Go West to Wisconsin
Just driving into the town of Kohler gives you four great reasons to visit Wisconsin. Kohler's five-star resort, The American Club, has four golf courses that have quickly moved on to many of the nation's "Best of" lists. In fact, Whistling Straits has been chosen to be the site of the 2004 PGA Championship. This is a course that has only been around a couple of years. It is amazing. Collectively, Blackwolf Run's River and Meadow courses, coupled with the new Irish and Whistling Straits, make up a quintessential quartet of golf course excellence.
Pete Dye and Herbert Kohler were the masterminds behind this golfers' paradise. Now that Dye has signed on to do a new course at Boyne, Michiganians will finally have the opportunity to play one of his courses. Dye designed Radrick Farms at U-M when he was first starting out, and William Newcomb who was then a graduate student at the University of Michigan assisted Dye in the building of the course.
Geneva National (www.genevanationalresort.com) has become an even more attractive destination with the completion of the second nine of the Gary Player course. Geneva National now offers a trio of great courses designed by Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and now Player. You could spend a great weekend here and never hit the same shot twice. Geneva National is an upscale property and heavily played.
Grand Geneva Resort and Spa was the first course I ever played in Wisconsin, when I was a guest of the resort and also of Doug Neumann, publisher of Wisconsin-based, Par Excellance magazine. We played the course in the mid-1980s, during a leaner time for the complex. It has really come to life under the leadership of the Markus Company. The Brute and Highlands offer players 36 terrific holes of golf. Besides the great courses, you will get the opportunity to meet one of Wisconsin's most liked and admired golf professionals, Dave Hallenbeck. Hallenbeck is a great person and will make things happen for you at the resort. It would be best to check out the resort's website (www.grandgeneva.com) for prices and tee times. This is an upscale resort comparable to Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Michigan. Again, this gets a tremendous amount of play from the Chicago area, so call ahead.
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 their 36-hole layout. The original course, The Ponds and Woods was joined by the Valley course a few years ago and starting this year, they will begin to build the Kettle Hills Rolling Nine.
Kettle Hills is a little easier on the pocketbook than the other places we have mentioned, as it offers great golf value. In addition, you cannot beat the service. Troy Schmidt and Michele Fleszar are the people that you will likely come in contact with. They have been there since the course was 18 holes. Bob Bellfield, the superintendent has been there since 1988. It is a very stable organization that will undoubtedly give you great service. Ruby Zimmermann, the owner, wants everybody to check out their new website: www.kettlehills.com.
Bog - www.thebog.com
Devil's Head - www.devils-head.com
Fox Hills GC - www.fox-hills.com
Horseshoe Bay - www.hsbfarms.com
Lake Arrowhead GC www.lakearrowhead.com
Orchards - www.orchardsateggharbor.com
Trappers Turn - www.trappersturn.com
University Ridge - www.wisc.edu/ath
Wilderness Hotel and Golf Resort - www.wildernessresort.com
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