For many years, Wild Ridge was perennially rated in the top ten courses in Wisconsin.
On our way back from Brainerd, Minnesota, playing Madden’s Classic Course, my friend Dan and I stopped in Eau Claire to play this wonderful golf course that has elevation unseen in any parts of the Milwaukee area.
We felt like world beaters after playing relatively decently from 7,100+ yards on the Classic, so we figured we’d keep tradition and play the Tournament tees at Wild Ridge. Little did we know there would be ELEVEN 400+ yard holes, including a 657-yard par five (plus a 211-yard par three dead in to the wind). This course was a tremendous challenge, but was a ton of fun… And we both broke 90.
Here are some photos of Wild Ridge, which we played from the tournament distance of 7,034 yards:
After completely flubbing my tee shot, from 412 yards, I hit a 3-wood to the left side of the green from HERE. Unreal. I was so excited I putted off the right side of the green, only to sink a 25-footer from par from the fringe.
Hole 15 is where I started to question Dan’s senility. FOUR HUNDRED SEVENTY-NINE YARDS from the back tees on a PAR FOUR! Teeing up way over the fairway, which looked really tight from the elevated boxes, it was an intimidating shot to say the least.
Dan hit driver (shown below). I hit 3-wood.
[The look back at the elevated tournament tee boxes on 15)
… We both hit the green in two from within ten yards of each other off the tee. It was the most well-struck 3-wood I have hit in my life.
This hole was very confusing. We knew it’s a par five, and we saw a pin in the distance that we thought might be the green. Turned out that green was for 17. The actual hole goes strongly from left-to-right. I went with the old rule: If you have no idea where it’s heading to, get a distance in the middle of somewhere safe, and go with that club.
Straight in to the wind from 211 at probably the highest point on the golf course, we both missed the green horribly. Dan and I both also hit two of our best wedges of our lives to get within tap-in distances. Mine was about 75 yards, his was about 30. Both pars – there are a lot of ways to skin a cat.
The finish on 18 is tough. ‘Nuff said.
Location: Eau Claire, WI
Yardage: Tournament-7,034, Championship-6,586, Ridge-6,175, Resort-5,791, Forward-5,224
Slope/Rating: Tournament-133/73.5, Ridge-128/71.6, Ridge-124/69.7, Resort-120/68.0, Forward-120/70.3
Weekend Rates: $59 (with cart)