Michigan Golfer ON-LINE

Destination: Wisconsin
by Art McCafferty, Mike Duff and Peter Allen

Lake Michigan separates Michigan and Wisconsin from some terrific golf. Depending on where you are in either state, sampling the golf might only require a long car ride. If you are located in the middle of either state you might want to consider a car and a ferry ride, and you can always grab a flight. We have done all three and can vouch for all modes of transportation.

Kettle Hills

Kettle Hills has been a Wisconsin favorite since it opened the Ponds and Woods course in 1987. The Zimmerman family, formerly in the construction business, turned the bulldozer of the family business into a shaper of dreams, by building a golf course on the dozer’s down time. With Don as the outside person on the dozer and wife Ruby the inside person running the clubhouse and the business, they have teamed up to bring Wisconsin and visiting Michigan golfers 36 holes of terrific golf.

The Ponds and Wood course plays to 6787 yards, with a 72.5 rating and a 128 slope. The Valley course, which came on board in 1990, is 6455 yards and plays to a 70.9 rating and a 122 slope.

The golf at Kettle Hills is easy on the pocketbook with green fees in the $30 plus range for the weekend. It certainly represents a real golf value. As the course names suggest, you will find ponds, woods and a valley or two on the 36-hole layout. Say hello to Don and Ruby for us this summer.

Kohler Golf

The Kohler stable of golf courses— Blackwolf Run, the Meadows and River courses and Whistling Straits—represent perhaps the finest trio of golf courses in the U.S. Just about every golf adjective in the book has been used to describe these three amazing courses. Blackwolf Run, which hosted the U.S. Women’s Open Championship in 1998, had one of the most storied finishes ever, with Se Ri Pak beating Jenny Chausiriporn in sudden death. Over 123,000 people attended the tournament that year, a LPGA record.

In addition, this embarrassment of riches continues. This summer Pete Dye’s newest creation, the Irish Course, will debut at Whistling Straits. “ The challenge for me was to create a second 18-hole course at Whistling Straits that would be comparable to the first course, not just a complement but of equal stature,” said architect Pete Dye. To ensure that golfers will remember the Irish course, Dye said that he “had used every trick I’ve ever learned,” in routing and sculpturing the hole dynamics.

In further news, the PGA announced that Whistling Straits would host the 2004 PGA Championship. “Whistling Straits will provide the perfect test for the world’s best golfers,” said PGA President Will Mann. “It already has proven itself worthy of a major champion and will be held in esteem for generations to come.”

For one of golf’s ultimate experiences, pick up the phone and make a tee time now. It is expensive, but the Kohler experience is like no other.


Nekoosa, Wisconsin

The Lake Arrowhead golf complex encompasses two 18-hole championship courses located on Highway 13, 35 miles north of Wisconsin Dells and 13 miles south of Wisconsin Rapids. The Pines course which opened in the early 1980’s challenges the five-handicapper as well as the weekend golfer. The Lakes which opened in August ‘98 features bent grass fairways and greens nestled among mature oaks and Norway pines in a one-of-a-kind lake-land setting. Both courses provide opportunities for all levels of play.

The Pines

A carefully manicured par 72 layout with strategically-placed sand traps boasting a 6,624 championship layout with a slope rating of 132. It is one of only three Wisconsin clubs to earn the prestigious “Great Value” honor from Golf Digest. The designers, Ken Killian and Dick Nugent, put a premium on accuracy with its narrow fairways and spectacular water holes that offer a superb balance between the lofty oaks and pines lining the fairways.

The Lakes

The second crown jewel in the Lake Arrowhead complex boasts a par 74, 7105-yard championship track featuring eight secluded lakes surrounded by mature pine and oak forestland. Designed by Ken Killian, with a slope rating of 140, offers the golfer a different look from The Pines course. The greens are more undulating and the fairways are a little more spacious off the tee. Some of the most beautiful designed holes you will ever see can be found on this spectacular layout.

Both courses offer elevated tees, natural sand waste areas, large contoured and undulating greens and sculpted bunkers. They both begin quietly with rather short holes but progress to a level of difficulty that brings together their diversity and uniqueness. Every hole has a preferred target yet alternate routes to the green are provided which either reward or heighten the risk. Don’t be surprised if you happen to see some of Wisconsin’s wildlife, such as white-tailed deer, wild turkey or an occasional gray fox among your golf experience. Lake Arrowhead offers two distinct and beautiful clubhouses. Each provide experienced PGA professionals, driving range, pitching/chipping ranges, putting green, on-course beverage services, dinning and banquet facilities, lounges, snacks as well as a complete merchandised golf shop. Joel Barth, Director of Golf, guarantees a service-orientated and friendly golf staff to make your golf experience at Lake Arrowhead a most pleasant one. You can reach Lake Arrowhead by calling (715) 325-3141 or 1-800-462-LAND or by al@lakearrowhead-realty.com or the web at www.lakearrowhead-realty.com.

Thornberry Creek Country Club

Thornberry Creek CC is located in Oneida, Wisconsin on the southwest side of Green Bay. The front nine is an open layout characterized by double greens on every hole. This nine was originally designed to be played twice with different flag positions for each round. The open setting allows you to appreciate the rolling hills and beautiful scenery. Other unique points include bricked cart paths, large landscaping rocks, and well manicured flower gardens. The architectural design on the front allows for some better scoring while playing a scenic layout.

While the visuals are great on both nines, they are designed for very different play. The back nine is much tighter and longer. A few wayward shots can produce some large numbers on this well treed nine. Three holes on the back nine are still being developed, and will be open in 2000. This is a wonderful course, a masterpiece in the works, if you will.

The rolling terrain also features new upscale homes and a new clubhouse is on the way. Thornberry Creek is truly going to be a fine upscale facility. For those who keep track, this is a Rick Jacobson design who honed his craft with the Jack Nicklaus group. Owner Jack Schwiener bubbles with enthusiasm while discussing the fulfillment of his dream. He has every right to be excited about the great facility coming to this area of Wisconsin.

Thornberry Creek 920-434-7501.

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