Top 5 places to Golf in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Charlie eggers, Contributor

The Midwest is home to some of the best golf courses in the country. Many are private; however, there are a few that an average golfer can play without a membership. This is a list of the top five best golf courses that the public can play in Minnesota and Wisconsin.


5.) Erin Hills (WI)

The first entry on the list comes from Erin, Wisconsin. This course was where the 2017 U.S. open was held and had a great reception among the golfers who played. Erin Hills is an 18-hole, par 72. The course is moderate in difficulty having yardage of 6188 yards for the white (amateur) tees and yardage of 7731 yards for the black (pro) tees. The slope rating for the white (amateur) tees of 129 and a rating for the black (pro) tees of 145. The course slopes up and down the eastern Wisconsin lands that were shaped by glaciers. The green fees peak in the prime season around $330 excluding caddie fees.

4.) Blackwolf Run (WI)

The second entry on the list comes from Kholer, Wisconsin. Black Wolf has three options for courses, the River, Meadow Valleys, and the Baths at Blackwolf run. The main course of the golf complex is the River Course, a par 72 which hosted various world championships in the 90s, and also two women open throughout its operation. The yardage of the course is 6110 yards from white (amateur) tees and 7404 yards from black (pro) tees. The course is hard from an amateur level the slope rating for the course is 132 and is even more challenging at the black tees, for the pro slope rating it is 151. Black wolf wins deserves the 5th spot on the list for the well-groomed course that has various gorges and water hazards that makes the course difficult but also help create a great atmosphere to golf with. The River Course at Black Wolf Run costs around $220 to play around. The other 2 courses, Meadow Valleys, and the Baths are cheaper but are still great to play. 

3.) Giants Ridge Course (MN)

The third place on the list comes from Biwabik, Minnesota. Golf Digest has listed the Giants Ridge golf course as the best public golf course in the state and within the top-20 in the entire united states every year since opening. Giants Ridge offers 2 great courses. Both courses are par 72. The courses are easier than the previous entry with a yardage of 6101 (Quarry) and 6112 (Legend)  from white (amateur) tees. The slope of the quarry course is rated at 126 in the front nine and 121 in the back nine. The legend course has a similar slope rating of 129 on the front nine and an easy 109 on the back nine. Giants Ridge costs vary from time in the season but in the prime season, the cost per course is $115. These two courses earn the spot of number two for being very reasonable in cost while also giving you two of the best groomed and designed courses in the Midwest.

2.) Whistling Straits (WI)

Our 2nd place course on the list was where the recent Ryder Cup was played in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Whistling Straits is a 36-hole linked style course that is on the coast of Lake Michigan. The 18 holes that make the list is the Straits course. The straits hold the crown for being the hardest course on this list by having a yardage of 6360 yards for white tees and 7790 yards for black tees. The slope rating for the course is 137 for the white tees and 152 for the black tees. Whistling straits is the flagship course of all the courses owned by Kholer. The courses are very well-groomed and playing the straits will make you forget you are playing golf in the Midwest. The cost of the course is the highest on the list starting at $410 with the additional costs of a caddie. The price is high but is worth it. 

1.)Sand valley (WI)

Sand Valley is the newest course and has received great notoriety for how great it is. Sand Valley is located in the middle of Wisconsin in Nekoosa. The course has three separate courses; two 18 hole par 72 courses and one 17-hole short course. Both of the 18 hole courses are a must-play for anyone in the Midwest. The only course that receives the number one spot is the Sand Valley course. The course is perfect in difficulty in having yardage at the white tees of 6050 yards and the black tees of 6938 yards. The slope rating at the white tees is 127 and the slope rating at the black tees is 134. The green fee for the course is relatively low for such a highly rated course at $175 not including caddie fees and tax. Sand Valley is one of the best and most visually stunning courses in the Midwest.