October great for golf: no bugs, lots of discounts
By JERRY SLASKE
KeyMilwaukee.com Golf Editor
OCTOBER IS an ideal month for golf in Wisconsin. The bugs are gone, the humidity has moved on, and the temperatures are as comfortable as listening to Dean Martin, the king of cool. Sure there are some nasty days to let us know that winter is around the corner, but, for the most part, this is the time to tee it high and let it fly.
Many courses also have fall discounts – particularly this year since the spring was so wet – and the courses aren’t as crowded. Moreover, the landscape is bursting with color as the foliage turns to golds, oranges, reds, and browns. It all adds up to a golfer’s delight.
Here are a few favorites at this time of year:
• Brown Deer: A former stop on the PGA tour’s regular season schedule, Brown Deer is always stunning and the conditions are impeccable with extremely fast and true greens. Thousands of mature trees line every fairway of this course built in 1929. 414-352-8080, www.milwaukeecountygolfcourses.com
• The Bull at Pinehurst Farms: There are enough trees, streams and ponds, and elevation changes at this spectacular Jack Nicklaus Signature course in the northern Kettle Moraine area to make you marvel at Mother Nature. It’s well worth the drive to Sheboygan County. 920-467-1500, www.golfthebull.com
• Erin Hills: Very little earth was moved by man to build this huge brute highlighted by beautiful rolling hills and meadows. It was the site of this year’s US Amateur and will host the 2017 US Open. Because the only structures visible are the Irish manor-style clubhouse and the spires of the basilica at Holy Hill, Erin Hills makes you feel you one with nature. 262-670-8600, www.erinhills.com
• Morningstar: Like Washington County, this course sits high so the views are awesome, especially from the clubhouse. It’s a gorgeous track and one of the best challenges in the area – or anywhere. 262-662-1600, www.golfthestar.com
• Nagawaukee: A wonderful tree-lined layout, but the back nine is especially pretty at this time of the year. Overlooking Pewaukee Lake, It has enough ups and downs to rival any roller coaster. The color is spectacular. This course does an amazing job of keeping the fairways and even the rough clear of leaves. 262-367-2153, www.golfwaukeshacounty.com
• Washington County: Although this Arthur Hills course (bent grass tee to green) is links style with nary a tree on the property, it sits high above Pike Lake State Park and the northern Kettle Moraine. It’s a stunning vista as you stand at the clubhouse and look out on the course toward the spires of the Basilica at Holy Hill. 262-670-6616, www.golfwcgc.com
Other fine courses to play in the fall include The Bog, 262-284-7075, www.golfthebog.com – An Arnold Palmer design impeccably manicured that includes wetlands, woods, and wildlife habitat; Brighton Dale Links, 262-697-4653, www.golfbrightondale.com – 45 challenging holes in the midst of the bucolic Bong State Recreational Area; Broadlands, 262-392-6320, www.broadlandsgolfclub.com – Not particularly scenic, but a fine, well-maintained bent-grass layout that will challenge your complete game.
Also: Fire Ridge, 262-375-2252, www.fireridgegc.com – Wonderful track without a weak hole in the bunch and superb conditions; Ironwood, 262-538-9900, www.ironwoodgolfcourse.com 36 testy holes with tough greens and lots of trees, wetlands, and rolling hills make this a fall favorite; Kettle Hills (original 18), 262-628-0200, www.kettlehills.com – Interesting, tough layout among rolling hills covered in trees; and Rock River Hills, 920-485-4990, www.rockriverhills.com – Short, but challenging layout that sits aside the beautiful, water fowl-inhabited Horicon Marsh.
Golf’s downside at this time of the year is that courses aerate their greens so check beforehand.
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