Wanaki Golf Course to shut down after this season

"All options" being considered for future of the property

Last updated on August 8th, 2019 at 11:20 am

After operating for nearly 50 years, Waukesha County’s Wanaki Golf Course in Menomonee Falls will be shut down after the end of this year’s golf season, county officials announced today.

Wanaki Golf Course opened in 1970. The county acquired the 150-acre Wanaki property, located northwest of Lannon (County Highway Y) and Lisbon (County Highway K) roads, in 1967 after receiving an Outdoor Recreation Aids Program (ORAP) grant.

County officials are considering numerous options for the future of the property said Nicole Armendariz, spokeswoman for Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow. A decision is expected by the end of the year, she said.

“They are looking into all options,” she said. “Every option is a possibility.”

The golf course has operated at a loss for years, which has depleted the county’s golf course reserve fund, county officials said in a news release. It also needs more than $645,000 in repair and replacement projects, they said.

Waukesha County golf courses are funded by their own operations and do not use property tax revenues. Since 2001, Wanaki Golf Course has experienced annual net cash flow losses between $41,000 and $243,000, according to county officials. The county’s golf course reserve funds have declined since 1997 due to net operating cash flow losses and necessary infrastructure investments, officials say.

Paul Farrow

County officials said they have tried several changes in operations at Wanaki, but were not able to offset losses there.

“Our staff has worked for years to bring in more revenue to keep the course open, but we’ve run out of options,” said Farrow.

Waukesha County’s two other golf courses, Naga-Waukee War Memorial Golf Course in Delafield, and Moor Downs Golf Course in Waukesha, will remain open. Revenue generated from those courses will be reinvested into the golf course fund to improve the financial sustainability of the county’s golf course operations, officials said.

“While the decision to close Wanaki Golf Course is emotional, it’s the only way to continue to offer any golf programs for residents,” Farrow said.

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Andrew Weiland
Andrew Weiland is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, Weiland is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, and son, Zachary. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys coaching his son’s youth baseball and basketball teams.