Wisconsin has 10 golf courses that made Golf Digest's newest list of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses”.
California, with 11 golf courses on the list, is the only state with more than Wisconsin. Michigan also has 10 courses on the list.
The Wisconsin golf courses that made the list are:
3. Whistling Straits (Straits course)
9. Erin Hills
15. Blackwolf Run (River course)
18. Sand Valley
27. Mammoth Dunes
43. Whistling Straits (Irish course)
57. Blackwolf Run (Meadow Valleys course)
58. The Golf Courses of Lawsonia (Links course)
69. Troy Burne Golf Course
Wisconsin’s success on Golf Digest’s list is “amazing to say the least” said Joe Stadler, executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Golfers’ Association. Stadler continued to explain that Wisconsin’s rise in the golf fame is due to “a number of factors since the courses on the list are so different.” Stadler cites “world renowned architects,” Wisconsin’s “great system of PGA professionals and GCSAA members that create great experiences for the players,” and that “Wisconsin residents love to play golf. Our passion is unsurpassed.”
Some of the Wisconsin courses have hosted major championship tournaments. Whistling Straits hosted the PGA Championship three times and will host the 2020 Ryder Cup. Erin Hills was the site of the 2017 U.S. Open and will host the 2025 U.S. Women's Open. Blackwolf Run hosted the 1998 and 2012 U.S. Women's Opens.
The tournaments have brought attention to Wisconsin's best golf courses and attracted golfers from around the country to travel to Wisconsin in hopes of experiencing the famed courses for themselves.
The newest Wisconsin golf course stars are the Sand Valley, which opened in 2017, and Mammoth Dunes, which opened in 2018, courses at Sand Valley Golf Resort, developed near Nekoosa by Mike Keiser, renowned for developing Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon. Sand Valley has become a major destination in its own right for high-end golf excursions.
SentryWorld in Stevens Point is famous for its “Flower Hole”. Petunias, snapdragons, marigolds, geraniums and other annuals surround the par 3 16th hole and are treated as lateral hazards.
The last Wisconsin course on the Golf Digest list is the Troy Burne Golf Course in Hudson. The course is known for its tough, contoured greens.