My favorite of the three courses at Medinah Country Club, Course 1 features great design, terrific routing and the best of all worlds: A lot of wide, forgiving fairways with strategic playability, great par 3’s and 5’s and a little bit of tree-lined parkland style thrown in for good measure.

Last month I had a 9 am tee time with my cousin, Frank, at The Club at Lac La Belle. I’d been there earlier in the season, and several other times for preview play and had a good idea of the shots – especially drone shots – I most wanted to get….

Here are some of my favorites.

David McLay Kidd has designed some of the most vast, fun-filled golf courses of the 21st Century. Beginning with the break-through of all break-throughs, Bandon Dunes in 1999, Kidd has led developments at Nanea Golf Club in Hawaii (2003), the Castle Course at St Andrews (2008), Tetherow in his now home town of Bend, Oregon (2008), Gamble Sands in Washington (2014), and a dozen or so others.

His philosophy on golf course design sits in perfect harmony with Keiser’s on resorts; David McLay Kidd was destined to play a part in Sand Valley.

This year’s 100th Wisconsin State Open is writhe with intrigue: Will Dan Woltman be the 1st to 3-peat? Will Harrison Ott stay hot after his impressive performance at Bandon? Will Longbella back up his State Am title? Will one of the streaky guys a way back, maybe Charlie Delsman, get hot and fire off something really low to get in the hunt?

It couldn’t be contested at a more appropriate site – where the 1st State Open was held in 1919 and where caring, benevolent members have done the right thing for golf and the great people like Mike Bielawski who have been a part of their community for many years.

Oh, and live sports!

I have always gone back and forth between Milwaukee and Pine Hills as the state’s top private club.

Why hasn’t the rest of the golfing world, even in-state, done the same?

Several miles down the road from Blackwolf Run, Sheboygan’s Pine Hills CC is one of the top 3 private golf courses in the state.

But they’re not stopping there. Upcoming renovation work by Drew Rogers should turn its weakest hole in to one of its best, and other improvements plus fresh eyes on the 92-year-old golf course should finally bring it the national attention it’s deserved for years.

A top 3-rated golf course design project in the world in 2020, June 20, 2020’s grand opening of The Club at Lac La Belle is sure to be a momentous occasion for the Oconomowoc course with roots to the 1890’s and some of the game’s greatest competitive players. Course architect Craig Haltom’s work is sure to impress the golf world with bold design, great visuals and amazing green complexes. Look for it to break in to the state’s top 10 public courses quickly.

One of the top 100 overall golf courses in the country, Black Sheep Golf Club outside of Chicago, Illinois, is a men’s only private club with a fantastic logo and an even better golf course.

Boasting 27 holes of linksy David Esler designed golf, owner Vince Solano has successfully developed an out-of-this-world-good golf experience with an out-in-the-boondocks feel, still somehow near enough to the city limits.

One of the top private club experiences in the state of Wisconsin, Blue Mound Golf & Country Club boasts a top 200 golf course designed by one of the industry’s true legends, Seth Raynor.

Blue Mound’s 93-year-old course is highlighted by some fantastic Raynor/Macdonald template holes and especially by the area’s biggest and best green complexes.

Some still and video shots from a beautiful 36-hole day spent at The Golf Courses of Lawsonia in Green Lake, WI. May 2019.