A top-100 classic: Lawsonia Links in central Wisconsin

GREEN LAKE, Wis. - While the Straits course at Whistling Straits and Erin Hills Golf Course, two modern major championship venues, hog the headlines in Wisconsin, Lawsonia Links continues to tug at the heartstrings of every golfer who ventures off-the-beaten path to find it.

Lawsonia Links is a charmer. The classic William Langford and Theodore J. Moreau design, which dates to 1930, is ranked on the top 100 public lists of every major golf magazine.

There are only a handful of public courses in the country with its unique qualities, which have been restored by Ron Forse, one of the experts of Golden Age golf course architecture. The random berms and dramatic greenside walls of Lawsonia Links are similar to the idiosyncrasies found at the nine-hole Wawashkamo Golf Club on Mackinac Island in Michigan and the Old course at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Pennsylvania. It's throwback architecture at its best. Classics kept in such pristine shape tend to be private clubs today.

It's not really links golf as the name suggests, but it has some of its elements: Knee-high golden grasses waving in the wind, few trees in play and blind tee shots on three holes (nos. 1-2-18). The magic moment comes at the 161-yard seventh hole, the par-3 known as the "Box Car Hole". Legend has it that a railroad car was buried under the green to create such an extreme 20-foot drop-off on the right. Missing at the bottom is worse than being buried in a pot bunker.

Golf packages are available by renting any of the three houses on the property or by staying at the nearby Heidel House Resort & Spa, a lakeside retreat on Green Lake home to fantastic indoor and outdoor pool complexes. The 6,514-yard Tuscumbia Country Club, the oldest course in the state (dating to 1896), resides across the street. Tuscumbia might have more history on its side, but like so many classics that have fallen out of style, it can't compete with the legendary Lawsonia Links.

Staff rating of Lawsonia Links: Review by Jason Scott Deegan

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries 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 @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.

Related Links

Ginella has an update on Sand Valley, which has 18 holes open for preview play and a second 18 on the way.
6 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
The Golf Advisor Staff has selected the best golf destinations to visit in 2017, which feature new courses and centennial celebrations. View the Top 5 here.
10 Min Read
Latest Popular Content
2 Min Read
September 6, 2023
Golf course logos come in a huge variety of styles, making hats, shirts and other accessories from pro shops very collectible. What are your favorite logos?
5 Min Read
July 27, 2023
Even with two of us winning on the same day on the PGA Tour, limited availability of golf clubs from major manufacturers still makes it tough to be a southpaw.
4 Min Read
September 14, 2023
Here's a look at the history of golf handicaps, how they are calculated, and where you can get one.
12 Min Read
August 30, 2023
Get to know every hole at the Home of Golf, the mother of golf courses around the world.
Renewed Golf Gets Rave Reviews! Come Play at Saddlebrook's two Arnold Palmer signature 18-hole golf courses and enjoy deluxe accommodations, award-winning dining, and much more!
2 Min Read
September 6, 2023
This terrific twosome in Nisswa, Minnesota, is one of the anchors of golf in Brainerd, one of the Midwest's best golf destinations.
2 Min Read
July 16, 2023
Aces are meant to be celebrated, but how wild should you go?
Now Reading
A top-100 classic: Lawsonia Links in central Wisconsin