Hawk’s Landing: Wisconsin’s Most Underrated Golf Experience?

Last Tuesday was a monumental one for me. I turned 40.

Yikes.

I haven’t been able to play much golf this year, so I wanted to make sure I took the day off of work and spent it on the course. It’d been seven years since I last played Hawk’s Landing in Verona, and I’d been wanting to get back for a while. I put together a tee time and called my buddy, Dan, who has been a good friend of mine for about 35 of these years and now lives in the Madison area.

It’s crazy to think about time now, and how quickly it’s flying by especially since I met my now wife, Kelly, and [even more] especially since we had our first child, Charlie, who was born in July, 2017, and then our daughter, Quinn, born just over six months ago. But, I digress.

I think Hawk’s Landing is one of the most underrated golf courses in the state of Wisconsin.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more perfectly kept public course in the state, and its conditions certainly rival those of Wisconsin’s elite private clubs. Neil Radatz and his team there do a fantastic job keeping their semi-private course in private club shape.

Hawk’s Landing has had some great improvements since the last time I was there in 2012. The enhancement I noticed most but didn’t get to experience was the addition of Better Billy Bunkers – I somehow managed to not hit a single greenside trap, but they looked beautiful.

I’ve played out of Better Billy Bunkers before, though, most recently at SentryWorld, and can attest to their great feel. More importantly, though, for Radatz, his staff and the members and guests at Hawk’s Landing, they are nearly washout-proof and provide a consistently high-end bunker experience.

The most significant enhancement to the Hawks Landing facility is not on the course, but is rather their clubhouse which is undergoing a massive renovation and addition.

Coinciding with that improvement, Hawks Landing now contracts out their food and beverage experience through Dahmen’s. Dahmen’s at Hawks Landing features a beautiful view over the course and its finishing hole and provides a really enjoyable menu including some of the best wings I’ve had in a while and the pound-plus soft pretzel appetizer: The Dahmenator.

One upgrade that I brought to Hawk’s Landing this year that I didn’t have in 2012 is my DJI Spark drone. I’m still learning how to use it, but did take a few videos that I’ll include below.

For my updated review of Hawk’s Landing in Verona, Wisconsin, please check out the following link:

Golf Course Review: Hawk’s Landing

A few drone videos from July 30, 2019 at Hawks Landing:

The par three 4th

The par three 8th (flyover)

The par three 8th, second video (tee shot)

The par five 18th

Updated Golf Course Review: The Bog (linked)

It had been since March 2012 since I last played The Bog in Saukville, Wisconsin, and every year at the Milwaukee Golf Expo I’d see Andy and the guys and tell them I’ll find my way back to re-photograph and play the course in more ideal conditions.

It’s been one of those reviews that bothered me, and for good reason: When you type in something like “The Bog golf course review” or anything similar, my article and those barely-out-of-Winter pictures were the first or second result that came up.

I finally returned to The Bog last weekend, and let me say mid-July conditions show a big improvement over the course aesthetics in March. As a prime example, imagine this scene on the 18th tee with no leaves…

Tee shot on the par four 18th at The Bog

Without further adieu, here is my updated review of The Bog in Saukville. Enjoy!

Golf Course Review: The Bog

The 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow: My Preview

It seems like just yesterday I was watching Jason Day annihilate the field while marshaling at the 2015 PGA Championship at Wisconsin’s own Whistling Straits.

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Marshaling the 14th hole at Whistling Straits for the 2015 PGA Championship

A lot has happened over the past two years, though! Since that great tournament my wife and I have bought a new house, I started a new role at work, got married and we now have our first child, our son Charlie.

Time sure flies, and in the blink of an eye both the PGA Tour and Wisconsin golf season have sped along at breakneck speed. It’s August, and we’re suddenly one week from the fourth and last major of the Tour’s championship schedule: The PGA Championship.

While Jason Day’s record-setting performance at Whistling Straits is not likely to repeat this year at Quail Hollow, expert odds-makers are still showing him love with 19/1 odds to win.

Fresh off a remarkable finish at The Open, Jordan Spieth opens as the PGA Championship favorite at 8/1, just ahead of Rory McIlroy at 9/1. Spieth enters this week’s WGC Bridgestone Invitational with a slight edge over Dustin Johnson for first place on the Tour’s money list with almost $6.8-million in earnings.

It’s hard to argue with Spieth as the favorite, and honestly I think he’s really good for the game when he wins.

Spieth, McIlroy, Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Day, the US Open champ Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm round out the favorites.

My picks for the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow:

  • Favorite# 1: Jordan Spieth
  • Favorite# 2: Justin Thomas
  • Long-shot# 1: Jason Dufner
  • Long-shot# 2: Patrick Cantlay

For the most part, I like the younger guys in this tourney and don’t see McIlroy or Day running away with it. More than anything, like with any major championship, I’m hoping for a great finish.

The entire field for the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow

 

* Quail Hollow header image credit to http://www.quailhollowclub.com

Golf Ball Display Cabinet Project, Part 1

I am a guy who loves projects, and who especially loves learning. With my wife set to be out of town for 5 nights – way longer than I’ve ever been away from her since we met, I needed a project to occupy my time alone at the house and found one: A 203-ball golf ball cabinet.

My brother and his wife got me my first ball cabinet about ten years ago for Christmas, and for the past five or so years I’ve had to find a course to take out every time I played something new. It had gotten to the point where I was taking out really good golf courses, and with the basement being my man cave where I’m allowed to decorate with lots of great golf stuff, I figured a new ball cabinet was the perfect project.

My previous project was refinishing our master bedroom built-in cabinets, which involved a ton of sanding, staining, new hardware and plenty of careful brushwork along the carpet-line. It turned out well enough that Kelly has allowed me to continue my tinkering.

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Being a novice wood worker at best, I did not expect it to be an easy project, but I also did not expect it to take 32 hours! On day one, Saturday, I picked up wood from Home Depot and went to my buddy John’s (who will start writing for WiscoGolfAddict in the coming weeks!), where he made all the cuts for the box to come together. John has an awesome wood working setup, including a mitre saw, table saw and all the other essentials.

When I was picking up the tools from Home Depot in Germantown, the wood guy said to me, “Why the hell would you want to display golf balls? That doesn’t even make sense.” I said because I love golf and I have a ton of balls. He again said it seemed silly and made a comment to the guy who makes all the cuts on their huge wall saw (not sure if that’s an accurate name for it). This past weekend, when I was there to buy more tools for making frames, he made a goofy comment and I showed him a picture of my display cabinet – he was finally appeased.

My original visit to Home Depot included six 5′ long x 1-1/2″ wide boards for shelves (make sure they are straight, trust me), a large piece of plywood cut to 5′ long x 2′ wide, and 3″ wide boards that are cut to 5′ in length (2) and 2′ in length (2). I also picked up wood glue, 1-1/2″ wood screws, a chalk line, extra clamps (corner clamps would have been huge!), teal-colored spray paint, very dark wood stain, finishing nails, a french cleat with 200 lbs weight capacity, staining brushes and rags.

From GolfSmith, I picked up 500 tan-colored 3-1/4″ long wood tees, and from Golf Galaxy I picked up 200 yellow par three tees. If you are looking to take on a similar project, do not bother getting short tees as they are still too long for the project and will have to be cut. The longer, the better for this purpose.

I was talked in to using pine for this project, but if I were to do it again I would use oak to avoid potential bowing. I would also get a nail gun to help bind the corners more efficiently.

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The goal for my project is to be able to display more golf balls, and to have room to grow in the future. I used the dimensions of my old cabinet to get a handle on spacing and height: A 24″ tall inner cabinet holds six rows of shelves, and the bottom frame holds the same number as the shelves. While the old cabinet holds nine balls per row, the new one holds 29… Thus the number 203. I didn’t see glass as being necessary, and it would probably have taken away about 30 tees’ worth of capacity from the display.

I started by sanding the frame, then used random tools to make character marks – a screwdriver, paint can opener, ratchet and shelf base all did well to make indentations in the wooden surface that would catch spray paint and hopefully remain untouched by the dark wooden stain later.

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I spray painted these boards with the teal under-liner and allowed them to dry. I then sanded them again to prepare them for the dark wood stain. After staining, the wood was dark with a few spots of teal shining through. Another round of sanding took care of that and brought out really cool looking streaks of blue/green, as well as the rough wooden edges. I had originally planned to stain again, but as a big fan of “Fixer Upper” enjoyed the rustic look and decided to keep them as-is.

After staining the backboard of the display, I allowed it to dry sufficiently and then put it face down with heavy objects on all corners and toward the middle to keep the wood from bowing. It’s not necessary to paint or stain the back-side, as it will just lay against the wall, anyways.

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On the “Good side” of the shelf boards, I used a screwdriver with a 5/32″ drill bit to put holes 5 cm apart from one another. The holes should be favor the good/presented edges of the shelves; place wood underneath them to help keep from exploding the bottoms if/when the drill bit goes all the way through. These will otherwise require correcting at a later time.

Sand the shelves again afterwards to make sure there are no splintered spots and that the wood is prepped for additional staining…

2017: An Exciting New Year

With the new year comes exciting news and opportunities, both for the Seifert family (exciting news to come!) and for the WiscoGolfAddict site.

If you’re like me, this off-season has already gone on long enough. As I sit here writing, I find myself peering constantly toward the sixth hole tee box, whether to watch for coyotes or to envision it without the snow, slush and standing water that’s keeping me from going outside for a walk. I can’t wait to be on that tee box this Spring, aiming just right of St. Anthony’s steeple to bounce left and downhill, bounding green-ward.

I’ve got my new [for me] Mizuno JPX-850 forged irons arriving on Monday, and the golf bug is starting to get its hooks in me. Unfortunately, we’ve still got a bit of Winter left to get through here but I do have one trip to look forward to in March to Reynolds Plantation in Lake Oconee, Georgia.

Closer to home, 2017 is sure to be a thrilling year for Wisconsin golf with the epicenter of that excitement being June’s first ever US Open in Wisconsin at my beloved Erin Hills (less than 30 minutes away).

Tee Times Magazine recently published its first Wisconsin online issue, including several articles written by yours’ truly on a couple of wonderful Wisconsin businesses, Fore! Milwaukee and Ontal Corporate Golf Wellness.

I’d previously been providing articles for Tee Times Magazine’s print and online publication for Minnesota, including a fun piece on Sand Valley Golf Resort which will officially open its Coore/Crenshaw course to the public on May 2.

Tee Times Magazine, Wisconsin

Tee Times Magazine, Minnesota

WiscoGolfAddict will be featuring some talented up-and-coming guest writers this year, including Matt from TruGolf.com* and some great golf equipment reviews [and more] from my good buddy and equipment enthusiast, John. 

Matt’s first article with us, “How to Improve Your Mental Game,” is a foray in to staving off the negative affects of golf’s off-season, sharpening your mental game to ensure a strong start to the 2017 season.

John, a plus-handicapper and fellow member of North Hills Country Club, has the new Callaway Epic driver en route and I can’t wait to hear more about it. You may remember him as the guy who beat me on his final swing for the long drive championship last year:

PS Final Round Cap

North Hills Country Club 2nd Annual Long Drive Competition

John and I will also be partnering up for the 2017 US Golf Classic, a $50,000 winner-takes-all two-man best ball tournament with May 19 state qualifiers (Wisconsin’s qualifier, limited to 50 teams, will be held at Hawk’s View in Lake Geneva). I’ll have more info on the event coming soon, including a registration code for my readers to take advantage of early sign-up.

My beloved North Hills Country Club will have another new member promotion this year, too, as the club zeroes in on its goal of 300 golfing members. I had four referrals join last year, and another seven who signed up after reading about it on my site but never mentioned me as their referrer until we met on the course. Not at all salty about that 🙂

Keep tuned in this year for terrific new content on everything golf: The course reviews you’ve come to expect and love, the 4-1-1 on exciting new gear, insight in to golf strategy and the mental game, a little creative writing and more.

From my family to yours, we wish a happy and healthy New Year to all our loyal readers.

Paul

 

* More on Matt:

Matt is an avid golf enthusiast and part of the TruGolf.com team. When he’s not working on his fairway shot, you will find Matt writing about his passion for the process of the game.

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