With few trees to knock down errant drives, the wide-open course at Kestrel Ridge rewards control and course-management skills for players negotiating its more than 6,000 yards. Players point their tee shots down the center of the fairway from one of four different sets of tees, taking care to avoid numerous lurking fairway bunkers and the water hazards that run alongside the fairways of holes 1, 8, 9, and 10. When they're not engaging in physical altercations with swirling crosswinds, visitors should take time to appreciate the open expanse of rolling Wisconsin countryside through which the course winds. The track saves its crown jewel for last, with an 18th hole that forces players to nail a small, sloping landing area from the tee and then carry their approach over a rock ravine that runs alongside the right of the hole and contains fossils of Neanderthal golfers.
After a round, tired golfers can head to the clubhouse bar for traditional pub fare or re-create dramatic putts on the two large putting greens. A driving range hosts hitters on both grass and rubber mats and challenges them to assail greens located strategically between 125 and 230 yards away.
Little Amerricka takes young thrill-seekers on a journey into the past with its 1950s wooden roller coaster, The Meteor, as well as several restored rides from amusement parks of a bygone era. More than two-dozen rides and attractions cater to all sizes and shriek tendencies of visitors, from adrenaline-pumping go-kart races (for riders 56 inches and taller) to relaxing rotations on the kiddie ferris wheel. The conductor of the Whiskey River Railway chugs the train along 2-mile treks through the rustic Wisconsin countryside, where runaway bumper boats graze native grasses before being lassoed and brought back to the amusement park.
Awarded with numerous accolades from the Golf Course Owners of Wisconsin, The Golf Club at Camelot earns recognition for the course's pristine playing conditions of wooded hills and valleys whittled into the landscape by ancient glaciers. Water flows into the picture on half of the holes, including twice on the par 5 ninth, where the fairway bend features an elongated lake and makes players hit their first and second shots with hydrophobic golf balls. On the back nine, the par 3 13th hole places golfers 120 feet higher than the green on a tee box that affords panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and acts as the best place to spot outlaw foursomes on the lam.
Course at a Glance:
Deertrak Golf Club's 18-hole course is characterized by numerous bodies of water, most notably Alderley Lake, which borders playable terrain along the course's western edge. Opened in 1986, the course layout sends players skimming over 6,400 yards of manicured fairways and greens.
More than 34 flowerbeds and eight water fountains lend grandeur to the course's design, and two cascading waterfalls give errant golf balls one last thrill before their final swan dive into the abyss. Before players finish their round and count up divot scores, they must first clear the arduous stretch found at holes 14–17, featuring two long par 5s and a tee shot on the par 3 17th that must clear three bodies of water en route to the green.
Course at a Glance:
Carved into the shores of Swan Lake, Portage Country Club's 18-hole golf course challenges golfers with varied hole designs that wind through scenic terrain. Players must grapple with the lake's depths early in the round, as the third hole—the course's most difficult hole—runs right alongside the shore, placing any ball that skews to the left in danger of finishing with an unintentional belly flop. Open terrain characterizes much of the rest of the layout, encouraging golfers to take an aggressive line with their driver off the tee. The Club's driving range helps golfers prime their swings before taking to the first tee.
Paganica's 18-hole golf course spans 6,576 yards of tree-lined fairways for a challenging but player-friendly layout. Water hazards come into play on seven holes, including the signature fourth hole, a 427-yard par 4 where approach shots must carry 186 yards of water to reach the green and spare golf balls the trouble of befriending barnacles. Throughout the round, well-aimed drives will be necessary to bisect the course's narrow fairways, setting up favorable shots into moderately fast greens. With three tee options, the layout challenges aces when played from the tips, and forward tees cater to beginners or those mistakenly teeing up a bocce ball.
Course at a Glance: