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Chicago to Lawsonia - Round in Between


Gdane

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Hi All, headed up to Lawsonia next month for a couple of days of golf and looking to play a course on the way up. Early in the trip planning we considered driving to the Dells to play, but that's a bit out of the way so are looking to play somewhere closer to the route. Interested in playing somewhere in Wisconsin and keep the round under $100 so I've looked at Brown Deer Park, Washington County and The Bog, and was wondering if folks here have a preference of the 3 mentioned, or if I'm missing a hidden gem in the Milwaukee/Southeast Wisconsin area. Much appreciated!

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haven't played any of the 3, but washington county gets a lot of love.

The Club at Lac La Belle is open, and it's on the route if you go west from milwaukee.

Some of it is a bit rough as they are still growing in, but I had friends stop and play on the way back from Kohler and they liked it.

 

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We did that road trip to Lawsonia 2 yrs back and played here on the way... The Oaks Golf Course | Wisconsin Golf Courses | Cottage Grove WI Public GolfWe did stay locally the night before.

 

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I've paired Lawsonia up with Wash County on many weekend trips over the past 10-15 years. Wash county is a perfect warmup course for Lawsonia.

 

 

Honestly though, why not just drive straight through to Lawsonia and play more rounds there. They do a great play all day plan for dirt cheap considering the value. A perfect trip to Lawsonia would be both courses on day 1 and then sun up to sun down on day 2.

 

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In my opinion, Washington County is your best bet. It checks every box for me and I prefer it to Lawsonia. However, it’s in a low area so early in the day it’s generally covered in dew for a big chunk of the round. As far as more under-the-radar courses go, maybe Broadlands in North Prairie. It’s a Rick Jacobsen design with a sprawling layout. It definitely lacks the prestige of some other Wisconsin courses and pace can be an issue midday, but if you get an early time it’s a decent option. It’s a tough walk though. Just a heads up if you were planning to walk Lawsonia.

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OP, don't listen to the vocal minority who have the audacity to even compare Wash Co to Lawsonia, let alone claim that Wash Co is a better course. That's straight up blasphemy.

 

Lawsonia Links might very well be the perfect golf course. You will NEVER play a course like Lawsonia as long as you live. You will never play a course that affords so many different ways to attack each hole the way Lawsonia does. Good luck ever finding a course that plays as fast and firm as Lawsonia. And the green complexes? Is there another course in the USA that has green complexes like Lawsonia? Lawsonia truly is a 1 in a million course. And I believe it is currently the only course rated in the USA Top 100 that costs less than $100.

 

Wash Co is a very nice muni at a great price. It's the perfect course for the end or beginning of a golf trip when you are on your way to the airport. It is in no way a destination course.

 

 

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Bull opens July 23rd

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I guess I'm the only one who prefers Brown Deer to WC. I liked WC, but the old school parkland layout is pretty cool. I didn't care for The Bog. 'Too many goofy holes.

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How? In what sense is it like a links course? It’s most definitely not on linksland. It’s not built on sandy soil. It’s not build by the sea. It doesn’t play fast and firm. It doesn’t promote the ground game. There is literally nothing about it that remotely resembles a links course. It is a dark ages parkland course that requires the aerial game and simply has few trees than some other similar courses.

Also, there is nothing similar about it compared to Erin Hills other than being in the same general area

 

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It is not a links course. Washington Co. is a prairie-style course. Hundreds of them across the Midwest. It is not unique, but I don't get this "dark ages" talk. Given our topographic and climate, very difficult to near impossible to get a true links style course here in the Midwest. Even Lawsonia Links is a bit of stretch to call a links course in comparison to the courses at Brandon Dunes or over in the British Isles.

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"Links style" is a wildly overused term, but if i were to ever use it I would define a place like Sand Valley as "links style," given the turf conditions and architecture of the course. Washington County would, at least in my book, most certainly not be in that category. It is, however, a fun course to play on some rolling farmland. It is easily my second most frequently played course, behind only Brown Deer, which usually wins out due to proximity for me (20 minutes vs 45). I think you would enjoy playing either course quite a bit. I'd give the nod to Brown Deer, but Washington County makes at least a little more sense given that it is more on the route to Lawsonia. I'd pass on the Bog. I would personally give Lac La Belle another season to grow in, but once it does it will probably be a special place to golf. The green complexes are outstanding.

 

On another note, and considering that ranking of courses is all personal preference, I would not put Washington County anywhere close to Lawsonia Links. It's in my top 4 public courses in Wisconsin (along with the two at Sand Valley and Erin), and considering the price and no-frills vibe of the place, I frequently cite it as my favorite in the state. Walking the back nine at Lawsonia is about as perfect as golf gets for me.

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It was built at the end of the dark ages of golf architecture and definitely shares features of other dark ages courses : artificial mounding, manmade water features, aesthetic-minded landscaping and significant earthmoving, etc. The way the course plays it typical from the era requiring high iron shots into greens with few alternatives.

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The course sits in a low valley, especially on the southern end. It was never going to be able to feature a ground-game. The last few times I've played there it was basically hop and stop on the fairways. Designing it for the aerial game was really the only option (whether that was intended or not).

That said, I agree with you on some of the artificial mounding (especially on 17th). I can do without that.

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Many years ago I adopted the term Prairie Style. Harborside in Chicago is a great example. It may look like a links course, but it's not built on a sandy base, so it never plays firm and fast. One cannot play a ground game. Aerial attack only. There are numerous Prairie style courses in the area, including Prairie Bluff, Prairie Landing, Bolingbrook, and Santuary.

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I did not care for Trappers. I'd play Wild Rock a dozen times before I'd play TT.

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TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini Driver 16 - Matrix Speed RUL-Z 60 Stiff
Ping G410 7wd 20.5 (0 Flat) - Alta CB 65 Stiff (43")
Ping G410 9wd 23.5 (0 Flat) - Alta CB 65 Stiff (42.5")
Ping G425 6h 30 (0 Flat) - Alta CB 70 Stiff
PXG 0311P Gen3 6-P (2 Deg Weak, 1 Deg Flat) - True Temper Elevate 95 S /

Ping i200 6-P Orange Dot (2 Deg Weak, 2 Deg Flat) - True Temper XP 95 S
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The I-90 route through Rockford and Madison is a little longer, but it does present a few more options. University Ridge in Madison is a very nice course. It's the home of the University of Wisconsin golf team, and has hosted Champions Tour tournaments.

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TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini Driver 16 - Matrix Speed RUL-Z 60 Stiff
Ping G410 7wd 20.5 (0 Flat) - Alta CB 65 Stiff (43")
Ping G410 9wd 23.5 (0 Flat) - Alta CB 65 Stiff (42.5")
Ping G425 6h 30 (0 Flat) - Alta CB 70 Stiff
PXG 0311P Gen3 6-P (2 Deg Weak, 1 Deg Flat) - True Temper Elevate 95 S /

Ping i200 6-P Orange Dot (2 Deg Weak, 2 Deg Flat) - True Temper XP 95 S
Ping Glide 4.0 52-12 S, 56-10 Eye2, and 60-10 S Orange Dot (2 Deg Flat) - Ping Z-Z115 Wedge
PXG Blackjack 36" - SuperStroker Flatso 2.0

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