Where to play golf around the U.S. Open

Monday’s sectional qualifying signals the final stretch until this season’s second major championship, the US Open. This year, it will be hosted at Wisconsin’s Erin Hills, which is situated halfway between Milwaukee and Madison. Wisconsin offers up a ton of options for those who are going to the event but want to sneak in a few rounds during the week. Here’s where I would recommend you play based on what you are looking for. 

For convenience

Washington County Golf Course
Proximity to Erin Hills: 15 minutes

This Arthur Hills design is typically in great condition and is a good place to play golf. You won’t leave inspired by the great architecture or texting a friend telling them about the great golf course you just played but it's close, convenient and cost-efficient.

New Berlin Hills Golf Course
Proximity to Erin Hills: 40 minutes

A little further from Erin Hills but on the way from Milwaukee is New Berlin Hills, an old school course which used to be a country club. Like many courses in Wisconsin, it's overgrown. They have begun to fight back but the course also features some interesting hole designs on great rolling topography. 

North Hills Country Club
Proximity to Erin Hills: 30 minutes

A country club is opening its doors to US Open goers offering a limited amount of tee times for the public. North Hills Country Club is your quintessential classic Wisconsin course with undulating greens and tree lined fairways. More information on tee-times at North Hills.

University Ridge Golf Course
Proximity to Erin Hills: 90 minutes

If you are staying in Madison, University Ridge is the University of Wisconsin’s home course and also host to the Champions Tour American Family Championship. The course is a brute and will punish the novice golfer but offers some beautiful holes and is in great condition. 

For those dedicating a full day to golf

Sand Valley Golf Resort
Proximity to Erin Hills: 2 ½ hours

A day spent at Sand Valley is well worth it. Although remote, the Coore & Crenshaw design is fantastic and fun for players of all skill levels. Our full review. 

The Golf Courses at Lawsonia - Links & Woodlands
Proximity to Erin Hills: 90 minutes

Lawsonia's sixth green. Photo Credit: Jason Way

Lawsonia's sixth green. Photo Credit: Jason Way

If you are looking for great golden age architecture that is affordable and open to the public, Lawsonia is your place. The Langford & Moreau designed Links course is possibly America’s most underrated golf course and if you have time, the Woodlands course is worth checking out as well. 

The Kohler Courses - Whistling Straits, Blackwolf Run
Proximity to Erin Hills: 90 minutes

While quite pricey, Whistling Straits offers unmatched vistas and is a once in a lifetime experience. Blackwolf Run offers a solid Pete Dye design set on a terrific property, but it will punish the poor player and isn’t the best value in golf. 

For Architecture Nerds who don’t mind scruffy conditions

Spring Valley Country Club
Proximity to Erin Hills: 90 minutes

It’s overgrown with trees, the greens have shrunk from their original sizes but it's an unaltered William Langford and Theodore Moreau design. If Spring Valley had some capital infused into its day to day operations and a restoration, it would be one of the best public golf courses in the Midwest. With exceptional green complexes and $20 for all day golf, it’s tough to pass up for anyone who can look past the less than pure conditioning. 

Eagle Springs Golf Resort (9 holes)
Proximity to Erin Hills: 45 minutes

The volcano green at Eagle Springs Photo Credit: Jason Way

The volcano green at Eagle Springs Photo Credit: Jason Way

Much like Spring Valley, Eagle Springs is overgrown, has shrunk greens and offers scruffy conditions, but it’s Wisconsin’s oldest golf course and has some fantastic golf holes and bold green complexes. It’s signature hole is the volcano par 3 2nd which is one of the most memorable holes anywhere.

If you can get country club access

Milwaukee Country Club
Proximity to Erin Hills: 40 minutes

A fixture on top 100 lists, the Allison design is one of the country’s best courses and a treat to spend a day at. 

Blue Mound Golf and Country Club
Proximity to Erin Hills: 35 minutes

8th green - punchbowl -right side 2.jpg

If you are into template holes, Blue Mound offers some of the best versions of the double plateau, redan and punchbowl. What Seth Raynor transformed this small and relatively flat plot of land into is remarkable. Read our full review

West Bend Country Club
Proximity to Erin Hills: 25 minutes

It’s been years since I played West Bend, it was a very memorable and fun golf course. Nine of its holes were designed by Langford & Moreau and set on a beautiful wooded and hilly property.


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