Ron Whiten of Golf Digest Magazine (L) with Dr. Michael Hurdzan (M) and Dana Fry (R) with the U.S. Open Trophy, need 2017 US Open Tickets visit USGA.org/tickets. The US Open at Erin Hills coming June of 2017. WHITE PINES Golf Club in Bensenville has 36 holes (still open) and a great 37th hole for Pre or Post round Food and Beverage. If you need a place for your holiday get-together try White Pines see Whitepinesgolf.com. ______________________________________________________________________
These days architects Dr. Michael Hurdzan, and Dana Fry are getting a lot of credit for their work at Erin Hills Golf Club in Erin Wisconsin. With the 2017 U.S. Open coming there in just 8 months, those who have not taken notice of this property before, are doing so now.
But the work of Hurdzan & Fry did not stop at Erin Hills and did continue in the Wisconsin Dells area at the Wild Rock Golf Club.
Wild Rock is part of the Wilderness Resort, that calls itself the largest Water Park Resort in America. The drive up to Wild Rock is about 2 hours and 40 minutes from Chicago, much less from places like Rockford, Milwaukee and Madison.
Wild Rock has some interesting looks to it, and it’s a great golf course. Maybe it’s not the most walker friendly course because there is some distance between holes on occasion.
There is even a bit of a drive to the first tee, but it’s a pretty ride in the cart so sit back and enjoy. Some of the rides are due to changes during the design of the course to when it actually opened for play. The current clubhouse does not sit on it’s original planned location, neither does the driving range. The fifth hole was supposed to be the 10th hole at one time, but in the end none of that matters. It all worked out and the golfers are enjoying the finished product.
The opening holes give the golfer a chance to settle into their game, with friendly wide fairways and greens that are not overly severe.
Depending on which tee boxes you are playing, there is a bit of a carry over a ravine on the second hole. But while it’s a challenging tee shot, it’s a fun one as well.
The fun does not stop on the second hole and it only gets better as you move forward. Which is something that makes Fry proud, he calls Wild Rock a fun golf course and depending on what you like about golf, you might describe the Wild Rock Golf Club as a little wild itself. The course sets up as one that would be a real enjoyable place, to hold a scramble format tournament on.
The elevation change comes into play on the 6th hole (see above photo). The view from the top of the 6th tee box on a clear day can range over 30 miles.
Elevated tee shots then follow on holes 7,8, and 9. The par 5, 10th hole requires an uphill tee shot, from an elevated tee box. Starting on 11, the course still offers elevated tee shots as the course slowly works it’s way back down to ground level.
The elevation change at Wild Rock is something that Wisconsin is not supposed to be, so much for the state being nothing but flat farm land. Hurdzan and Fry created five different tee boxes, from five different locations at different angles to play the par 3, 15th hole that plays over a small quarry. The 17th hole is a great short par 4, only 356 yard from the tips, with a downhill fairway the last 130 yards in. Fire away big hitters but watch out for the small pot bunker that guards the left side of the green.
If your out on the course at the right time of the day or year, you might get some visitors. The course is home to plenty of deer and some wild turkeys. You can then drink some Wild Turkey in the 19th hole that has a nice view of the driving range, after your round.
To learn more about Wild Rock, click here to hear our interview with head golf professional Josh Glendenning.
Wild Rock Golf Club is part of the Wilderness Resort. The resort has plenty of rooms in it’s lodge with pools, or you can stay in the larger villa’s. Rooms are very comfortable with large beds and hot tub whirlpools, that do feel great after a round of golf.
While there are several places to eat on property, one should enjoy at least one meal in the resorts Fields Premier Restaurant and Steakhouse. Fine dining not over priced, in a relaxing atmosphere that can be enjoyed by all. You can take a shuttle over from your room and never need to drive after enjoying a wide variety of some of Wisconsin’s finest beers. Golf season is not over. There is still about three weeks left to play Wild Rock before Mother nature will close up the course for the winter.
For more information please visit WildRockGolf.com or call (608)-253-4653. You can also visit online WildernessResort.com or call (800)-867-9453. On social media you can follow Wilderness Resort on Facebook, Twitter or You-Tube.