There's a time, right at dusk, when the expansive greens of Brookfield Hills Golf Course look more like velvet than grass. These greens are the most forgiving aspect on a course riddled with water hazards and precisely placed bunkers.
On the par-32 front nine, the wooded framework of towering deciduous and pine trees makes it easy to forget the course is located in a busy suburb. The eighth hole works those trees into its design, challenging players to shoot their balls or launch them with slingshots over the treetops en route to the green. At par 30, the back nine puts more of an emphasis on the short game, and six of the holes feature imposing water hazards.
Course at a Glance:
Skaters circle around Slice of Ice in Red Arrow Park—part of the Milwaukee County Parks system—amid trees strung with lights and the arched façade of the 1000 North Water Street building. The refrigerated oval rink accommodates 100 skaters at a time, making it ideal for family outings and confusing games of super-hockey. And inside the rink’s warming house, visitors can hide from the chill with a cup of coffee.
Framed by dense wooded tracts and thickets of knee-high grass, Deer Haven’s 18-hole executive course spans 3,473 yards on a par 60 track comprised entirely of par-3s and par-4s. Though the course favors precision off of the tee over power, the 15th hole—the longest on the course at 363 yards—invites players to unsheathe their driver or conveniently holstered war hammer to drive the ball deep into the fairway.
At the driving range, golfers can prepare swings for wrapping high fades or power draws around the course’s multiple curving fairways and occasional water hazards. Inside the rustic, wood-paneled exterior of Deer Haven’s clubhouse, golfers can raise a glass from the full-service bar to toast the retirement of their 3-wood’s loyal head cover, which will be replaced by the sweaty embrace of a fresh-off-the-foot tube sock.
Course at a Glance:
SpongeBob's house is shaking, rattling, and rolling to a soundtrack of giggles. At Bounce Realm, kids bound about in large inflatables such as SpongeBob's abode, as well as a Cars moonwalk and a giant air-filled obstacle course. This inflatable world inflates imaginations and excites kids into bouts of exercise as they run, jump, and climb. In between leaps and bounds inside safe and clean bounce houses, kids sprint between arcade games and air-hockey battles. Parents can tote sock-clad little ones into this plush world for open-bounce sessions or private parties. Those shindigs can get extra festive with visits from favorite characters, such Dora the Explorer and Spider-Man. SpongeBob himself might even stop by to see what all the excitement is about.
Serving Milwaukee for more than 10 years, Gastrau's Golf Center provides peerless golf education and a year-round destination for those wishing to add distance to their drives or finesse their chip shots. Winter-bitten golfers can grab two large buckets and fling hapless dimpled spheres into the unknown from the covered and heated comfort of Gastrau's outdoor practice facility. The driving area's 16 bays shelter you from the elements so you can practice your swing amid the lull of winter or hide from the vengeful and blister-inducing sun god in the spring. PGA professional Dan Hoffman leads 30-minute lessons, bringing 13 years of experience to his instruction of budding birdie-catchers. The 30-minute lessons will cover topics such as weight transfer, torso rotation, swing plane, and cabinet refinishing. Every lesson is tailored to the individual needs and eye color of each student.
From the tee box on the fourth hole, golfers might notice something familiar about the green at which they're aiming: it's in the shape of Wisconsin. The geographically-inspired green is just one of many novel features that make up Missing Links 9-hole, par-three golf course, which was designed with the help of Jack Nicklaus. Ponds and berms splotched with native grasses characterize the terrain throughout the course. Before sticking their tee or railroad spike into the soil on the first hole, golfers can warm up at a practice facility with a grass tee driving range, putting greens, and practice bunkers.
Broadlands Golf Club's 18-hole course spans 6,884 yards of open terrain organized in a majestic, links-style layout. Glassy waters, mounded terrain, and tall native grasses flank fairways and greens throughout the course, letting golfers experience the charms of golf's old Scotch-Irish courses without having to swap their golf ball out for a potato. Throughout the course, dimpled orbs speed across bentgrass fairways and greens, which provide a smooth and fast surface for flush drives and testy breaking putts. The course punishes slow starters and jet-lagged drivers with the par 5 second hole, a relatively straight, 534-yard tract that demands precision to avoid a green heavily fortified by six sand traps. To prepare golfers for their rounds, Broadlands offers lessons, an onsite driving range, and a satellite tour of their course.
Course at a Glance: