Incredible Golf Trip Destinations: Erin Hills
By Chris Lewis
Photo courtesy of ErinHills.com
When golfers visit Erin, Wisc.’s Erin Hills for the first time, they’ll notice that its entire focus is on golf.
As a result, they’ll be able to “live, eat, breathe and sleep golf every minute they are on the property”, according to Jim Lombardo, PGA, head golf professional, Erin Hills.
Highly renowned throughout the world since hosting the 2017 U.S. Open, Erin Hills Golf Course is a truly unique golf experience, as it was developed over kettle moraine areas, which were slowly created over thousands of years by glaciers. Built on land that’s comprised of glacial till that features sand and small rocks, the course also offers guests views of a river, along with several wetlands.
Providing golfers firm playing surfaces, the 652-acre course was designed by Dr. Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry and Ron Whitten in a minimalist fashion, ensuring that Mother Nature’s centuries-long impact on the property remained an integral focus. Due to its natural landscape, along with its bentgrass greens and fairways, the course—which is for walking only—is challenging for golfers of all skill levels and ages.
Aside from its increasingly popular 18-hole championship course, the resort also offers golf buddies a five-hole course with alternative tee boxes, which were routed through existing holes. Known as Kettle Loop, the course is reserved only for overnight guests, as it was created for guests that either arrive too late for a full round or are interested in playing more golf after they finish playing 18 holes.
In addition, golfers can work on their games at an extensive championship-caliber practice facility or enjoy a 63,000-square-foot, horseshoe-shaped putting course, known as the Drumlin. Offering elevation changes of up to 12 feet, the Dana Fry and Jason Straka-designed course is only open to Erin Hills golfers, as well as overnight guests, who are welcomed to play it at night under its lights.
Prior to (or after) playing at Erin Hills, Kettle Loop or the Drumlin, golf buddies can unwind at The Village Clubhouse, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or they can have beer, scotch and wine at the Irish Pub, the Terrace fire pits or the Sports Lounge, which features a large-screen television and a meeting room.
“Finally, every bed at the resort is within 200 yards of the first tee, so guests don’t need to use cars or shuttles while they’re on the property,” Lombardo says.
And, whether golf buddies are staying in single rooms, suites or four-bedroom/four-bathroom cottages, they’ll find exactly what they need.
“The quality and variety of lodging assures a configuration for each group, as the cottages are particularly popular for buddies trips,” he adds. “As we look ahead, Erin Hills will also be offering Stay and Play specials in 2023, including the highly popular package that includes a reduced second round.”
Other Fun Courses Near Erin Hills:
- Deertrak Golf Club: Ranging from 5,114 to 6,363 yards, Deertrak Golf Club is renowned for its beauty, as it has eight water fountains and two waterfalls, along with immaculate bunkers, fairways and greens. Yet, the course is also challenging for all skill levels, due, in particular, to its 12 water holes.
- Hartford Golf Club: Open to the public, Hartford Golf Club has four sets of tees to choose from, ranging from 5,341 to 6,519 yards. Golf instruction is also available for players interested in tuning up their game before or after their rounds.
- Washington County Golf Course: Designed by Arthur Hills, Washington County Golf Course has five sets of tees, including one that measures 7,048 yards. A par-72 course, it has hosted a variety of tournaments, including the 2000 Wisconsin PGA Championship.
- The Golf Courses of Lawsonia: A bit more of a trek from Erin Hills than the others, The Golf Courses of Lawsonia are well worth the drive. Lawsonia Links is a golden age gem designed by Langford & Moreau that is consistently rated as one of the best courses in the U.S. and The Woodlands was recently renovated and is always a good time.