The Bull at Pinehurst Farms in Sheboygan Falls: A Jack Nicklaus gem in the shadow of Kohler
SHEBOYGAN FALLS, Wis. -- "Ask 10 people what their favorite hole out here is," says David Bachman, director of golf at The Bull at Pinehurst Farms, "and you'll get 10 different answers."
Indeed, this 2003 Signature Jack Nicklaus Design is replete with unique holes. The golf course weaves back and forth through woods, over a stream, and past a few houses, in such a way that it feels shorter than the 7,354 yards on the scorecard.
The first four holes are sort of warm-up holes with fairways lined by homes and OB. But then the no. 1-handicap fifth hole turns into the woods, and everything changes.
Some long drives between greens and the next tees reveal one hole after another carved out of dense timber and wetlands.
Some of the holes feel a bit contrived, with sharp doglegs and circumscribed landing areas that don't leave much option for strategy. Indeed, two regulars I met admitted, "You have to play a lot to know where your misses are going to end up."
The 568-yard eighth is a prime example: The fairway is not only split -- allowing for more strategy than most holes -- but is also bifurcated by the recurring stream.
Another example is the 485-yard, par-4 18th hole, where players need to carry water and avoid bunkers and thick "gunk" crossing the fairway at the midway point. Realistically, this is a par 5 for golfers lacking pinpoint accuracy with their long clubs.
For all its demanding shot-making, The Bull at Pinehurst Farms rewards visitors with numerous memorable holes at reasonable rates, along with an excellent add-on round to the collection of courses at the nearby American Club.
Members of The Bull are also rewarded with sharpened skills. A caddie at Erin Hills told me that the Bull regulars who visit Erin Hills are consistently solid ball-strikers.
The 550-yard fourth hole on The Bull at Pinehurst Farms is the last on the golf course that is lined by houses and OB. Andrew Hollingworth/Golf Advisor
The 436-yard fifth on The Bull at Pinehurst Farms is the no. 1-handicap hole: Tee over a ravine to the right spot in the tree-lined fairway, then a long second across wetlands to a precarious, buttressed green. Andrew Hollingworth/Golf Advisor
The bucolic mid-length par-3 sixth on The Bull at Pinehurst Farms plays downhill to a deep, two-tiered green. Andrew Hollingworth/Golf Advisor
The 321-yard seventh on The Bull at Pinehurst Farms plays over gunk and between gunk to a green pretty much surrounded by gunk -- very little room for error! Andrew Hollingworth/Golf Advisor
The 351-yard 11th at The Bull at Pinehurst Farms consists of a boomerang-shaped fairway around water, with the potentially drivable green at its apex. Andrew Hollingworth/Golf Advisor
There are plenty of places to lose a ball at The Bull at Pinehurst Farms, even on the 180-yard, par-3 15th hole. Andrew Hollingworth/Golf Advisor
You need to drive your ball to the proper spot in the fairway of the 425-yard 16th on The Bull at Pinehurst Farms in order to have a clear shot through a corridor of trees to the small green. Andrew Hollingworth/Golf Advisor
Leap-frog over wetlands to the green of the (excessively?) difficult 485-yard, par-4 18th on The Bull at Pinehurst Farms. Andrew Hollingworth/Golf Advisor