Father’s Day is Sunday and celebrating with dear old dad is likely to be quite a bit different than in years past as health concerns over the coronavirus pandemic linger.
Hitting the links is a suitable option. It’s outdoors, which is presumably safer, and if your golf game is anything like mine, there is some built-in social distancing that comes with chasing golf balls all over the course.
The area benefits from having many wonderful public golf courses. Here are a few recommendations, in no specific order, that offer a range of challenge and price.
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7625 N. RANGE LINE RD., GLENDALE
Play the course where Tiger Woods made his debut as a professional in 1996. Brown Deer, which opened in 1929 and is often touted as the gem of the Milwaukee County courses, hosted the Greater Milwaukee Open for the final 16 years of its 42-year run, which ended in 2009. A stream runs through the entire 6,759-yard course, which for the past five years has hosted the Symetra Tour’s PHC Classic, the qualifying tour for the LPGA.
Weekend green fees: $79/$96 with cart (18 holes), $42/$53 with cart (nine holes). To reserve a tee time, call 414-352-8080 or click here.
100 HAWTHORNE AVE., SOUTH MILWAUKEE
Offering a mix of challenges for golfers of all skill levels, Grant Park Golf Course is located near a bluff overlooking the scenic shore of Lake Michigan. The wooded course opened in 1920 as Milwaukee County’s first 18-hole golf course and it still uses a historic 1892 farmhouse for its clubhouse. The 5,213-yard layout is short, but doglegs and some tight fairways offer a test of skills.
Weekend green fees: $32/$48 with cart (18 holes), $22/$32 with cart (nine holes) before 2 p.m., $20/$30 with cart after 2 p.m. (9 holes). To reserve a tee time, call (414) 762-4646 or click here.
W235 N8518 CLUBHOUSE CIRCLE, SUSSEX
A scenic and challenging course with water hazards on several holes and a wooded area on the back nine, Fairways of Woodside offers an 18-hole championship course located in a residential neighborhood in Waukesha County. The course features bent grass tees, fairways and greens and an array of holes that will allow players to hit every club in their bags.
To reserve a tee time and to check out Fairways of Woodside’s rolling green fees, call (262) 246-7042 or click here.
1221 GENEVA NATIONAL AVENUE SOUTH, LAKE GENEVA
Located on the shore of beautiful Lake Como and in the surrounding wooded slopes, the semi-private club in Lake Geneva offers daily public golfing on one of its three courses. Golf legends Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Lee Trevino each designed a skill-testing layout and the courses bear their names. Sand traps dot the fairways and surround tricky greens. Water, high grass and groves of trees add to the challenge. For the true golf lover.
To reserve a tee time and view rates, which vary depending on the time of day, click here.
9800 W. UNDERWOOD CREEK PARKWAY, WAUWATOSA
A challenging par-3 layout, the 18-hole course at Milwaukee County’s Hansen Park offers an array of holes that will challenge players’ 9-iron and wedge shots. The course’s lone par 4 calls for a slightly bigger club. Not the standard pitch-and-putt, Hansen is lined with tall trees and features several water hazards and elevation challenges, especially on the back nine, through which Underwood Creek flows.
Weekend green fees: $15/$25 with cart (18 holes), $11/$18 with cart (nine holes). To reserve a tee time, call 414-453-4454 or click here.
3375 HIGHWAY 167 WEST, RICHFIELD
This picturesque 45-hole complex is surrounded by scenic wooded natural terrain in the rolling countryside near the breathtaking Holy Hill Basilica in the Washington County community of Richfield. Kettle Hills features two, 18-hole courses – Ponds and Woods, and the Valley 18 – and the Rolling Nine, a challenging nine-hole layout.
3468 HIGHWAY 167 WEST, RICHFIELD
Looking for a more laid-back golf experience that’s easier on the wallet? Arrowhead Golf Course, located across the road from Kettle Hills, offers a nine-hole layout. The course is set in a partially wooded area, so many of the fairways are narrow. Featuring 2,562 yards, water hazards come into play on four holes. Golfers of all skill level will enjoy the course.
Weekend green fees: $18/$24 with cart. To reserve a tee time, call 262-628-2298.
7169 COUNTY ROAD O, ERIN
Site of the 2017 U.S. Open Championship, Erin Hills offers a thrilling range of challenges, from a terrifying 140-yard hole with exposure to wind on an elevated tee and a treacherous back-left bunker to a brute of a closing hole that measures 620 yards and lines up with Holy Hill in the distance. Seasoned caddies provide hole-by-hole assistance on the walking course, which features bentgrass greens and fine fescue fairways. Opened in 2006, Golf Digest lists it as the ninth best public course in the United States and 42nd-best overall.
Green fees: $295 (plus $55 caddie fee). To reserve a tee time, call 262-419-3194
3121 COUNTY ROAD I, SAUKVILLE
This Ozaukee County course layout is constructed on Cedarburg Bog, flowing through 297 acres of woods, wetlands, rolling hills and wildlife habitat. The Bog features 118 bunkers throughout the course and bentgrass greens that rival any putting surfaces in Wisconsin. The Arnold Palmer-designed course is playable from 5,110 yards to 7,221 yards to accommodate all skill levels.
W259 N8700 HIGHWAY 164, HARTLAND
Opened in 1992, Songbird Hills offers a lush 18-hole, par-70 golf layout. The course’s design takes maximum advantage of natural hills, undulating terrain, and sparkling ponds, creating remarkably different holes. The course is fairly open, so if that pesky slice or hook rears its head, there’s a good chance of finding the ball. Songbirds abound in the area, of course, and bluebird houses serve as the 150-yard markers on each hole.
Weekend green fees: $33/$49 ($43 after 1 p.m.) with cart (18 holes), $21/$30 with cart (nine holes). To reserve a tee time, click here.