focus on Golf

March 2017

2017

THE YEAR OF THE BIRDIE

 

By JERRY SLASKE

KEY Milwaukee Golf Editor

Incredible foursome tee it up this summer

Wisconsin is hosting a bumper crop of golf tournaments in 2017, including the granddaddy of them all: the USGA’s 117th US Open. And, for the first time, the LPGA will be making a stop – hopefully an annual stop – in the state.

     If you like viewing golf at its finest, this is the year for it. All three major tours will be teeing it up here, accounting for four events.

     Kicking everything off will be the US Open at Erin Hills, June 15-18, about 35 miles northwest of Milwaukee. Even if you never get to play Erin Hills, just walking it is an unforgettable experience. The course is huge (can be stretched to 8,200 yards over 650 acres), the terrain undulating, the views wonderful and the fields of waving fescue incredible.

     The following week is the PGA Champions tour event, American Family Insurance Championship, June 23-25, at University Ridge in Madison.

     Next up is the first Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic, July 6-9, in Green Bay.

     Lastly is the Symetra Tour’s PHC Classic, August 4-6, at Brown Deer Park Golf Club in Milwaukee.  This will be the third year for the tourney which features women trying to make it to the LPGA.

 

     Few states can boast a lineup that includes the best golf prospects, the best current touring LPGA and PGA pros and the seniors who helped make golf what it is today.

     And the courses vary from the half links/half tree-lined University Ridge, to the virtually treeless and waterless Erin Hills, to the links-style Thornberry Creek with plenty of water, to the almost 90-year-old classic parkland setting of Brown Deer Park.

     While you’re taking in these spectacular events, play a few rounds yourself at the following excellent nearby courses: Washington County Golf Course, an Arthur Hills design that I categorize as a mini-Erin Hills, is about six miles from its big brother. Almost adjacent to University Ridge is Hawk’s Landing. Down the road a piece from Thornberry Creek is Brown County Golf Course. And close to Brown Deer are a number of courses, including Mee-Kwon Park (some of the finest greens in the area) and Fire Ridge.

      2017 is the year of the birdie in Wisconsin.

 

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