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

  • 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.

    Alpine Valley Resort sprawls across the Kettle Moraine in southern Wisconsin, lending a unique landscape to each of its three nine-hole courses: Summit, Meadows, and Sugar Creek. The Meadows/Sugar Creek will start players off on a landscape of open, grassy meadows before the landscape becomes more wooded and hillier. The namesake creek of the second nine bisects two holes on the Meadows.
    Fire Ridge Golf Club in Grafton, Wisconsin is a public course but it boasts the amenities and service of a private country club. It is not as well known as some other courses in the area and might possibly one of the state's best-kept secrets.
    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.
  • 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.

    The Golf Course at Branch River, located just west of Manitowoc, is an extension of the former Lakeside Country Club that was established in 1909. Branch River is an 18-hole course that sprawls across rolling, wooded hills. The fairways are lined with mature trees and the gently undulating terrain guarantees a few uneven lies. Strategically placed sand traps and water hazards will further test your accuracy.
    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.
    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.
  • 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.
    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."
    Bridges Golf Course is a municipal, 18-hole course that sits on the northeastern side of Madison, just south of the airport. It’s popular with locals since it’s both affordable and challenging. For a championship golf course it’s not particularly long at 6,900 yards from the back tees, but golfers will still face several tricky holes. Players of all skill levels will enjoy Bridges Golf Course for its variety of risk-reward opportunities.
  • 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.

    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.
    Trappers Turn Golf Club offers 27 holes of championship golf that stretch across scenic terrain that was carved by glaciers. The Arbor/Lake Course starts with the newest nine, which was added in 2000. This nine is known for its scenic views since it has the Rocky Arbor State Park as its neighbor. The Lake nine has four holes that wrap around the 13-acre Mystic Lake.
    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.
  • 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.

    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.
    Lake Lawn Resort spans across two miles of shoreline along Delavan Lake. The resort was founded in 1878, making it one of Wisconsin's oldest leisure destinations. Its proximity to both Chicago and Milwaukee has made it very popular. The championship golf course was not added until 1921, but it is still one of the area's oldest.

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