Standing at 1,900 yards and posting a par of 30, Fairfield Hills Golf Course won't make the pros quiver in their golf spikes. But for families, the 9-holer can present an ideal venue for beginners young and old to take up the game without getting too frustrated. In fact, foursomes can typically traverse the course's three par 4s and six par 3s in less than two hours?not nearly enough time to develop an allergy to their putter. If the course succeeds in planting the seeds of a lifelong passion, new converts can also hone their skills on the 35 hitting stations at the 340-yards-deep driving range.
Built in 1925 as a nine-hole course from soil harvested at a local farm and placed by horse-drawn carts, Lake Wisconsin Country Club has since grown into an 18-hole course that runs alongside Lake Wisconsin. At a distance of 5,881 yards from the farthest tees, the picturesque par 70 eschews overwhelming length in favor of a hazard-intensive round, as players must reckon with dense tree lines, water that comes in play on five holes, and territorial blades of grass throughout the layout. Rounds begin with the course’s most difficult hole, a 415-yard par 4 that demands a straight drive to keep balls out of a small forest on the left and a pond located on the right. A stint at the club’s driving range grants clubbers a chance to prepare for the round and guide 9-irons through warm-up calisthenics.
Kissing the shores of Lake Wisconsin, the club offers complimentary dock slips for guests approaching by boat or in need of a place to station their pet porpoise. The club’s dining room is open to the public for Friday-night fish fries, during which patrons can take in cocktails, surf 'n' turf entrees, and evening views of the lake.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 60 course * Length of 5,881 yards from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 117 from the farthest tees * Three tee options
Resting on the northern shore of Swan Lake, the 18 holes of Portage Country Club present players with challenging obstacles formed by the dense forest groves and, on one hole, the lake's own watery expanse. This hole, the third, runs alongside the lake's lapping shores for the entirety of its length, presenting the course's most difficult test and first chance to spot a Swamp Thing in the round. It isn't exactly smooth sailing from there on out, either. Wide fairways may tempt big hitters into swinging for the fences, but varied hole designs and those ever-present tree branches often create headaches for unchecked displays of driver might.