Skip Wisconsin's major championship venues for a three-day golf trip to Milwaukee for less than $200

With the 2017 U.S. Open in the rear view mirror, more and more golfers will be trekking to Wisconsin eager to explore the state's golf offerings.

Most of them will point their cars toward Hartford, 40 miles northwest of Milwaukee, to play the host Erin Hills before making a beeline toward Kohler and The American Club, the posh resort on Lake Michigan home to four spectacular Pete Dye courses an hour north of the city.

For the rest of us, the big green fees to play courses that host major championships are not in the budget. It costs $225 to walk Erin Hills (that doesn't include another $80 for the caddie and his tip). The Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run courses at the American Club are even pricier.

Fear not, because cost-conscious golfers can still play some outstanding golf near Milwaukee over three days for less than $200 during Wisconsin's peak summer season. The formula is tried and true: Mix a little muni golf with a walking round and twilight golf and voila!

The first stop is a choice between the Dretzka Golf Course and Oakwood Park Golf Course, considered two of the best in the 15-course Milwaukee County Parks System. They cost a mere $34 to walk. Water crosses 12 holes of the 6,838-yard Dretzka, located in Milwaukee. Oakwood Park in Franklin is the longest county course at 7,074 yards.

Consider that first round a warm-up for one of the country's best municipal courses, Brown Deer Park, host of the PGA Tour's Milwaukee stop from 1994-2009. Tiger Woods launched his PGA Tour career at the 6,759-yard course, while others kept theirs alive. Veterans Scott Hoch, Jeff Sluman, Loren Roberts and Carlos Franco each won twice on the narrow, tree-lined track. A walk through these woods costs $74 any day of the week.

With a Benjamin (give or take a couple bucks) left in our pockets, it's time to go upscale. There are two great choices north of the city. Arnold Palmer's The Bog in Saulkville is known for fast greens and superior conditioning. The 7,221-yard course has hosted multiple tournaments and state championships since opening in 1995. The cheapest rate of $79 in summer can be had Mondays (all day from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.) and during weekday early bird and twilight tee times. Check the club's Web site for other options as well.

If you don't mind the longer drive and the pain you'll feel being so close to Kohler, The Bull at Pinehurst Farms in Sheboygan Falls will add a bucket-list appeal to the trip. Golf Digest ranked the Jack Nicklaus design no. 77 among America's 100 Greatest Public Courses for 2013-14. It should be renamed "The Beast at Pinehurst Farms." Nicklaus gets nasty, requiring constant carries over cross hazards, wetlands and water. Once mid-June hits and the $135 rack rate kicks in, the only way to afford a midweek tee time is before 8 a.m. ($90) or after 2 p.m. ($95).

An added bonus of playing The Bull is the chance to stop at the beautiful beaches of Sheboygan before or after the round. With the soft sand and views that stretch for miles, Lake Michigan will feel more like an ocean than a Great Lake. Try playing golf on courses the caliber of The Bull, The Bog and Brown Deer Park in California or Florida for less than $200. Yeah, right.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 1,000 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfadvisor and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
0 Comments
Related Links
The Lake Geneva, Wisconsin area is known as Chicago's playground, although it's actually closer to Milwaukee. About an hour and a half north of the Windy City, Lake Geneva was founded by Chicago's wealthy families around 100 years ago. Narrowing down the best golf isn't easy, but here are five golf courses that won't do you wrong.
3 Min Read
Golfers rated the top golf courses in Wisconsin, from metro Milwaukee to top resorts and destinations like Whistling Straits, Lake Geneva and Wisconsin Dells.
1 Min Read
More from the author
3 Min Read
October 14, 2021
The wild and wavy North Course complements the Australian Sandbelt look of the acclaimed South Course near Oakland's airport.
4 Min Read
October 14, 2021
Comfort stations have become the new norm at exclusive private clubs like The Summit, which makes its PGA Tour debut this weekend.
5 Min Read
October 6, 2021
Kauai has fewer than half the courses of Oahu, Maui and the Big Island, but the quality is top notch.
3 Min Read
October 4, 2021
The number of publicly accessible tournament venues will shrink during the 2021-22 PGA Tour schedule as the majors move to private clubs.
5 Min Read
October 4, 2021
Golf courses in California's Coachella Valley and Phoenix-Scottsdale are hotbeds of overseeding, but it's a common, and sometimes controversial, practice throughout the southern United States.
7 Min Read
September 30, 2021
From the largest elevation drop to the wildest greens and deepest bunker, all these U.S. courses take the game to the edge.
Popular
3 Min Read
September 16, 2021
Golf course news and notes: September, 2021.
7 Min Read
October 7, 2021
We found the 10 cities where it's easiest to score a tee time.
3 Min Read
October 4, 2021
America's largest golf resort, and one of its smallest, are expanding to enhance the guest experience.
1 Min Read
September 17, 2021
R.I.P. to a legend.
Load More
Now Reading
Skip Wisconsin's major championship venues for a three-day golf trip to Milwaukee for less than $200