(WFRV) – As Wisconsinites head into the summer, the grills begin to fire up, the lawns begin to take shape, and avid golfers begin hitting the course.
While Wisconsin doesn’t have an Augusta National or a Pebble Beach, there are some world-class courses throughout the state that you can play at over the summer.
GOLF.com released a list of the 20 best golf courses in Wisconsin, and the results have courses all around the state, giving you the ultimate tour of the Badger State’s best.
01. Whistling Straits – Straits (Sheboygan)
Starting off at number one, to no one’s surprise, is Whistling Straits in Sheboygan. Ranked 54th in the entire nation by GOLF.com, the legendary course is home to the 2004, 2010, and 2015 PGA Championships.
Designed by Pete Dye in 1998, who wanted the course to look like it’s in Ireland, the par 72 course plays 7,790 yards from the black tees with a challenging variety of holes along Lake Michigan’s coastline.
The best part about it, the general public can play it. Whistling Straits will cost a pretty penny to play, but the experience and thought that professional players from the likes of Jason Day, Justin Thomas, and Jon Rahm stood on the exact same tee box will create a long-lasting memory.
02. Milwaukee Country Club (Milwaukee)
GOLF.com ranked Milwaukee CC at number two on their list and attributed the “charming old-school layout that challenges the modern player with fast greens and deep bunkers” as to why it ranked so high.
The Milwaukee River runs right through the course, giving holes eight through 12 a memorable experience. Similar to Whistling Straits, Milwaukee CC plays 7,077 yards and offers a variety of traps, tasking golfers with a decision to play risky or safe.
Unfortunately, Milwaukee CC is a private establishment and will ring up around $2,700 for dining and social memberships. Nonetheless, this gorgeous chunk of land takes GOLF.com’s silver medal.
03. Lawsonia – Links (Green Lake)
2020 was a tough year for everyone across Wisconsin, but it did birth Lawsonia. GOLF.com says that Gold Age masters Langford & Moreau spent nearly $4 million to build this “literally ground-breaking Wisconsin layout.”
What might be so special? Lawsonia is home to some of the most difficult greens across the state. Rumor has it that a boxcar was buried under the 7th green to create the dramatic 20-foot drop-off. Lawsonia runs 6,853 yards from the blue tees and is a par 72.
It costs around $125 to play, which is considered great value, according to GOLF.com. The website ranked Lawsonia at number two in terms of the top 100 value courses across the nation. The truly remarkable golfer’s paradise is a must-play for avid golfers in Wisconsin.
04. Sand Valley – Sand Valley (Nekoosa)
Coming up just short of the top three is Sand Valley in Nekoosa, but there is a lot to love at this state-of-the-art facility. Sand Valley was founded on the dream of bringing incredible public golf to the prehistoric sand dunes of central Wisconsin.
The name Sand Valley is quite fitting as the hole layouts and based around tons and tons of sand, including one sand dune, so massive players have dubbed it The Volcano. Sand Valley plays a little longer than Lawsonia at 6,938 and is a par 72 with traps challenging players at every hole.
Sand Valley has competitive rates with similar prestigious courses around Wisconsin, but according to its website, the course is walking-only. The good news is that it is open to the general public and has everything you’d want in a Wisconsin golf course. Better bring your sand wedge.
05. Erin Hills (Hartford)
Rounding out the top five is Erin Hills in Hartford, which was home to the 2017 U.S. Open Championship. Brooks Koepka took home the win, and you certainly can, too, with the course’s stay & play packages.
The course was designed to accommodate the 2017 U.S. Open in terms of both the challenge to the players and the logistics of the spectators. This mix of traditional and modern elements, as well as a championship test, will leave many golfers with the feeling that they’ve never played anywhere like Erin Hills.
Erin Hills is a walking-only course, and those utilizing the stay & play option will receive a discounted second round should you be up for the challenge again. Think your clubs are the reason you sliced that drive? Erin Hills has the most up-to-date golf clubs, offering 2023 TaylorMade rentals for $85, giving you the best clubs in the game.
Wisconsin has a good mix of public and private courses in its top five, and that remains the same for the rest of the best. Take a look at GOLF.com’s 6-20:
- 06: Sand Valley – Mammoth (Nekoosa) (Public)
- 07: Pine Hills CC (Sheboygan) (Private)
- 08: Blackwolf Run – River (Kohler) (Public)
- 09: Blue Mound (Wauwatosa) (Private)
- 10: SentryWorld (Stevens Point) (Public)
- 11: West Bend CC (West Bend) (Private)
- 12: Club at Lac La Belle (Oconomowoc) (Public)
- 13: Blackwolf Run – Meadow (Kohler) (Public)
- 14: Stevens Point CC (Stevens Point) (Private)
- 15: Whistling Straits – Irish (Sheboygan) (Public)
- 16: Kenosha CC (Kenosha) (Private)
- 17: Bull at Pinehurst Farms (Sheboygan Falls) (Public) (#27 Value in U.S.)
- 18: Washington County (Hartford) (Private)
- 19: Eagle Springs – 9 holes (Eagle) (Public)
- 20: Spring Valley CC (Kenosha) (Private)
Whether you’re golfing at a prestigious facility in Wisconsin or at your local golf course, Wisconsinites aren’t fortunate enough to get to golf year round with the unpredictable weather so enjoy the time out on the links while you can.
And if you shoot terribly, make sure to stop in at the clubhouse for food and drinks after as a lot of these places offer fantastic post-round options to help you forget about that birdie putt that lipped out.