Before Bob Burns was a tournament winner, he was operating a one-man golf center just north of Appleton. Bob Burns Golf was founded in 1975, and in those days specialized in repairs, custom-built clubs, and golf instruction. By the 1980s, the company had grown—as had its reputation—and Burns was being invited to host seminars on club design, manufacture, and repair by leaders in the industry. His career on a perpetual upswing, the PGA Master Professional invented his trademark No Bananas driver around the same time. Today, his golf lessons are considered among the top 50 in the world by Golf Range Magazine, and in his downtime he acts as the accessible golf editor for Palaestra, where he focuses on making the game accessible for those with disabilities.
Stretching 2,934 yards across the landscape from the longest tees, Bridgewood Golf Course presents players with a nine-hole layout made challenging by multiple water hazards and small, fast greens. As golfers gun for the par of 35, they must contest with ponds that come directly into play on at least eight different parts of the course. The park-like setting and shorter length provide an excellent opportunity to walk or somersault through the course, though golf carts are available.
For more than 45 years, High Cliff Restaurant has resided at the gates of the High Cliff State Park, welcoming visitors into the verdant landscape of Northeastern Wisconsin. Between Lake Winnebago and the High Cliff Golf Course, the stone exterior gives way to a spacious interior, where each steak or fillet of fresh fish is served with a side of picturesque views and a fork. Banquet halls and a catering menu accommodate groups of up to 500 guests, making High Cliff Restaurant a perfect place for large family reunions and upscale food fights.
Owned and operated by the Village of Howard, this 9-hole, par 36 municipal course welcomes orb smashers with twisting water hazards, challenging bunkers, and pristine tree-lined fairways obscured by teasing turns from the tee box. Seasoned swingers will be able to navigate doubles drive carts ($15 value) with sidekicks or parole officers around the hilly landscapes of the course's varying holes, including the its signature 161-yard Hole 5, which forces golfers to tee off over a large lagoon and avoid the trash-talking trees that yell the names of obscure French films while you're trying to putt. Those famished from the fairway can return to the clubhouse for a frosty brew and a weekly fish fry, featuring salmon, grouper, walleye, and more.
The extensive facilities at Bisbee Golf Center, which include a driving range with 40 grass tees and a 5,000-square-foot putting green, set the stage for practice and improvement under the expert eyes of professional teachers. Since opening the center in 1988, owner Jeff Bisbee, a Class A PGA professional, and his father, Doug, a PGA Class A member since 1962, have helped students lower scores and increase their enjoyment of the game through private and group lessons. Their instruction involves thorough analysis of the swing to identify areas for improvement, calling upon computer-aided techniques to break down the swing into its most basic components of backswing, downswing, and bowing to vanquished opponents.
Fairways stitched by mature trees connect across 6,802 yards of rolling greenery to form Royal Scot Golf Club’s 18-hole, par-72 course. Water hazards come into play on 10 holes, including the par-4 fifth, where a bashful green flanked by bunkers on both sides conceals its ballmarks by hiding behind a front water hazard. Replete with eight yardage signs that extend 250 yards into the distance and a large grass hitting area, the club’s 30-stall driving range gives guests the upper hand by straightening out swings before upcoming rounds.
After hacking their way from green to green, hungry golfers can replenish at the club’s two full dining rooms—both with full-service bars—or place an order from their perch on the expansive outdoor deck. Wireless Internet keeps devices abreast of the latest news, personal emails, or domestic-cat sightings, and golf supplies and veteran instructors wait to enhance games at the pro shop.
Course at a Glance: