Corey Roberson, Director of Golf
Every year, we organize a golf trip for the membership at Cordillera Ranch. In 2021, we hosted a couples’ trip to Pinehurst and took a large group of guys to Lajitas. In 2022, we are planning an August trip to Wisconsin for guys, and Lajitas for a couples’ trip. I originally had started working on a Wisconsin trip for 2020, but the pandemic stalled those plans.
Wisconsin is home to some great golf, including Whistling Straits, Blackwolf Run, Erin Hills and the newly famed Sand Valley. Our trip will hit all of these destinations as they are within a short drive of each other. Whistling Straits has two golf courses (Irish and Straits), in addition to another property called Blackwolf Run, which is home to the River and Meadow Valleys courses. The Straits course is the crown jewel of the four as it’s hosted three PGA Championships, one Senior Open Championship and most recently, the Ryder Cup. The Straits course is defined by the open, rugged and windswept terrain, sculpted along two miles of the Lake Michigan shoreline. If you recall watching the Ryder Cup this year, the wind can blow and there is plenty of trouble to be found. The Irish course at Whistling Straits is just inland from the Great Lake and features four meandering streams that cross through the grassland and dunes to form 18 interesting holes.
For the trip, we’ll likely fly into Milwaukee and drive to Sheboygan to play our first round at the Irish course. The next day, we’ll saddle up for 36-holes with the first round on The Straits course and then play the River in the afternoon. It will be a long day but filled with some great golf. The River course at Blackwolf Run features target landing areas, large undulating greens and water or gorges on 14 of the 18 holes for a challenging, yet beautiful playing experience. We’ll be skipping the Meadow Valleys course at Blackwolf Run, which is a great track but we’ve only got so much time!
The next day, we’ll head over to Sand Valley and experience the fastest-growing golf destination in Wisconsin. Sand Valley is the latest installment in Mike Keiser’s pursuit to build Dream Golf. Keiser is the brilliant mind behind the famed Bandon Dunes, which is now home to five golf courses. Sand Valley is home to two golf courses (Mammoth Dunes and Sand Valley) in addition to a short course called the Sandbox. The original course, Sand Valley, was designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, and opened in 2017. It features massive exposed sand dunes, firm and fast fairways, and a multitude of strategic playing options. Mammoth Dunes is designed by the Scotsman David McLay Kidd who designed the first course at Bandon Dunes. The Sandbox at Sand Valley is their latest addition designed by Coore and Crenshaw. It’s a 17-hole short course with holes ranging from 40 to 140 yards. The layout borrows some of golf’s template holes like biarritz, double plateau and redan. We’ll spend a couple of days at Sand Valley and play all three tracks before ending our trip at Erin Hills.
Erin Hills is a very unique golf course as it was specifically designed to host the 2017 U.S. Open that Brooks Koepka won in commanding fashion. The golf course is routed over the Kettle Moraine areas left by glaciers, surrounded by wetlands and a river, with ground that consists of sand and small rock. The Drumlin, Erin Hill’s most recent addition, is a 63,000-square-foot horseshoe-shaped putting course. The 18-hole putting layout is bisected by a central ridge that gives it a feel of front and back nines. I imagine after a long day of golf on a championship course, a little night putting will be pretty fun.
As a whole, we’ll play six Top 100 golf courses in addition to one or two short courses and a putting course. Needless to say, this trip is all about great golf. It will be a long week as most of these courses are walking only, but we’ll have caddies to lighten the load. We don’t have the exact date or fees nailed down yet, but we should have that shortly after the first of the year.
Corey Roberson is the Director of Golf at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at email@example.com and 830.336.4653.