Golf Destination: Wisconsin

The most recent articles about Wisconsin golf:

The Lido: America’s Next Great Golf Course, Again

The most highly anticipated course development of our time just might be The Lido, a private club adjacent to Sand Valley Golf Resort that’s being built as a carbon copy of the world’s greatest ever NLE golf course.

The Pond

Written by Gregg Thompson

Ever dreamt of building your own backyard par 3 golf course? That’s exactly what Gregg Thompson is doing at his home in Kenosha.

Ozaukee Country Club

One of the Milwaukee area’s top private golf clubs, the Langford/Moreau designed Ozaukee CC in Mequon enters its 100th year with its best days still to come.

Oneida Golf and Country Club

An old-school course in a beautiful setting with fantastic greens complexes, Oneida is one of the top private courses in the state.

Pioneer Pointe: Madison’s New Par 3 Experience

The newest golf course in the Madison area, Pioneer Pointe in Verona is an awesome 13-hole par three track designed by Lohmann Quitno that features great Golden Age designs. This is not your average executive course!

Glen Erin Golf Club: Wisconsin’s Best Hidden Gem?

One of what I consider to be the state’s top hidden gems, the Greg Martin designed Glen Erin Golf Club in Janesville is a fantastic daily fee course with incredibly upscale design elements at an affordable price tag, and one of my top 25 public courses in Wisconsin.

North Hills Country Club: My Home Close to Home

My home course, North Hills is a wonderful Golden Age parkland gem with some of the best greens and conditions in the state.

Home of the country’s longest-running 2-day charity golf tournament, The Vince Lombardi Golf Classic, it’s a private club with a fun, golf-obsessed membership, great pace of play and perfect walkability.

The Baths of Blackwolf Run: Kohler’s Newest Golf Experience

The newest golf amenity at Destination Kohler, The Baths at Blackwolf Run is the perfect way to spend an hour or four before, between or following rounds on their championship courses. Designed in partnership between former Pete Dye protege Chris Lutzke and Herb Kohler, Jr., The Baths is an incredibly fun golf experience featuring Golden Age architecture with huge, well-contoured green complexes. This is an absolute must-play for any visitor to Kohler.

Blackwolf Run, Meadow Valleys: Wisconsin’s Best Back 9

As I wrote in my recent stream-of-consciousness entry “The State of the Game of Golf in Wisconsin,” destination golf in the Badger State began in earnest at Blackwolf Run. Development of its Original Championship course marked the start of a long and successful partnership between Herb Kohler and Pete Dye, and proved to be the … Continue reading Blackwolf Run, Meadow Valleys: Wisconsin’s Best Back 9

Sand Valley: The Course that Put Rome on the Map

The original Sand Valley Course is my favorite at this world-class Wisconsin golf resort that in just 5 short years has made a significant impact on golf in the state of Wisconsin. And this is just the beginning.

North Shore Golf Club (Menasha)

I had the privilege of being invited up to North Shore Golf Club in Menasha, Wisconsin, last month, and was not disappointed! This 1930 Leonard Macomber track is one of the state’s true hidden gems, featuring great golf and conditions, beautiful scenery alongside Lake Winnebago and a wonderful Golden Age course design.

Erin Hills Golf Course: A Legend at 15

When on-site, it’s almost impossible to comprehend that it’s just 15 years old. It’s got all the looks and feels of a historic property that’s been played and refined for centuries. Certainly, no course in America has changed and accomplished more in as short a period of time as Erin Hills, going under the knife regularly to improve the guest and tournament experience in ways both noticeable and strategically long-term…

Tuckaway Country Club

Last month I had the opportunity to revisit a course I haven’t played in a really long time: Tuckaway Country Club. Following my first round there in 2013, I remember liking the course but not being wowed. It was a long time ago, though, and a lot has changed since then. . Tuckaway’s done an … Continue reading Tuckaway Country Club

Nakoma Golf Club: Madison’s Bendelow Gem

Nakoma Golf Club in Madison, Wisconsin is a great classic parkland course originally designed by Tom Bendelow and opened in 1925.

We took great advantage of this perfect Fall day, got some nice photos and played excellent golf including some of the best greens I’ve played in Wisconsin.

Two thumbs up, Nakoma.

Green Bay Country Club: Wisconsin’s Best New-Age Private Course

I knew I was in for a treat when I was asked to play Green Bay Country Club, but I had no idea how much of a treat that was going to be.

Green Bay CC is one of the top 3 private golf courses I’ve played in the state.

There’s not a more dramatic course or golf landscape in Wisconsin – not even in Sheboygan.

Green Bay is the best golf course hardly anybody knows about.

The Club at Lac La Belle: An August Morning Photo Shoot

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.

Bullseye Golf Club: A Fun Add-On to Your Sand Valley Vacation

Bullseye Golf Club is a terrific course to add to the itinerary of a trip to Sand Valley Golf Resort, but as a “Pro tip” I highly recommend playing it before playing Mammoth Dunes. It would be hard to find two more diametrically opposed golf courses…

If you’re a fan of classic parkland courses, Bullseye is well worth the greens fee. The tees, fairways and greens are beautifully manicured, the putting complexes are interesting and quick, and there’s just something about being amongst tall trees and wilderness that’s good for the soul.

Sand Valley, Mammoth Dunes: McLay Kidd’s Midwest Masterpiece

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.

Pine Hills Country Club: Big Things on the Horizon

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.

Kenosha Country Club: Wisconsin’s Top Ross

One of two Donald Ross designed golf courses in the state of Wisconsin, Kenosha Country Club boasts an almost 100-year-old private course with a rather unique variety of hole layouts, thoughtful use of elevation and fun, tiny [but expanding] green complexes that my host, Gregg, described perfectly as “playful.”

The Club at Lac La Belle: A Preview of What’s to Come

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.

The University Club: A Bright Future for the old Tripoli

Located on the north side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, The University Club is a challenging private course originally designed by Tom Bendelow and recently renovated by Andy Staples.

18 holes of challenging, country club golf highlight a terrific private club experience including its downtown sister location.

Blue Mound Golf and Country Club: A Raynor Classic

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.

Grand Geneva, The Brute

My updated review of the Brute course at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. A classic Midwest golf course with tons of history, Brute-ishly large design features and a new transportation option unique in Wisconsin: GolfBoarding.

The Sandbox at Sand Valley Golf Resort: 17 Holes of Coore/Crenshaw Fun

The perfect complement to the championship golf experience at Sand Valley Golf Resort in Rome, Wisconsin, the Sandbox is a beautiful 17-hole par 3 course designed by golf design legends Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.

I briefly discuss the Sandbox here, documenting and photographing it during its opening day on May 1, 2018.

AmFam Championship Countdown: Less than 3 Weeks!

A recap of the AmFam Championship media day at University Ridge in Madison, WI with Steve Stricker, Kirk Triplett and Andy North – the June 19-25 event will feature this year’s celebrity foursome with Brett Favre, Andy North, Derek Jeter and Darius Rucker

Sand Valley Golf Course

A full 18-hole review of the brand new Sand Valley Golf Resort in Rome, Wisconsin – site of the 2016 Illinois vs. Wisconsin Writer’s Cup and set to open in Spring, 2017 to coincide with the US Open at Erin Hills

2016 Wisconsin vs. Illinois Writers Cup at Sand Valley Golf Resort

Following a tour of the front nine at last year’s Sand Valley media day, a reference to the Wisconsin vs. Illinois Writers Cup was made to which Mike Keiser, Jr. immediately replied: “Can we host next year’s event here!?” The Writers Cup alternates between Wisconsin and Illinois courses each year, with last year’s event played at … Continue reading 2016 Wisconsin vs. Illinois Writers Cup at Sand Valley Golf Resort

Racine Country Club

Let’s start out by saying that I (and my fellow buddies from North Hills Country Club) loved the Racine Country Club experience. The course is classic with small, lightning-fast greens, and the clubhouse and facilities are beautiful. I don’t think I’ve seen a club in Wisconsin with better amenities, in fact. The food was fantastic. I got … Continue reading Racine Country Club

Sand Valley: Preview Play Now Open!

Interest in the Sand Valley project in Rome, Wisconsin is palpable. The article I wrote on America’s next great golf destination following their August, 2015 media day has now become the most popular course review I have ever written, and I literally get asked several times a week about the resort’s progress. That progress has been rolling along smoothly, and … Continue reading Sand Valley: Preview Play Now Open!

Sand Valley Golf Resort: In Case You’ve Been Living in a Cave

By this time, I’m pretty certain the majority of golf enthusiasts in and around the state of Wisconsin have heard a few things about Mike Keiser’s ongoing project in Rome, Wisconsin, named Sand Valley. The first course, being designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, is scheduled to open to founding members in 2016 and … Continue reading Sand Valley Golf Resort: In Case You’ve Been Living in a Cave

Painting by Kris Halsrud: The 17th at Whistling Straits, Straits Course

Kris Halsrud is a talented writer, golfer and IT professional. Like me, he has blogged about golf for years, and over the past five or so years we’ve built a friendship through our golf writing and love of the game. While most of my writing revolves around the Wisconsin golf scene, Kris’s is more focused … Continue reading Painting by Kris Halsrud: The 17th at Whistling Straits, Straits Course

Lawsonia’s Links Course: The Langford Shield and William Langford’s Contributions to Golf Course Design

The Langford Shield Golf Tournament: The Langford Shield golf tournament on the Links course at Lawsonia in Green Lake, Wisconsin, was created last year to honor the significant contributions made to golf course architecture by the legendary golf course design team of William Langford and Theodore Moreau. The Links course at Lawsonia is perhaps the … Continue reading Lawsonia’s Links Course: The Langford Shield and William Langford’s Contributions to Golf Course Design

Sand Valley: The Next Big Thing is [Almost] Here

In 2013, Oliphant Vice President of Golf Management and Project Development, Craig Haltom, contacted Mike Keiser about a piece of land in remote Central Wisconsin that he just had to check out. Keiser, the prolific developer behind Bandon Dunes, Cabot Cliffs and other ongoing international golf resort projects, works closely with the Wisconsin-based Haltom and trusted his … Continue reading Sand Valley: The Next Big Thing is [Almost] Here

PGA Championship Volunteering Experience at Whistling Straits

With the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits for the third time in 2015, I lept at the opportunity this year to take part in it. North Hills Country Club, where I have been a member for the past three years, teamed up this year with Tuckaway Country Club to marshal the fourteenth hole. I have never volunteered … Continue reading PGA Championship Volunteering Experience at Whistling Straits

Golf Course Photography: Whistling Straits, Irish Course

As a marshal for the upcoming PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, I have had access at times to discounted tee times at the Kohler courses, including the Irish course at Whistling Straits, the Straits (last season), the River course (last season) and the Meadow Valleys course at Blackwolf Run. Seven friends of mine and I … Continue reading Golf Course Photography: Whistling Straits, Irish Course

Golf Course Review: SentryWorld… Reimagined (Now vs. Then)

SentryWorld Course Rankings: Golf Digest: #5 Wisconsin GolfWeek: #4 Wisconsin public #10 Wisconsin public Designer: Robert Trent Jones, Jr. (1982, 2013) On October 15, I had the honor of being part of SentryWorld’s pre-reopening media day. Once the top track in all of Wisconsin, and the original destination course in the state, SentryWorld has … Continue reading Golf Course Review: SentryWorld… Reimagined (Now vs. Then)

Golf Course Review: Blackwolf Run, Meadow Valleys

Blackwolf Run, Meadow Valleys Course Rankings: Golf Digest: #72 US public, #10 WisconsinGolfWeek: #10 Wisconsin public Designer: Pete Dye (1998) . The Blackwolf Run, Meadow Valleys course has been reviewed more recently (September 2021), and the updated course review be found here: Golf Course Review: Blackwolf Run, Meadow Valleys The Meadow Valleys golf course at … Continue reading Golf Course Review: Blackwolf Run, Meadow Valleys

Erin Hills Media Day: Counting Down the Years to the 2017 US Open

With almost exactly three years until the weekend of the 2017 US Open, Erin Hills Golf Course has come a long way! Following Martin Kaymer’s runaway victory at Pinehurst No. 2 this past weekend, you can be sure Mike Davis is readying Chambers Bay for a much tougher challenge – hopefully one that will not … Continue reading Erin Hills Media Day: Counting Down the Years to the 2017 US Open

JSOnline: Coore and Crenshaw Selected for Sand Valley Project

According to today’s article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online edition by Gary D’Amato, the Sand Valley golf resort’s course architect team for the initial course has been selected, and will be Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. Coore and Crenshaw have worked with Mike Keiser (developer of Sand Valley, and previously at Bandon Dunes and … Continue reading JSOnline: Coore and Crenshaw Selected for Sand Valley Project

WildRidge Golf Club

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 … Continue reading WildRidge Golf Club

Golf Course Review: Big Fish

Located in the heart of Northern Wisconsin, Big Fish is one of six golf courses in the state designed by the legendary Pete Dye (Blackwolf Run Meadow Valleys and River, Whistling Straits Irish and Straits, and Hidden Glen GC (private, Cedarburg)).   Named for the world record 58-inch muskellunge caught in the same city, Big … Continue reading Golf Course Review: Big Fish

Golf Course Review: The River Course at Blackwolf Run

Blackwolf Run, River Course Rankings: Golf Digest: #16 US public, #32 US toughest, #4 Wisconsin GolfWeek: #56 US modern, #17 US resort, #3 Wisconsin public #89 US top 100, #14 US public Designer: Pete Dye (1988) A true Pete Dye masterpiece, the River at Blackwolf Run is unanimously the second rated course in Wisconsin, Golf … Continue reading Golf Course Review: The River Course at Blackwolf Run

Golf Course Review: SentryWorld

Ask any avid Wisconsin golfer who has yet to play SentryWorld about the course, and chances are they will say something about the “Flower Hole.” But the course is a perennial top fifteen track in Wisconsin, so there has to be more going on than just one great par three, right? After finally playing it, I can say with certainty … Continue reading Golf Course Review: SentryWorld

Golf Course Review: The National at Par 5 Resort (fka Fox Hills)

The weekend we played the National was my Uncle Paul’s 60th birthday party in Two Rivers – the town my mother’s family grew up in. Relatives from around the country flew in for the event, and we stayed at the Fox Hills Resort just outside of town, in Mishicot. Saturday morning was a designated day for … Continue reading Golf Course Review: The National at Par 5 Resort (fka Fox Hills)

Golf Course Review: The Bog

Please note that while this article is dated March 2012 (date of the original post), it was updated July 21, 2019 An Arnold Palmer Signature Course, The Bog is the Milwaukee area’s top rated public track, rolling through the Cedarburg Bog amid a hilly and stunningly beautiful landscape. Regularly playing host to some of the state’s … Continue reading Golf Course Review: The Bog

Washington County Golf Course

Washington County Golf Course has received huge acclaim since opening in 1997, and there is good reason why. Its world-famous course architect, Arthur Hills, is well known for creating tracks that reward the smart golfer, including Oakmont, Inverness, Chaska Town Course, and more locally, Nagawaukee and [interestingly enough] Wanaki. Washington County is a thinking man’s course, … Continue reading Washington County Golf Course

The Golf Courses of Lawsonia, Woodlands Course

At the mention of Lawsonia, most golfers immediately default to thoughts of the Links, which is an authentic links-style course currently rated as the 55th best Classic track in the country, and top five in the state. The Woodlands at Lawsonia is a wonderful course in its own right, chocked full of fantastic golf holes and all the charm … Continue reading The Golf Courses of Lawsonia, Woodlands Course

University Ridge

Home of the Wisconsin Badgers golf team, University Ridge features some of the most remarkable golf holes in the state. Designed and built in 1991 by one the country’s most well-known and beloved course designers, Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the course sits atop a several million year old glacier. Located in the Verona suburb of Madison, the course … Continue reading University Ridge

Horseshoe Bay Golf Club

Having spoken with a handful of friends who have already played this private course in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, I knew I was in for a treat when asked to join for a round at Horseshoe Bay Golf Club. This course is everything a country club should be and much more: Fantastically manicured with gorgeous hole … Continue reading Horseshoe Bay Golf Club