8 Best Golf Courses in Wisconsin

8 Best Golf Courses in Wisconsin (2023 Update)

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Soaking up the sun, good conversation, and thrilling shots are why so many people enjoy golf, although the courses like those in Wisconsin bring it all together! Wisconsin has some of the best golf courses that will challenge you over sandy dunes, grassy plains, and tricky shots requiring you to aim between trees and over rivers! Here are the best golf courses in Wisconsin!

Each of the eight golf courses has a unique slope rating, size, and par – with different holes where the next one is more thrilling than the last! Many of these golf courses have hosted major tournaments, and their unique design and playability earn them a spot in the top 100 golf courses in the world

1. Whistling Straits, Sheboygan

Whistling Straits, Sheboygan

This exquisite public golf course mimics the ancient seaside inspiration of Ireland and the United Kingdom. It offers two dynamic courses consisting of a rugged, open landscape with windswept areas to add character.

Herbert Kohler hired Pete Dye to create this masterful golf course, who decided to sculpt it 1.86 miles (3 km) along the Lake Michigan shoreline. The courses consist of eight holes bordering the lake, elevation changes of approximately 80 ft. (24 m), and rolling greens to keep things interesting! 

When you come this far, the course throw challenging winds at you that sweep in from the lake while you make your way over the grassy dunes. Its coastal design also includes a couple of large trees exposed to weather conditions on the course. 

Here are some facts about Whistling Straights:

  • 7790 yards (7123 m) 
  • A par of 72 
  • 36 holes
  • 146 slope rating
  • Season: April – November
  • 2004 PGA Championship
  • 2007 US Senior Open 
  • 2010 PGA Championship 
  • PGA Championship for a third time in 2015 
  • 2021 Ryder Cup 

2. Mammoth Dunes, Nekoosa

Mammoth Dunes, Nekoosa
Source: Sand Valley

David Kidd is the creative mind behind this public course, Mammoth Dunes. He opted for gigantic fairways, easily accessible greens, and exposed hills of sand that would act as an aesthetic intrigue and golfer’s challenge. 

The sizeable hills became the force that would earn this course the name Mammoth Dunes.  

The variety of landscapes and shot requirements differ from what you may expect; you may find it interesting to see your golf ball bounce, ricochet, and tumble on these enormous golf holes. It provides a sense of immersion that makes you feel like you’re in your own stadium! 

Aiming for the center of the fairways and at the pins on the greens may be tempting. Still, the design of this golf course challenges your reasoning to travel into the unknown – observing your surroundings carefully – to determine your landing spot. 

Mammoth Dunes is an ideal golf course for groups who want to cut down on driving and play in one spot for longer periods. 

  • 6935 yards (6341 m)
  • A part of 73
  • 18 holes
  • 132 slope rating
  • Season: Year round

3. Lawsonia Links, Green Lake

Lawsonia Links, Green Lake
Source: Lawsonia

Lawsonia Links is a public course with trees removed and contours shaped into the landscape to give a more traditional feel. 

Brilliant course architects William Langford and Theodore Moreau included a range of elevation changes, rolling fairways, and multi-tiered greens for the ultimate challenge. 

The layout of this course can be tricky when the wind picks up, especially as you make your way past the deep rough, and strategically-placed bunkers. 

The punched greens with dangerous deep trans and drop-offs will be challenging if you hit the middle of greens, avoid short siding, chip, and putt conservatively. The greens offer a lot of flexibility and exciting choices regarding pin placements. 

Many of the holes on this course feature elevated greens situated several feet above the fairway. The greens are surrounded by steep, grassy slopes, so players who cannot execute a high shot with a soft landing will likely have to pitch the ball up to the green. 

The greens are fast and true, but they will only hold a well-struck approach shot.

  • 6853 yards (6266 m)
  • A part of 72
  • 18 holes
  • 130 slope rating
  • Season: March – October

4. Sand Valley, Nekoosa

Sand Valley, Nekoosa
Source: Sand Valley

Sand Valley is a public course that introduces a wonderful contrast to Mammoth Dunes. While Mammoth is spacious, forgiving, and structured, Sand Valley is less refined and predictable and requires more strategy to get around. Don’t be surprised if you shoot 7-10 shots higher on Sand Valley!

The opener is straightforward and driveable for longer hitters, but soon after that, you can expect to meet a series of challenging holes. Great shots will yield great results, while shaky shots may complicate your game due to the runoff areas around the greens.

The fairways are tighter than Mammoth Dunes but still give a lot of opportunity for targets. The greens are quick, and the tee boxes have a link style, so they may sometimes be flat. You can also expect holes that appear deceptively easy, but be wary of the fairways and hidden greens. 

Each hole on this golf course presents a new challenge, so you’ll have the opportunity to use a variety of clubs. The combination of a challenging course and luxurious resort amenities make for a gratifying experience.

  • 6913 yards (6321 m)
  • A part of 72
  • 18 holes
  • 128 slope rating
  • Season: Year round

5. Blackwolf Run (River), Kohler

Blackwolf Run (River), Kohler
Source: Destination Kohler

Blackwolf Run River is a public course fantastic for golfers of every skill level looking for variety and challenge. Pete Dye designed the course with many trees and rivers that make for narrow tee shots! Nature’s finest rivers and flowers beautifully decorate the course aesthetic to help you relax.  

Dye combined the front nine of the initial 18 holes (now holes 1-4 and 14-18)  with nine newly constructed holes located along a large bend in the Sheboygan River to create the River Course.

This golf course presents a challenging experience from start to finish. You can expect to encounter some difficult shots along the way, such as on the short par-4 9th hole and the well-known par-3 13th hole, both of which require shots over a bend in the picturesque Sheboygan River.

As you work through the elevation changes, the greens are in top shape, allowing the ball to roll quickly and smoothly without interruption. 

The course features some of Dye’s most thrilling holes, including the triple-option par-4 ninth, the boomerang-shaped par-5 11th, and the challenging par-4 18th. During tournament events, Kohler surprised Dye by temporarily converting a long bunker into a lagoon for tournaments.

Here are some Blackwolf Run facts to consider:

  • 7404 yards (6770 m)
  • A par of 72
  • 36 holes
  • 151 slope rating
  • Season: March – October
  • 1998 US Women’s Open
  • 2012 US Women’s Open

6. Blue Mound, Wauwatosa 

Blue Mound, Wauwatosa 
Source: Golf Course Gurus

The Blue Mount is a private golf course designed by Seth Raynor. Initially, it will ease you into the course during the first four holes, where you play outside the edge of the property. Soon after, you can expect the difficulty to ramp up substantially, so you’ll be in for a treat if you want a challenge!

You’ll find yourself navigating tricky greens and blind bunkers, and any knobs you see in the fairway are bunkers with helpful tips. One of the highlights of this golf course is the bunkering around the greens; No two greens are the same!

The 6th hole is a semi-drivable par 4 with a bunker protecting the front of the green, which has two levels. The 7th hole is a short par 3 with an island green encircled by sand. The 8th and 9th holes can be incredibly unforgiving when you need to play against the wind.

  • 6667 yards (6096 m)
  • A part of 70
  • 18 holes
  • 131 slope rating
  • Season: April – October

7. Pine Hills, Sheboygan

Pine Hills, Sheboygan
Source: Pine Hills CC

The Pine Hills private golf course in Sheboygan is a classic created by Harry Smead. There are many hills and valleys to traverse, in addition to the pristine Sheboygan River running through the course. 

You can expect numerous trees that line the fairway, and you can see at a glance that they award much care to the trees and plants that give the landscape its beauty. 

There are no flat lies, but you’ll find elevated greens scattered across Pine Hills. The great defense from the greens and surrounding green areas means you’ll have to hit some impressive shots into greens, or there’s a high probability they’ll spin or kick right back. 

The course gives off a “Pinehurst” and “Bandon Trails” impression! You’ll surely enjoy stretches from 8 – 10 and 17 – 18, as they consist of several elevation changes that show off the beautiful design of the course.

  • 6481 yards (5926 m)
  • A part of 71
  • 18 holes
  • 132 slope rating
  • Season: April – October

8. Milwaukee Country Club, River Hills

Milwaukee Country Club, River Hills
Source: Golf Wisconsin

Charles Hugh Alison designed the current private Milauwkee golf course in 1929, while Robert Trent Jones revised it a little in preparation for the 1969 Walker Cup matches.

The elements, rolling topography, and deceptive golf holes combine to create a feeling that reminds you that you’re playing somewhere significant! 

This golf course presents a challenge with its emphasis on accuracy off the tee. One particularly noteworthy hole is the par four 9th, which features a narrow fairway and an uphill shot to a green shielded by a deep bunker on the right side. This hole truly exemplifies the demanding nature of the course.

No two holes are alike, and if you spend enough time on the course, you’ll notice the outward nine slithers pleasantly around the west side of the prestigious clubhouse like a snake soaking up the sun’s rays. 

The inward nine near the Milwaukee Rivers creates opportunities for interesting shots that make you want to step up your game and overcome to achieve your perfect shot.

  • 7097 yards (6489 m)
  • A part of 72
  • 18 holes
  • 136 slope rating
  • Season: April – October
  • 1988 USGA Senior Amateur
  • 2008 Mid-Amateur Championship

Conclusion: Wisconsin Best Golf Courses

Wisconsin best golf courses

Wisconsin has a lot of variety in golf courses, like the rugged, sandy terrain of the Mammoth Dunes in Nekoosa or the beautiful greenery and pristine river at Blackwolf Run.

The variety remains a strong point that keeps golfing in Wisconsin fresh, exciting, and enjoyable! So forget what you’ve heard and be adventurous – you may be surprised at what you find!