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Erin Hills, Washington County, Lawsonia, Lac le Belle this weekend


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Dallas golfer here heading up to Chicago to play Shephard's Crook as a warm up to a Wisconsin swing that includes Erin Hills, Washington County, Lawsonia and Lac le Belle. Any tips or comments on how

Here is my review of the courses:   Shepherd's Crook in Zion, IL. I flew all morning and we grabbed a quick bite to eat at Jimmy John's and teed off without any warmup. I hadn't seen the guy

Dan,   You should probably cancel.  Your itinerary is outstanding and all the courses listed above should be in great condition.  However, eating and drinking rank only second and third to t

Erin Hills is a nice golf course....but I will be honest....it was the biggest letdown I have ever had on a golf trip.

 

I have seen plenty of people put it as the best course they have ever played and that is totally fine.  But for some reason it just did not do anything for me.

 

Maybe someday I will give it another try

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Dan,

 

You should probably cancel.  Your itinerary is outstanding and all the courses listed above should be in great condition.  However, eating and drinking rank only second and third to taking a pledge of allegiance to the Green Bay Packers while in Wisconsin.  Your priority list may need some adjustment.

 

June is, to my mind, the absolute best time of the year to play EH.

 

Phred

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

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Shepherds is a pretty nice track for a park district course.  I haven't played out there since 2019 but the greens are usually the make or break on that course.  They are pretty large and depending on where the pins are, they can be challenging.   I played Lac La Belle before the rehab so I can't really mention much about it.   Played Erin Hills 3 times and have always enjoyed it.  Pick a set of tees where you have a fighting chance and I think you will enjoy it. 

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I played EH and Lawsonia last week and Lawsonia had the faster greens. The caddie at EH prepared us at the putting green that the new standard at EH was a little bit slower green as it is windy most times and pace of play with the packed tee sheets was becoming an issue. 

 

Of all the 11 courses I played in Wisconsin last week, EH had the slowest greens. Not "slow" but the slowest. Still faster than anything I played down in Texas. 

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Here is my review of the courses:

 

Shepherd's Crook in Zion, IL. I flew all morning and we grabbed a quick bite to eat at Jimmy John's and teed off without any warmup. I hadn't seen the guys in almost 2 years so that first round was truly a warmup round and getting re-acquainted with everyone. I was a little woozy from the car sickness on the drive up there so I honestly don't recall too much about the course. No major letdowns. Just a regular round of golf. 

 

Erin Hills bright and early. ~$350 at the clubhouse to check-in. I got my own caddie instead of having a double bag caddie. $65 is the recommended tip after the round for a double bagger. $100 is the recommended tip for a single bagger. I tipped by guy $160. If you ever go up to Erin Hills I highly recommend getting a caddie. 2 of my guys opted to carry their own bags and they were feeling the weight of their bags on the back 9 and it showed. I ended up winning the round by a large margin. I lucked out with a guy named Josh. Very positive guy and gave me a good read on 17/18 greens. The one bad read he gave me he came up to me on the walk to the next hole and apologized. Super good D2 college player. Highly highly recommended. The course is just huge. Large fairways and fun greens. I hate elevated/domed greens but these were fair and I happened to be playing a nice little PW bump n run that day that worked out nicely. Pictures do not do this course justice. You just have to go there to experience it. The fescue is NO JOKE. If you get caught in the fescue then take my advice and pitch out sideways. DO NOT try to advance it more than 100 yards bc you will fail. As a group we probably tried this about 20+ times and in every single case we got ourselves into more trouble. We are low 80's players. We shot 87, 94, 96, 97. My caddie said that most amateurs end up shooting about 10 strokes over their average round. I was relatively straight this day so I didn't have to deal with fescue too often. Highlight of the day was on the par 3 9th hole. I hit 9i into a right to left wind. My draw turned into a hook into the middle bunker on the left. I was caught on the lip. Left foot in the bunker and right knee kneeling on the grass. Double? Triple? My partner recommended that I blast out backwards to ensure I can get on in 3 and salvage double. No way. It was Erin Hills and I was going to try and finesse my ball onto the green. Pin was front middle with the green sloping away in every direction. I took a few practice swipes and then poofed a nice soft shot onto the collar and the ball rolled within 10 feet. We were all whooping and hollering as NOONE expected me to be on the green from that position. To top it off I made the putt for par and pushed the skin. Memory of a lifetime was created right there. 

 

Washington County kicked everyone's butt. We were all cashed out from the walking earlier in the day at Erin Hills. For the price ($48 @ 2:00) it was a super value that kept expenses in check for the trip. I just wish I could remember more of the round. Exhausted from Erin Hills that morning. Sorry!

 

Lawsonia was very enjoyable. The fairways and greens were in fantastic shape and the layout had some fun and challenging features. We played both the woodlands and links. the Links is rated highly but we all liked the woodlands better for some reason. I think the fescue on the links course just put a bad taste in our mouths. Noone was able to play out of that fescue correctly the entire trip. For $155 all you can play it was a great deal.

 

Lac La Belle was the unexpected gem of the trip. The course was recently re-done and they did a great job with the course. The practice facilities are excellent with alignment rods on the range and all the extras you would expect at a high end course. For $167 we even convinced the manager to let us shower up after the round (initially we were told by the young buck at check in that showers are for members only). They treated us very well and we had a good time having a few farewell shots on the course. Cart girl abandoned us on the back 9 for some reason but we still had a blast out there. 

Edited by DallasDan
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Excellent writeup!  Yes, the fescue at Erin Hills was really a coin flip.  I had a few lies where I could get a 6i on the ball and then on the left of hole 10, it took me four strokes to get out en route to a 9.  I am a 7.7 handicap, average score 86 and I fired a nice 97 from the green tees..lol.  I thought I might have my first 100 round in 5 years.  What tees did you guys play?

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23 hours ago, Shriner said:

Excellent writeup!  Yes, the fescue at Erin Hills was really a coin flip.  I had a few lies where I could get a 6i on the ball and then on the left of hole 10, it took me four strokes to get out en route to a 9.  I am a 7.7 handicap, average score 86 and I fired a nice 97 from the green tees..lol.  I thought I might have my first 100 round in 5 years.  What tees did you guys play?

We also played the green tees....

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45 minutes ago, reperna said:

Heading to Erin hills next weekend, and staying in the attic suite. What’s the deal with the caddy barn? Just kind of a game room? Do you need to reserve or just walk in? Anything else you think I need to know? We’re super excited! First time for Wisconsin golf for these michiganders.

We were never granted entry into the caddy barn. Just make sure to call ahead and make arrangements for a caddy...how many players want a caddy? Does anyone want a single bag caddy? Will you be replaying (in which case they'll assign you a caddy for both rounds). But you have the option to switch after the first round if you ain't feelin it with the first caddy. Just communicate well with the pro shop and it should be smooth. We asked at checkin how much is the recommended tip and they said $65. So at the end my friend tipped exactly $65 bc his caddy was terrible only to find out that $65 is the recommended min tip for double bag caddies. We both had single bag caddies and their min tip goes up to $100.  We had 2 single bag caddies and the other two players carried their own. Keep in mind that the norm is for 1 caddy to carry 2 bags. I don't know how those guys do it because Erin Hills is a hell of a walk. in any case, my guy only carried one bag and said it was a piece of cake. But the single bag caddie will cost you more bc they lose tip money foregoing the extra bag. Hope that makes sense. 

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So I have a 3pm tee Time at EH on a Saturday and Lac La Belle on Sunday morning. Still worth playing that late, or should I play Lac La Belle twice Saturday/Sunday, save time/money/energy and still play good golf? EH is just a course on the list because of the USO, but playing as a single, are the memories worth that extra money without friends to enjoy it? Leaning towards the ladder.

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1 hour ago, cwb12 said:

So I have a 3pm tee Time at EH on a Saturday and Lac La Belle on Sunday morning. Still worth playing that late, or should I play Lac La Belle twice Saturday/Sunday, save time/money/energy and still play good golf? EH is just a course on the list because of the USO, but playing as a single, are the memories worth that extra money without friends to enjoy it? Leaning towards the ladder.


If you want to save money drop LLB. It is currently over priced. EH is a much better course and experience even with the higher cost. 

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21 minutes ago, klebs01 said:


If you want to save money drop LLB. It is currently over priced. EH is a much better course and experience even with the higher cost

A little nit-pickey, but you don't "save money" by playing the higher-priced course.  IT could be better value, but its not saving money.

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5 minutes ago, klebs01 said:


it seemed like the base case was playing both, so it would be saving money to only play EH. 

Ahhh, we understood differently.  I thought he was playing EH at 3 on Saturday, and LLB on Sunday morning, and was considering playing both days at LLB instead.

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1 hour ago, cwb12 said:

So I have a 3pm tee Time at EH on a Saturday and Lac La Belle on Sunday morning. Still worth playing that late, or should I play Lac La Belle twice Saturday/Sunday, save time/money/energy and still play good golf? EH is just a course on the list because of the USO, but playing as a single, are the memories worth that extra money without friends to enjoy it? Leaning towards the ladder.

Stay away from ladders!  Lac La Belle is nice.  Better than nice.  Erin Hills is elite.  We have daylight until 9 PM this time of year.  A 3 PM tee time is no issue getting in a round and as the evening cools it will make an arduous walk more pleasant.

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

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2 hours ago, DallasDan said:

We were never granted entry into the caddy barn. Just make sure to call ahead and make arrangements for a caddy...how many players want a caddy? Does anyone want a single bag caddy? Will you be replaying (in which case they'll assign you a caddy for both rounds). But you have the option to switch after the first round if you ain't feelin it with the first caddy. Just communicate well with the pro shop and it should be smooth. We asked at checkin how much is the recommended tip and they said $65. So at the end my friend tipped exactly $65 bc his caddy was terrible only to find out that $65 is the recommended min tip for double bag caddies. We both had single bag caddies and their min tip goes up to $100.  We had 2 single bag caddies and the other two players carried their own. Keep in mind that the norm is for 1 caddy to carry 2 bags. I don't know how those guys do it because Erin Hills is a hell of a walk. in any case, my guy only carried one bag and said it was a piece of cake. But the single bag caddie will cost you more bc they lose tip money foregoing the extra bag. Hope that makes sense. 

We have caddy’s for the first round. What didn’t you’re buddy like about his? Hoping we don’t have a bad experience. 

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22 hours ago, reperna said:

We have caddy’s for the first round. What didn’t you’re buddy like about his? Hoping we don’t have a bad experience. 

My friend's caddy wasn't horrible, but compared to my caddy he was just doing the bare minimum. Carried my friend's bag. Pulled clubs for him. Gave him green reading help. He even tried to tell us a couple of stories along the way. He was an overall nice guy but he did not go above and beyond. It made him look worse because we were comparing him to my caddy the entire day and my guy went way above and beyond. Positive. Supportive (cheering and whooping and hollering for my good shots). Observed and matched my pace of play. He listened to me (told him that i wanted to avoid 5i if possible. He recommended a cutty 4h once and a smooth 6i another time to a back pin that would leave me with an easy 35 foot 2 putt from the middle of the green. He would walk ahead and give me lines and targets to hit to. He was invested in me having a good round. The other guy seemed to care less what my buddy shot that day. 

 

If you were to get my friend's caddy in an isolated situation I think that you would be just fine with him. Just have to be a little lucky to get that one caddy that matches up perfectly with you. I'm 2 for 2. My Sand Valley caddy was a high school kid but he worked his butt off.  

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