Fall For Golf in Wisconsin

Heidi Haas is the Director of Golf Instruction at the Geneva National Golf Club in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

I love fall golf in Wisconsin. The crowds thin out, the kids are back in school, and fairways from Beloit to Bayfield are wide open. 

I’ve been teaching golf for eleven years and I wanted to share some suggestions on a few of my favorite courses (especially the ones off the beaten path) and some tips on playing better fall golf.

First, here are some thoughts on how to get the most from your game. 

Best bargains  This is the time of year to throw your clubs in the car and hit the road! Almost every golf course will offer some kind of special discount until it gets too cold. Green fees are sharply discounted, courses aren’t as crowded, and you can play anything from world-class courses to family friendly par three tracks.

Dress for the weather  I grew up in Texas so I love Wisconsin’s cooler fall weather, but it’s still important to dress smart. Ladies, we are lucky to have clothing lines today that are flattering to different body types. Don’t worry about how you look, but make sure you are prepared for the weather. Wear thicker socks so your feet don’t get chilly during early morning rounds. If you wear a glove, change to a weatherproof model that will withstand cooler temperatures.

Stretch  In cooler weather, you have to loosen up before a round. If you can’t hit balls on the range, chip and putt for a few minutes to get some feeling in your hands. Do some simple stretches focusing on your back and legs. Long par fives are no fun if you’re sore and stiff!

Choose the right ball and tees – Here’s the secret (for men and women) to fantastic fall golf. Get the softest ball you can find! You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know a golf ball won’t go as far once the weather gets cooler. A softer ball (lower compression) flies further in cooler weather.

Another tip, your muscles won’t be as limber in 65-degree weather compared to 85, especially if you’re wearing more than one layer. Put the ego into storage until next spring and move up to a closer tee. Use the right ball, pick the right tee, and enjoy those fall colors.

Journal, journal, journal  Fall is a perfect time to take your journal to the golf course. I love to journal about my golf rounds, both for the memories and the lessons I learn while playing. The pace of play is so much slower and no one will be going crazy if you take a moment to write a few notes.

And now for some of my favorite Wisconsin golf courses:

Tuscumbia Golf Course, Green Lake  Dating back to the 1890‘s, Tuscumbia’s claim to fame is that it is the oldest golf course in Wisconsin. This gem, with narrow fairways and small greens, will give you a real sense of golf history. This course ranks high on my family friendly courses. Next-door there is a fantastic restaurant called 680 North.

Currie Park Golf CourseWauwatosa – I took my kids, Max and Adeline, to Currie Park when they were just learning how to golf. It’s a regulation-sized golf course, but also an excellent family friendly course. 

Brown Deer Golf Course, Milwaukee – A great place to play. Home of the Greater Milwaukee Open and best known as the course where Tiger Woods made his professional debut, Brown Deer is a great track for more advanced players.

Madeline Island Golf Course, La Pointe  Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., this is one of Wisconsin’s most scenic golf courses and it’s worth the effort it takes to get there. Taking a ferry from Bayfield, players will find unique holes that share a common tee, which split off into opposite direction doglegs. This is another family friendly golf course that’s good for kids, but will also test accomplished players.

University Ridge Golf CourseMadison – Home course of the University of Wisconsin’s golf teams, University Ridge is a mix of prairieland on the front nine and hardwood forests on the back. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., University Ridge re-opened this season with new greens. Ridge has one of the best practice facilities in the state, but the course is for more advanced players.

Erin Hills Golf Course, Erin  Designed by acclaimed architects Michael Hurzdan and Dana Fry, Erin Hills will be the site of the 2017 US Open. This links-style course, which can be stretched to over 8,000 yards, is a must-play for any serious golfer.

Wild Rock Golf Course, Wisconsin Dells  Also designed by Hurzdan and Fry, Wild Rock features significant elevation changes, playing up and down a ridge as well as across two ravines and over a quarry.

Heidi Haas is the Director of Golf Instruction at the Geneva National Golf Club in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. She comes from a family of golfers. Born in Texas, Haas grew up with her six brothers and sisters playing at the Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth, the home course of legendary golfer, Ben Hogan. Haas’ passion is to bring even more youth into the fun of golfing. Learn more about Heidi’s teaching at: http://bit.ly/1emgBnZ

The Geneva National Resortfeatures three championship courses, designed by golfing legends Gary Player, Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino. The Player course was recently chosen by Golf Digest as one of the nation’s Top Fifty Golf Courses for Women.

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