Wisconsin is not only known for its cheese and picturesque landscapes, but it also boasts some of the finest golf courses in the United States. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or just looking to enjoy a round with friends, Wisconsin offers an array of courses to choose from.
In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 golf courses in Wisconsin that offer a unique golfing experience.
Top 10 Golf Courses in Wisconsin
Wisconsin, known for its picturesque landscapes and cheese, is also home to some of the finest golf courses in the United States. From championship-level fairways designed by legends of the sport to scenic courses that immerse you in the state’s natural beauty, Wisconsin offers a diverse array of golfing experiences.
In the following sections, we will embark on a journey to explore the top 10 golf courses in the Badger State, each offering a unique blend of challenges, beauty, and the promise of memorable rounds:
- The Legends Club at Merrill Hills
- Whistling Straits Golf Course
- Sand Valley Golf Resort
- Erin Hills Golf Course
- Blackwolf Run Golf Course
- The American Club
- SentryWorld Golf Course
- Geneva National Resort & Club
- University Ridge Golf Course
- Brown Deer Park Golf Course
Whether you’re an avid golfer or just looking to enjoy a round with friends, Wisconsin’s golfing landscape has something for everyone.
Let’s tee off and discover the golfing gems that await in this beautiful state.
1. The Legends Club at Merrill Hills
Nestled in the heart of Waukesha, Wisconsin, The Legends Club at Merrill Hills is a golfer’s paradise that has earned its place among the state’s premier golfing destinations. Designed by none other than the legendary Jack Nicklaus, this 18-hole championship course is a testament to his architectural brilliance.
The course boasts a scenic backdrop that showcases the natural beauty of the Kettle Moraine region. Rolling hills, lush fairways, and mature trees create a picturesque setting that sets the stage for a memorable round of golf. As you tee off, the stunning views of this enchanting landscape will leave you in awe.
But what truly sets The Legends Club apart is its challenging layout. The course’s design incorporates various hazards and strategic bunkers, demanding precision and skill from golfers. Every hole presents a unique challenge, and Nicklaus’ signature design elements are evident throughout. Whether you’re a scratch golfer or just starting, you’ll find that The Legends Club provides an exhilarating and fair test of your abilities.
As you navigate the course, you’ll appreciate the impeccable fairways and well-maintained greens, enhancing the overall experience. It’s not just a place to play golf; it’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the game while surrounded by natural beauty and architectural excellence. For golf enthusiasts, The Legends Club at Merrill Hills is nothing short of a must-visit destination that promises an unforgettable round every time.
2. Whistling Straits Golf Course
Whistling Straits, located along the shores of Lake Michigan in the charming village of Kohler, stands as one of the world’s most renowned golf courses. This exceptional masterpiece, designed by the brilliant Pete Dye, has proudly hosted several major championships, making it a true icon in the golfing world.
The moment you step onto Whistling Straits, you’ll be captivated by the rugged and unique links-style layout. The course’s terrain, featuring windswept dunes, presents a challenge that mirrors the classic Irish and Scottish courses. This style creates a distinct and captivating golfing experience, setting it apart from traditional parkland courses.
What truly distinguishes Whistling Straits is the abundance of challenging bunkers scattered throughout the course. These bunkers, designed with intricate and artistic flair, add both visual appeal and strategic complexity. Golfers find themselves not only admiring the picturesque scenery but also navigating these bunkers, which demand precision and tactical thinking.
The cherry on top is the breathtaking lakefront views, which accompany you throughout your round. The course’s proximity to Lake Michigan ensures that you’re treated to stunning vistas that create an almost meditative ambiance. Each hole provides a picturesque frame, making every swing a memory to cherish.
In summary, a round of golf at Whistling Straits is more than just a game; it’s an immersive journey into the world of links-style golf. The challenging layout, artistic bunkers, and awe-inspiring lakefront views collectively deliver an unforgettable golfing experience that every enthusiast should seek to savor.
3. Sand Valley Golf Resort
Sand Valley Golf Resort, a relatively new addition to Wisconsin’s golf scene, has quickly made a name for itself as a hidden gem. Situated in Nekoosa, this resort offers golfers a unique blend of natural beauty and architectural brilliance.
The course’s defining feature is the harmonious coexistence of expansive sand dunes and serene pine forests. This uncommon combination creates a visually appealing and challenging experience for golfers of all levels. As you navigate the course, you’ll find yourself alternating between dune landscapes and pine-lined fairways, offering a distinct contrast on every hole.
The sandy terrain, reminiscent of the great links courses, makes precision and strategy vital on each swing. The undulating dunes and intricate bunkers test your skills and judgment. Sand Valley’s design pays homage to the natural beauty of the area while adding a layer of sophistication that both beginners and seasoned golfers can appreciate.
This course’s rapid recognition in the golfing world is a testament to its unique and captivating qualities. For those seeking a golfing adventure that combines breathtaking vistas with challenging fairways, Sand Valley Golf Resort is an excellent choice. It’s a haven for golf enthusiasts looking for a fresh and exciting golfing experience in the heart of Wisconsin.
4. Erin Hills Golf Course
Erin Hills Golf Course, situated in the rolling hills of Erin, Wisconsin, has etched its name into golf history. It earned the privilege of hosting the 2017 U.S. Open, a testament to its exceptional design and demanding challenges.
The course’s rolling terrain, adorned with fescue grasses, provides an authentic links-style experience that’s rare in the United States. The fescue grasses, known for their resistance to conventional mowing, create a unique and visually striking landscape that is as much a challenge as it is a work of art.
The true test of one’s golfing skills lies in Erin Hills’ greens. They demand precision and judgment, making your approach shots and putting game critical. The challenging greens are balanced by the fair but demanding fairways, offering an experience that is both rewarding and educational.
Every hole at Erin Hills is a masterpiece of design, with natural beauty and architectural brilliance intertwined seamlessly. The course invites golfers to immerse themselves in the game, relishing the difficulty of each challenge while enjoying the serene beauty of the surroundings.
Erin Hills Golf Course is a golfing gem, offering a true test of one’s abilities in a setting of natural beauty. For those who seek to play where champions have tread, this course offers an unforgettable and humbling golfing experience.
5. Blackwolf Run Golf Course
Blackwolf Run, situated as a prominent part of the Kohler resort, is a golfing paradise that offers not just one but two distinct 18-hole courses: The River and The Meadow Valleys. This gem of a golfing destination is known for its unique and captivating blend of nature and design.
The River course, designed by the renowned golf course architect Pete Dye, is an exceptional example of golfing excellence. It unfolds amidst a remarkable landscape that showcases a delightful combination of woods and river views. As you make your way through this course, you’ll find yourself engrossed in a golfing experience that’s nothing short of unforgettable.
The River course is set along the picturesque Sheboygan River and features dramatic elevation changes, challenging bunkers, and meticulously crafted greens. It demands both strategic thinking and precise shot execution, making it a fantastic challenge for golfers of all skill levels.
In contrast, The Meadow Valleys course offers a different yet equally enchanting experience. It’s characterized by lush meadows and carefully sculpted fairways that harmonize with the natural surroundings. This course, also designed by Pete Dye, provides golfers with a diverse set of challenges that vary from its sister course, The River.
What makes Blackwolf Run truly special is the way it offers golfers a choice between these two magnificent courses. Each course presents its unique set of challenges and breathtaking views, ensuring that golfers have the opportunity to enjoy a dynamic and engaging golfing experience every time they visit.
Both courses are meticulously maintained and exude a sense of serenity and natural beauty. Whether you’re looking for a challenging round, a casual game with friends, or a scenic golfing adventure, Blackwolf Run delivers it all. It’s a testament to Kohler’s commitment to providing an extraordinary golfing experience in the heart of Wisconsin.
6. The American Club
The American Club in Kohler is not just a golf course; it is a destination that defines the ultimate golf resort experience. For golf enthusiasts seeking a complete golf vacation that goes beyond the greens, The American Club offers luxury accommodations, fine dining, and multiple golf courses designed by legends in the golfing world, including Pete Dye, as well as his sons, David and Michael.
The accommodations at The American Club are nothing short of opulent. The resort’s historic charm is reflected in its lavish rooms and suites, ensuring that guests are immersed in luxury and comfort from the moment they arrive. The blend of old-world elegance and modern amenities creates an ambiance that’s both inviting and rejuvenating.
When it comes to dining, The American Club stands out for its culinary excellence. From fine dining to casual eateries, there’s a range of options to satisfy every palate. The resort’s culinary team takes pride in offering a diverse menu featuring fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. After a day on the course, golfers can indulge in exquisite meals and savor the flavors of Wisconsin.
Of course, the highlight of The American Club is its golfing amenities. The resort features multiple golf courses, each designed to provide a unique golfing experience. Pete Dye’s designs are known for their challenging layouts, and golfers can test their skills on these renowned courses. Whether it’s the intricate hazards, subtle undulations, or strategic design, these courses offer golfers a memorable and thought-provoking game.
David and Michael Dye, following in their father’s footsteps, have designed courses that complement the existing golfing offerings. This variety allows golfers to choose courses that align with their preferences and skill levels.
Summing up, The American Club is a haven for golfers looking for a holistic golfing experience. It’s a place where you can challenge your golfing skills, relax in luxury, and indulge in exceptional dining. For those seeking a golf vacation that leaves no aspect of the experience untouched, The American Club in Kohler is the perfect destination.
7. SentryWorld Golf Course
SentryWorld, situated in the picturesque town of Stevens Point, is a golf course that’s revered for its unique and captivating features. One of the highlights is the stunning flower hole, a par 3 surrounded by thousands of flowers, which sets it apart from traditional golf courses.
The course’s 16th hole, affectionately known as the “flower hole,” is a sight to behold. This beautifully manicured par 3 is flanked by vibrant flowerbeds, creating a colorful and stunning backdrop for golfers. As you stand on the tee, you’ll feel like you’re in the midst of a botanical garden, with the fragrance of flowers and the striking visual display enhancing your golfing experience.
SentryWorld is known for its commitment to providing an enjoyable and scenic round of golf for players of all skill levels. The course layout offers a mix of challenges and opportunities to appreciate the surrounding natural beauty. The meticulous landscaping and well-maintained fairways ensure a memorable game every time.
The course’s design is strategic and player-friendly, making it a favorite among golfers looking for a well-balanced round. SentryWorld has managed to combine aesthetic beauty with an engaging and enjoyable golfing experience, making it a popular choice for those who appreciate the art of golf as well as the natural world.
Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, SentryWorld offers a round that is both visually captivating and skill-testing. It’s a testament to the belief that golf is not just a sport but a delightful experience. SentryWorld welcomes golfers to immerse themselves in a golfing haven where natural beauty and enjoyable play come together seamlessly.
8. Geneva National Resort & Club
Geneva National Resort & Club is a golfing haven located in the picturesque town of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. What sets this resort apart is the presence of three championship golf courses, each designed to provide golfers with a distinct and memorable experience.
The Palmer, Trevino, and Player courses, named after golfing legends Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, and Gary Player, offer a variety of golfing challenges within the same stunning location. As you arrive at the resort, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, characterized by rolling hills and the pristine waters of Lake Como.
- The Palmer Course: Designed by Arnold Palmer, this course is a testament to his design philosophy. It offers a layout that’s both enjoyable and challenging. The fairways meander through wooded areas, and water hazards come into play on several holes, demanding precision and strategy.
- The Trevino Course: Lee Trevino’s design is a golfing gem that introduces golfers to rolling hills and strategic bunkers. The course’s layout emphasizes shot placement, with doglegs and elevation changes adding to the challenge.
- The Player Course: Designed by Gary Player, this course features dramatic elevation changes and undulating fairways. The design focuses on the natural beauty of the area, with expansive views of Lake Como and the surrounding countryside.
Geneva National Resort & Club caters to golfers of all skill levels, ensuring that there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a challenging round on the Player Course, a scenic and enjoyable game on the Palmer Course, or a strategy-focused experience on the Trevino Course, Geneva National provides a range of golfing adventures within one destination.
The resort also offers amenities like fine dining, a pro shop, and practice facilities, making it a comprehensive golfing destination where you can immerse yourself in the sport while surrounded by the tranquility and beauty of Lake Geneva.
9. University Ridge Golf Course
University Ridge Golf Course, located in the vibrant city of Madison, is a favorite among both locals and visitors. Designed by the renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr., this course offers a blend of natural beauty and golfing challenges that make it an exceptional destination.
The course unfolds amidst the rolling hills and woodlands of southern Wisconsin, creating a backdrop that’s both serene and scenic. As you play your round, you’ll be treated to views of lush fairways, tree-lined holes, and an abundance of natural beauty.
The signature hole at University Ridge is the 17th, and it’s renowned for its beauty and strategic layout. Golfers approach the tee with a sense of anticipation, not just for the challenge it presents but for the beautiful views it offers. The hole features a large pond and cascading waterfall, enhancing the visual appeal while creating a strategic challenge.
University Ridge is known for its commitment to maintaining high-quality conditions. The fairways and greens are meticulously maintained, ensuring that every aspect of your game is a pleasure. The course’s design elements reflect the architectural brilliance of Robert Trent Jones Jr., with strategic bunkers and thoughtful routing that provide golfers with an engaging and rewarding experience.
This course welcomes golfers of all skill levels, offering a challenge for the experienced golfer while remaining accessible and enjoyable for those newer to the game. It’s a place where golfers can enjoy the best of both worlds: the natural beauty of southern Wisconsin and a well-designed golfing challenge that never ceases to inspire.
10. Brown Deer Park Golf Course
Brown Deer Park Golf Course, located in the vibrant city of Milwaukee, is a public course that has been a staple in the local golfing community for many years. It’s a place where golf enthusiasts can enjoy an affordable yet highly enjoyable round of golf.
The course has a rich history and has proudly hosted the Greater Milwaukee Open for several years, showcasing its ability to provide a challenging and professional-level golfing experience. While it may have hosted professional tournaments, it remains accessible to golfers of all skill levels.
Brown Deer Park Golf Course features a classic parkland-style layout with tree-lined fairways and strategically placed bunkers. The course’s design emphasizes shot placement and accuracy, making it a great place for golfers to practice and hone their skills.
One of the notable features of this course is its consistency. Golfers can expect a well-maintained and enjoyable round every time they visit. The fairways are lush, the greens are true, and the overall experience is one of quality and affordability.
While it may not have the luxurious amenities of some of the larger resorts, Brown Deer Park Golf Course shines as a place where the focus is squarely on the game itself. It’s an excellent option for those looking to enjoy a round of golf without breaking the bank, all while experiencing a course with a rich history and professional pedigree.
In conclusion, Wisconsin is home to some of the most scenic and challenging golf courses in the United States. Whether you’re looking for a championship-level experience or a casual round with friends, these top 10 golf courses offer a diverse range of options. Wisconsin’s golfing heritage is a testament to the state’s commitment to providing memorable golf experiences.