrow, elevated green that is surrounded by sand. Keep your tee shot just right of the tree line, and hope to catch the drop-off in the fairway for a short approach over a lot of sand.

Hole 2: Par 4 (396/372/358/330/282)

What The Bog is best at is crafty par fours. Hole 12, for example, is an outstanding short par four. Using a mid-iron to hit the corner of the fairway (aim left of the large tree) will leave a wedge to a well-guarded, narrow green that is fronted by a creek, backed by a pond and surrounded by woods. This is a fantastic golf hole!

Hole 12: Par 4 (348/318/306/279/239)

Hole 12: Par 4 (348/318/306/279/239)

The par four sixth hole has a lot of character. The barn on the left side of the fairway is in play, and was actually used by one of my friends to carom off the roof and nearly re-find the fairway. Regardless of the tee shot, though, the second shot is going to be relatively long, and will need to stay right to avoid the woods.

Hole 6: Par 4 (415/415/395/372/280)
Hole 6: Par 4 (415/415/395/372/280)

The finishing holes on both the front and back nines are spectacular. Nine is my favorite. With the majority of the fairway filtering downhill and left, this is a par five that finishes in a strong way. An abundance of bunkers are short, right and long of the green, and a boggy area to the left makes this tiny putting surface very difficult to hit in two. 

Hole 9: Par 5 (543/521/493/467/401)

Hole 9: Par 5 (543/521/493/467/401)

The terraced tee boxes on the 18th hole are equally impressive. The fairway runs left to right, and anything over the large fairway tree should leave a short iron to an elevated green. The tee shot on this hole reminds me a lot of the second hole at University Ridge.

Black & Gold Tees for Hole 18: Par 4 (430/414/380/363/312)
Hole 18: Par 4 (430/414/380/363/312)
The Bog has some excellent par fives, too. In addition to the aforementioned ninth, holes 14 and 17 are a lot of fun. 14 starts with an elevated tee shot that you will want to keep in the fairway. If not, you will have the choice of going over the trees to the left, or taking your medicine to re-find the fairway which bends left and straight uphill.
Hole 14: Par 5 (528/498/476/440/390)
The initial fairway on 17 looks small from the tee boxes, but is actually quite long and drivable. The next part of the fairway is then found over a creek and left. At well over 500 yards, this is a long, tough par five.
Hole 17: Par 5 (593/520/520/474/419)
Being the second time I have played The Bog, I was certainly impressed with the layout, and the playing conditions far exceeded my expectations for this time of the year. I am really looking forward to playing it again later this season when the foliage is grown in, and the overall hue of the course is much greener and more photogenic. For more images of the course and individual holes, please see below:
Hole 3: Par 4 (424/398/358/338/271)
Hole 4: Par 3 (210/196/184/171/144)
Hole 5: Par 4 (469/422/393/379/330)
Hole 7: Par 4 (449/409/398/367/334)
Hole 7: Par 4 (449/409/398/367/334)
Hole 8: Par 3 (220/188/170/150/138)
Hole 10: Par 4 (410/399/381/353/307)
Hole 11: Par 3 (152/142/132/121/100)
Hole 13: Par 3 (195/175/157/142/110)
Hole 15: Par 4 (470/433/412/402/341)

Hole 15: Par 4 (470/433/412/402/341)
Hole 15: Par 4 (470/433/412/402/341)
Hole 16: Par 4 (439/398/367/336/311)

If I had to compare The Bog to another Wisconsin golf course, it would probably be University Ridge. The two courses have a lot of similarities: Great use of elevation, excellent maintenance, fairways that seem to “roll” with the natural terrain, and very challenging layouts that force players to think before teeing off. 
With a beautiful clubhouse and excellent practice facility (with numerous greens to aim at – a big plus for me), The Bog has quickly found its way in to my top ten list of Wisconsin’s best golf courses.
Course Wrap-up:
Location: Saukville, WI
Yardage: Black-7,221, Gold-6,709, Green-6,351, Blue-5,911, White-5,110
Slope/Rating: Black-143/75.3, Gold-138/72.9, Green-133/71.1, Blue-131/69.1, White-121/65.4
Par: 72
Weekend Rates (riding): $110

3 comments on “Golf Course Review: The Bog

  1. Pingback: The Country’s Best Golf Courses… That I’ve Played | WiscoGolfAddict

  2. Pingback: Wisconsin’s 18 Toughest Par 3 Holes: Mid-Range Holes | WiscoGolfAddict

  3. Pingback: Wisconsin’s Best Public Golf Courses | WiscoSportsAddict

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