Amid the lake-speckled country of northwestern Wisconsin and draped over the terrain’s volatile elevation changes rest the bentgrass fairways and greens of Siren National Golf Course. Sculpted into the land in 2001, the course forces players to corral golf balls over terrestrial ripples with peak-to-peak amplitudes of more than 100 feet, but it offers five sets of tees and generous landing areas as a friendly gesture to less experienced players. After starting out with a moderate-length par 5 to warm up, golfers must hit a long uphill shot—206 yards from the back tees—to reach the par 3 third hole’s green, which is fronted by an intimidating rock wall. The designers saved the hardest hole for last, however, as players must make a decision on the 18th tee to use the driver, lay up for a full wedge shot into the small green, or chip onto the back of a carrier pigeon.
Course at a Glance:
Breezes from Big Butternut Lake coil through the surrounding hardwood forests, sweeping piney air across the fairways at Luck Golf Course. The 6,093-yard, par-71 course rests on the lake's southern shore, where undulating terrain offers scenic vistas of the lake's glassy surface. Though tree-lined fairways are a constant throughout the course, golfers will notice a shift in terrain midway through the round. Ten holes snake through pine trees and hardwoods, while the other eight regular holes and six black holes roam over rolling countryside dotted with maples and oak trees. Water hazards also come into play on 12 holes, including on the seventh—a par-four rated as the course's most difficult hole—where a pond fronts the green to summon errant approach shots and golf carts in need of a bath.
Course at a Glance:
Rush Creek flows from the eastern edge of its like-named lake, and soon meets the fairways of Bulrush Golf Club. Here, it becomes either a pleasantly babbling course feature or a maddening nuisance to golfers as they direct their golf balls around the 18-hole championship course. Designed by George Shortridge and Mike Morley, the course also encompasses a handful of small ponds and wetlands, making for a soggy round for any golf ball whose owner can't control their shots or wants to make an example of it for other misbehaving golf balls. After putting the ball over the last of the course's 6,929 yards, golfers can head to the bar at Rush Hour Bar and Grill for post-round drinks and eats such as pizza and sandwiches.
You've probably heard the old adage, "It takes a village to raise a child." But what about a golf course? Such was the case for Frederic Golf Course in 1956, when a small group of locals decided it was time the village of Frederic had a golf course of its own. To fund their project, these citizens went door-to-door asking residents and business owners to purchase shares of stock for $100. When enough money was raised to purchase the land, the village's residents weren't finished: on Sundays, many of them volunteered to get the course ready by cutting down trees, picking rocks, and potty-training golf carts.
The nine-hole Frederic Golf Course finally opened in 1957. In 2000, the back nine was added, completing what is today a meticulously manicured and tree-lined course, rife with lush greens and challenging fairways. During rounds, players encounter one test after the next, from two-tiered greens to slight and sharp doglegs. Afterward, though, they can kick back and relax thanks to daily lunch specials, a full-service bar, and a fully stocked pro shop.
Course at a Glance
Nestled in the scenic Brainerd Lakes vacation area, Wildwedge Golf & Mini Golf challenges golfers of all ages and skill levels with a verdant, evergreen-lined nine-hole course. Before teeing off, sharpen your strokes on Wildwedge's expansive driving range, fortified with artificial turf. Once you've greased your swing, traverse the lush, well-kept greens, towing clubs in a convenient pull cart along well-manicured fairways overlooking placid ponds brimming with gumbo. With holes that range from 75 to 170 yards, players can hone their iron and short games or practice yelling "fore" to startle fellow golfers. Wildwedge's newly built clubhouse offers breezy patio space to unwind with a beer, and mini golf and a new maze (not included with this Groupon) entertain youngsters.