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6th Annual Wisconsin Golf Guide 2002
by Art McCafferty

Wisconsin and Michigan have over 1,600 golf courses between them. Alas, these golf riches are not easily shared. Our bordering water hole, Lake Michigan, has kept us apart since statehood. However, airline fares are reasonable, the SS Badger running out of Ludington makes two trips a day in the summer and you can always drive.

We have reported on many Wisconsin destinations in the past, and you can get all of the reviews at http://michigangolfer.com/nov01/Wiscon_guide.html. This year, we are reporting on the northeast section of Wisconsin

Alpine Golf, Egg Harbor
This resort has been providing enjoyment for families for 80 years. Now 27 holes, owner Bill Bertschinger plans soon to add an additional nine holes. Of the three, the Blue course is the most fun to play. The Blue nine gets golfers up into the highlands of the area, where bare limestone peeks out from everywhere. Of particular note, is the 250-yard par-4, ninth hole. With a drop higher than Treetops', middle distance hitters can drive the green and putt for an eagle.

Fox Hills Resort, Mishicot
Fox Hills is a massive golf resort complex with 45 holes of golf, a hotel, condos, two indoor and two outdoor swimming pools, two pro shops, locker rooms and a fine restaurant. The 45 holes are there for a reason, so call and get a teetime. (http://fox-hills.com)

Horseshoe Bay GC, Egg Harbor
Door County's Horseshoe Bay, located near Green Bay, is Wisconsin's answer to Traverse City and its peninsula. It is a spectacular area of history, recreation, fun and water. Horseshoe Bay GC was designed by Rick Robbins and Brian Lussier. Robbins also worked with Gary Koch in designing the Otsego Club's Tribute.

Although an enjoyable course, the traps seem to find everybody's game. There are a number of outcroppings of rock, primarily because they only could dynamite just so much of the course. The Double Delicious 13th hole provides a double fairway and the 14th, named Udderly Dangerous, can quickly live up to its name. The 18th hole, which finishes next to the clubhouse is a spectacular hole that drops down through a limestone walled boundary on the one side and a sharp drop-off in back of the green, where golfers will be able to view Horseshoe Bay. This is a very special hole and is one that will bring you back for more. (http://hsbfarms.com)

Orchards GC, Egg Harbor
Bill Newcomb designed The Orchards and he should be justifiable proud of his handiwork, as Orchards is a very enjoyable course. Recently opened, one would expect some growing pains. However, the greens were in surprisingly good shape. The course design is new and refreshing. The clubhouse area is imaginative in design and offers good food service. The final three holes feature a breather par-3between two magnificent par 5s, truly a memorable finish.(Editor's note: There are a couple of lodging facilities that put together golf packages in Door County, Landmark Hotel and Condominiums being one of them.)Peninsula GC. Jason Dauber, general manager of the course, is a graduate of Ferris State University's Professional Golf Management School and worked at Blackwolf Run before he landed this job. (http://orchardsateggharbor.com)

The Peninsula GC, Door County
The Peninsula GC is one of two State Wisconsin golf facilities. It gets a tremendous amount of play in the summer time due to its friendly prices and high level of maintenance. Golfers will find a terrific course with great vistas of the peninsula, Green Bay and the lovely little town of Ephraim. (http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/parks/specific/peninsula/)

The Bull, Sheboygan Falls
The Bull, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course in Sheboygan Falls, will open late this summer. Golfers will encounter rolling meadows, dense tree stands, wetlands, the Onion River, and a number of additional water challenges. Glacial ridges come into play on many of the holes and provide challenges throughout the course.

Owner Dave Bachman is excited about this property. You can share the same excitement by pulling up The Bull's website where you will see some of the emerging holes as well as a visit by Nicklaus and his entourage. (http://www.golfthebull.com)

Blackwolf Run-Whistling Straits-The Irish Course, Kohler
For those that keep up with the Top 100 courses in the U.S. you will have noted the quick ascendancy of the Blackwolf Run River Course and the new Whistling Straits, two of four outstanding courses in Kohler. Each of the courses has an attractive sibling. The River Course was joined a number of years ago by The Meadows and Whistling Straits was followed by the Irish Course last year. Of the Blackwolf Run property, Pete Dye said, "There could not be a better natural setting for golf." His comments on Whistling Straits: "I should say this with some degree of modesty: In my lifetime I've never seen anything like this. Anyplace. Period."

The world has indeed noticed. In 1998, after holding a number of prestigious state and national tournaments, Golf Kohler exploded on the scene with astounding success with the 1998 U.S. Women's Open Championship. It broke several records for the event, including attendance, a whopping 123,000 and the longest, which included a playoff round and then two playoff holes. It was one of the most exciting matches in the history of golf. In 2004 the PGA Championship will be held at Whistling Straits, an awesome prize for such a young course. "Whistling Straits will provide the perfect test for the world's best golfers," said PGA President Will Mann.

Whistling Straits, the newest from the mind of legendary Dye and the vision of Herbert Kohler, Jr., embraces two miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. Fourteen holes are within a Tiger 2-iron of the water. Dye brought in 800,000 cubic yards of sand and sculpted a bit of Ireland and a touch of Scotland. "The size of the dunes reminds one of Ballybunion (old) and Royal Birkdale," said John Morrissett of the USGA.

The American Club is the only AAA Five Diamond Hotel in the Midwest. Famed golfers all over the world come to play these courses, and just as importantly, world hospitality leaders visit The American Club to see how a AAA Five Diamond Resort performs. The service at the American Club is utterly amazing. (http://destinationkohler.com)

Kettle Hills, Richfield
Kettle Hills Golf Course in Richfield will have a little more Kettle and a little more Hills, as they begin to bring on yet another nine holes at the 36-hole layout. The original course, The Ponds and Woods was joined by the Valley course a few years ago and later this year will open the new Kettle Hills Rolling Nine.

Kettle Hills is a little easier on the pocketbook than the other places mentioned above, but it offers a great golf value. Troy Schmidt and Michele Fleszar are the people that you will likely come in contact with. They have been there since the golf complex was 18 holes. Bob Bellfield, the superintendent has been there since 1988. It is a very stable organization that will give you great service. Ruby Zimmerman, the owner, wants everybody to check out their new website. (http://www.kettlehills.com) MG

July 2002 Issue Table of Content
HomePage | Courses & Resorts | Course Reviews | Golf Architects | Golf Business | Destinations
Golf Travel | Lodging | Golf Guides | Michigan Golf History | Tournaments | Michigan Golf Real Estate
Golf Academies & Schools | Warm Weather & Out of State Golf | Calendar of Events

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