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

  • 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.
    The 18-hole Wild Rock Golf Club at Wilderness in Wisconsin Dells, WI is a public golf course that opened in 2008. Wild Rock Golf Club at Wilderness measures 7414 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 141 and a 76.
  • 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.
    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.
    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.

    Founded in 1896, Tuscumbia Golf Course is the oldest championship course in Wisconsin. Nestled in the resort community of Green Lake, the course enjoys a landscape of majestic evergreens, maples, and towering oaks. The layout is routed through a maze of mature trees, they line the tight fairways and frame the demanding greens.
    Mascoutin Golf Club offers three nine-hole courses that can be played in different 18-hole combinations. The Red and White nines make up the original golf course that opened in 1976 before the Blue nine was added in 1999. The Blue/Red Course combines the shortest nine, Blue, with the longest. The Red nine stretches to just over 2,600 yards, which is over 100 yards longer than the Blue. The Blue nine features a few holes with water and there are a few strategically placed bunkers to contend with.
    Eagle Creek Golf Club is tucked away in the rolling hills of northeast Wisconsin. It is only a few miles outside of Appleton although it feels much more secluded. The scenic landscape is virtually treeless and cut with ribbons of tall native grasses, providing the ideal setting for a round of links golf.
  • 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.
    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.
    The House on the Rock Resort & Golf Club boasts 27 holes set amidst the rolling hills of the Wisconsin River Valley. There is the original Springs Course, an 18-hole layout designed by Robert Trent Jones, and the North Nine. Despite being a nine-hole course, the North offers just as many challenges as the full-length golf course, just on a smaller scale and like the other course, there is plenty of scenery to enjoy from every hole.
  • 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.
    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.
    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.

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