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Brown Deer is a really solid choice. I am not a big fan of The Bog. Usually good conditions there, but I think there are some goofy holes. Another excellent choice, and right on the back porch of Erin Hills would be Washington County. While I can't speak to conditioning another local favorite in the same general geography is the newly reopened Bull at Pinehurst. My pick would be Washington County for proximity and quality.

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Not sure I could have asked for better forecasted weather this weekend in mid October. Heading up to Sand Valley and couldn't be more excited. 2nd trip there, MD may be my favorite course in the count

April would be a weather issue.  Cold for sure and maybe worse.  The Straits is along the shore of lake Michigan which would be a giant body of 35* water making temps along the lake very chilly when i

I normally don't have WI golfing experience to post, but the wife and I went up to Kohler for a getaway from the kids (first time staying there), and I was able to play a solo round on the Irish this

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Just played the front nine of the bull. Got rained out as we were making the turn. Course is in decent shape. Greens are rolling at a decent pace, but are way too soft. They just opened so it’s understandable that they missed out on some verticutting and top dressing when the bank was managing the property.

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Still pretty heavy in the grow in phase, or at least it was 3 weeks ago when I played there. It's going to be a tremendous course with some fantastic green complexes, but I certainly wouldn't expect much in terms of conditioning when you go, fair warning, especially on the greens. Was still a fun round though, nonetheless, so I'm absolutely not saying to avoid it.

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Played 18 on Friday afternoon... the entire course seems to be running a hair slow... wasn't getting the run out on the fairways... greens were extremely soft... a few bunkers need a little bit of love, but they've done a great job considering they've only been really working the course for 2 weeks

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I don’t think it’s with $100. I played it at 310 for the twilight rate of $59. It’s worth that price. Decent course at that rate. Wasn’t real impressed with the design of the front 9 and saw some stupid things like houses 5yards from the ideal landing zone on a short par 5.

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Not sure what you mean by the house near the landing zone. If you're talking about the 4th hole, the ideal landing spot in over the bunker or right of the bunker. The house is nowhere near that. I agree that the 4 holes aren't the greatest, 5-9 are tough and go through some great scenery. And the back 9 is as tough as it gets.

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Yeah 4. It looked like the ideal landing zone is the left edge of the fairway over the bunkers. Major speed slot there. I was over the corner of the bunker and my buddies that were left of that got a lot more distance. The houses are super close there. The rest of the front was a ok. Lots of forced carries so it would be torture for higher handicaps and I’m sure the pace slows down on normal days. Couple par fours that are permanent cart path only is really dumb. Easy for good golfers and super difficult for bad golfers isn’t good architecture. That’s the feel I got there. The greens were pretty boring without much slope or challenge. Didn’t get to play the back.

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I don't blame you for your take at all. I've played there a handful of times before on significant online "hot deals," but each time it just kinda reaffirms my thoughts on the place and was the reason that I was never very surprised to hear that it was having such financial difficulty. For me, golf is enjoyed when walking, and that is absolutely not happening at the Bull. My friend who played there long ago in a high school tournament said that they were shuttling them between an obscene number of the holes, which is not surprising given the routing and how far most tee boxes are from the previous greens. I know that is a minority opinion here in the States, so it is obviously not a reason that it struggled, but it certainly was never going to get my love. More importantly, the course, while pretty in appearance, is a fairly uninspiring design from my standpoint, at least for the price that they charge. Little in the way of fairway movement/undulation, other than a split fairway or two there isn't much "thinking" required, and the course is basically just a big OB lining either side of most holes (it is, at least for me, a "hit it here, or else" kind of course). While I can get around there, I would absolutely not take anyone over a 10-12 handicap there, because if they are having anything other than their absolute best day they are going to be losing balls into the woods/ravines/water left and right, and I can't see how that makes for remotely fun golf (and this sport is supposed to be fun, isn't it?). My father-in-law, who is somewhere near a 25 handicap, is not remotely a fan...losing ball after ball is not his cup of tee, and it is far more enjoyable to play a place like Pine Hills, his home course nearby, where he can still find his ball and hit it, while giving me a run for my money (especially around the greens) playing alongside him (albeit from different tee boxes ). I can see the appeal for a guy who wants to "challenge himself" in the way that Jack, RTJ, and many others of similar mind present for players, and it is kept in great shape.

 

Just my two cents, and I fully appreciate the fact that others speak highly of the course. I definitely subscribe to the "don't knock it until you've tried it" mentality...but I've tried it several times now, and I'll pass.

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Good way to put it. I would play Pine Hills 10 out of 10 times over the bull. So much more fun. Greens are interesting and keep the attention of all golfers.

I think a fair price for the bull is about $70. That’s it. I guess they could charge more if the pitch is conditioning not design, but the course needs a lot of remedial work if that’s the goal. Greens mostly, but even tees and maybe fairways need an intense verticut and top dressing program to reduce the thatch. The whole course is very spongy. There are also design issues with poor drainage that would need to be resolved.

 

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I'll be heading back to Chicago from Minneapolis on Saturday, and I'm looking for a decent course to play somewhere between The Dells and Madison or Janesville. I've played Wild Rock, Trappers, Northern Bay, University Ridge, and Hawk's Landing. 'Also played Lawsonia' s two courses, Erin Hills, Washington County, and Brown Deer on the Milwaukee route.

Any thoughts on Pleasant View?

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I was told by a buddy that I was 100% wrong about the placement of the houses haha... I guess they are in play for a majority of people... I do agree about the crazy distances between holes... especially on the back! the distance from 13 to 14 and from the second to third shot on 17 is insane.

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Yeah it’s private. My old club had a reciprocal agreement with them. I think it would be worth having your pro make the call. I don’t think they are too restrictive.

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If Pine Hills were 15 minutes instead of 45 minutes from my house I would be a member in a heart beat. Four or five years ago Dow or DuPont mistakenly gave them a chemical to use that killed a bunch of trees. I believe the resulting settlement was multiple 7 figures. IRS rules are that if you don't use the proceeds from a settlement on capital projects in three (?) years you must pay taxes on the unspent amount. Hence, zero in club debt, new locker rooms, new pool, all new grounds crew equipment.... And all of that plopped on top of a terrific layout with wicked greens. The par 3 5th hole and its false front green may be the hardest par 3 I've ever played. Being short on that 195 yard bad boy is trouble enough, but left or right is no bargain with steep drop offs and bunkering. And, it is Sheboygan Wisconsin. The membership is a bunch of salt of the earth people.

 

Phred

If you need a grinder to make your weld look good, you are a grinder not a welder.

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Your 100% correct. Butte Des Mort in Appleton had the same thing happen, if anything they helped them with a tree problem, got over a million in damages and decided to build a pool and tennis courts.

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Too bad they wasted it on a pool and tennis courts

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Just wrapped up my round at the bull. Fired 80 from the tips with a double on 18, fml, greens were unbelievably soft and slow. Fairways and tees were in solid shape. For $125 I probably won’t be going back anytime soon. Quality of the course doesn’t justify that.

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Played Lac La Belle yesterday. It is still in the grow-in phase and will need at least until next year if not more to properly asses it. The green complexes are a bit absurd and crazy once the greens come in to their speed. Greens seem a little gimmicky as you can easily 3 and 4-putt so many of the greens.

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I walked 18 this morning solo. Made it around on a perfect morning in just under 3 hours. I am, at times, a mental midget. I often get in my own way. After a nice warm up session on the range I committed to focusing on, and trusting in, the process and let the results simply be what they will be. I also made sure that every first putt was an exercise in speed with less attention to line. I hope this doesn't prove to be a jinx by saying it but I shot a 78 for my best round of the year even with an inexcusable double bogey on 18. If I could have 6 months of weather like the last week -cool nights and warm days, I just might have 6 months of breaking 80!

 

Phred

If you need a grinder to make your weld look good, you are a grinder not a welder.

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Have you been up to sand valley? They’re more tame than many of those, as well as Bandon greens on several of their courses, and I can think of a couple out on Pine Hills that are more severe. I thought the greens at Lac la Belle were what will undoubtedly become their greatest feature!

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Haven't been to Sand Valley yet. Its been 10 years since Bandon and I guess having a caddy tell you where to hit / miss is valuable. You are right it will be the greens that will make them their feature 9n order to compete with the high end Wisconsin Golf market. If they could, they should partner with Erin Hills and work with them on stay and play packages. It was a quick 20 min drive between the two courses

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