Wisconsin, home of badgers, cheese, frigid winters - and great golf

Don't discount Wisconsin golf just because it's not sunny year round. Play 18 at either the Straits or Irish Course at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan in the spring or summer and you'll swear you've just spent a few hours in Ireland.

The big city more your scene? Milwaukee is flush with top-notch golf courses, like Brown Deer Park Golf Club, home of the PGA Tour's U.S. Bank Championship, or head to Green Bay and check out the popular Brown Country Golf Course.

Looking for the college-town vibe? It doesn't get better than Madison, home of the University of Wisconsin. The University Ridge Golf Course is the school's prized golf course. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., it was built on a 2 million-year-old glacier.

If small town is more your thing, Kohler is for you. It's home to the River and Meadow Valleys Courses at Blackwolf Run. Opened in 1988, Blackwolf Run was named "Best New Public Course" by Golf Digest. The River and Meadow Valleys were designed by Pete Dye.

Or find The Bull At Pinehurst Farms in Sheboygan Falls, a Jack Nicklaus design. Also, there's the Golf Courses of Lawsonia in Green Lake. Its Links Course features replica holes of Scottish and English golf courses.

Big and small, famous or not, Wisconsin is home to some great golf.

Wisconsin Golf Destinations

  • Madison

    Considered one of the country's prettiest capital cities, Madison, Wisconsin weaves around five lakes circled by miles of bike paths, parks and waterfront restaurants. Providing plenty of reasons for a golf trip are the city's four municipal courses and the renown collegiate course, University Ridge, the Robert Trent Jones II design that is home of the University of Wisconsin Badgers.

    Glen Erin Golf Club is an homage to the strong Irish heritage of Janesville, Glen Erin, which literally mean "Ireland's Valley," sprawls across lush, emerald green hills that are accentuated with a prominent vale that runs throughout the course. The course has a distinctly Irish character with wide, undulating fairways and immense greens that are flanked with pot bunkers.
    Coachman's Golf Club in Edgerton offers 27 holes of championship golf that sprawl across gently rolling hills covered with mature oaks and beautiful willow trees. The Blue/Red Course combines one of the longer nines with the shortest. Added in 1990, the Blue Course was the most recent addition to the club while the Red was Coachman's first course in 1968.
    Tucked amongst the rolling hills along the eastern shores of its namesake lake, Koshkonong Mounds Country Club pays homage to the Winnebago tribes that are native to the area. Koshkonong is a word from their language that means "these waters we live on."
  • Wisconsin Dells

    Wisconsin Dells calls itself the water park capital of the world and a great place for family vacations, but there is plenty of golf to lure foursomes, too.

    The Oaks Golf Course at Christmas Mountain Village was carefully carved from the rolling hills of Wisconsin Dells. The Oaks is the 18-hole course and it is joined by the nine-hole Pines Course. The names of both courses are indicative of the mature woodland landscape you will find on each.
    Coldwater Canyon Golf Course in the Wisconsin Dells has a layout that dates back to the 1920s, making it one of the oldest golf courses in the state. Originally a nine-hole course, it was expanded to a full 18 holes but the original layout was carefully preserved as the front nine.
    Lake Wisconsin Country Club is located on the outskirts of Prairie du Sac, just a 30-minute drive from both Madison and the Wisconsin Dells. The golf course is quite short at 5,881 yards, which makes it pleasantly walkable, but it is certainly not an easy course.
  • Lake Geneva

    Lake Geneva is less than 90 minutes from Chicago and even closer to Milwaukee, but it's a world away. The 9-mile-long lake is surrounded by a historic town, some of the best golf courses in Wisconsin, a four-star resort that began as a Playboy Club resort, and a string of enormous summer mansions built ín the 1800s by Americas most famous industrialists.

    The Palmer Course is just one of three championship courses at Geneva National Golf Club. The other two boast well known designers as well: Gary Player and Lee Trevino. The Palmer Course is the most challenging of the three but the Player Course comes in at a close second. There is less water one this course but it still has a prominent presence throughout.
    Abbey Springs Golf Course in Fontana is routed through mature woodlands that give it a peacefully secluded feel. Surrounded by countryside and enclosed within towering trees, the course is an ideal getaway. The challenging course has small, sloped greens and water hazards that come into play on half of the holes.
    Como Crossings is the 18-hole championship course at Hawk's View Golf Club. It is the only five-star rated course in Lake Geneva. The club's other course, Barn Hollow, is also an 18-hole course but it offers a unique short game layout that is great for beginners and juniors. Como Crossings sprawls across rolling hills covered with mature vegetation and woodlands.
  • Green Bay

    It's pretty difficult to visit Green Bay and not notice that it's the home of the Packers. The "cheeseheads" are pretty rabid about the fan-owned team founded in 1919 that has more championships than any team in the NFL. Not bad for a city of just over 100,000 residents, the smallest to host an NFL team.

    Fox Hills Resort & Conference Center is one of northeast Wisconsin's premier golf destinations with a total of 45 holes of championship golf that give four different 18-hole layouts to choose from. The parkland Fox Creek Course is broken down into three nines: Blue, White, and Red. The Blue/White course is made up of the two shortest nines. It presents the most player friendly of any of the golf courses at Fox Hills but there are still a few challenges in store.
    Glen Cairn Golf Course in Ogdensburg is laid across a diverse terrain of woodlands, grassy meadows, and marshlands. The course was carefully carved from over 160 acres of lush, rolling countryside. As its name would indicate, the course draws inspiration from the traditions of British Isles golf.
    Lawsonia Golf Course boasts two championship 18-hole courses, the Links and the Woodlands. The Links Course will make you feel as though you've been transported to the British Isles. Many of the holes replicate famous Scottish and English golf holes, giving it a character that is reminiscent of the golf courses played in the British Open.
  • Milwaukee

    Don't think Milwaukee is just a beer-and-brats town surrounded by some impressive golf courses. Start with the $110 million Quadracci Pavilion at the Milwaukee Art Museum designed by Santiago Calatrava. Its wing-like structure earned it the designation as the Sexiest Building by virtualtourist.com.

    Broadlands Golf Club in North Prairie is one of the most popular public golf courses in the Milwaukee area and also one of southeastern Wisconsin's best values. With a wide-open, virtually treeless landscape, the course has a traditional links design. It offers plenty of challenges but it is also not overly difficult for high handicappers. Water comes into play on a few holes, mostly on the front nine.
    Kettle Moraine Golf Club is routed across a diverse landscape of wooded hills and wetlands, offering the ideal setting for parkland golf. The layout is on the shorter side at just over 6,400 yards but it calls for a variety of shots that will ensure golfers stay on their toes. The terrain provides a variety of elevation changes that range from subtle to dramatic.
    Brighton Dale Links boasts 45 holes that stretch across beautiful rolling hills covered with natural wetlands and studded with mature forests of deciduous trees. Blue Spruce is the shorter of the two championship courses and it is slightly more player friendly but both offer a challenging round. There are several large lakes that come into play on Blue Spruce.

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