10 Top Golf Courses in the Midwest USA

Top 10 Golf Courses in the Midwest

Golf enthusiasts often seek the perfect blend of challenging terrain, beautiful scenery, and impeccable course maintenance. The Midwest USA, with its rolling landscapes and diverse climates, offers some of the finest golf courses in the country. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a casual player, these top 10 golf courses in the Midwest will not disappoint.

1. Whistling Straits (Straits Course) – Kohler, Wisconsin

Nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan, the Straits Course at Whistling Straits is a masterpiece designed by Pete Dye. Known for its rugged, windswept terrain and stunning lake views, it has hosted multiple PGA Championships and the Ryder Cup. Golfers must navigate challenging bunkers and undulating fairways, making it a true test of skill.

2. Medinah Country Club (Course No. 3) – Medinah, Illinois

Medinah Country Club’s Course No. 3 is a prestigious course that has hosted numerous major tournaments, including the U.S. Open and PGA Championship. Designed by Tom Bendelow and later enhanced by Rees Jones, this course features tree-lined fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and water hazards that demand precision and strategy.

3. Erin Hills – Erin, Wisconsin

Erin Hills, located just outside Milwaukee, is a public course that offers a pure golfing experience. This links-style course was the site of the 2017 U.S. Open and is known for its natural rolling terrain, challenging roughs, and expansive vistas. The course’s wide fairways provide a fair challenge for all skill levels.

4. Oakland Hills Country Club (South Course) – Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Oakland Hills’ South Course, also known as “The Monster,” is a historic venue that has hosted six U.S. Opens and three PGA Championships. Designed by Donald Ross and updated by Robert Trent Jones, this course is famous for its challenging greens, strategic bunkering, and demanding layout.

5. Hazeltine National Golf Club – Chaska, Minnesota

Hazeltine National, designed by Robert Trent Jones, is a championship course that has hosted the Ryder Cup, U.S. Open, and PGA Championship. The course’s layout features rolling fairways, numerous water hazards, and well-protected greens, providing a formidable challenge for even the most skilled golfers.

6. The Dunes Club – New Buffalo, Michigan

The Dunes Club is a hidden gem located near Lake Michigan. This nine-hole course, designed by Dick Nugent, offers a unique and intimate golfing experience. The course’s sandy soil, natural dunes, and native grasses create a beautiful and challenging environment that feels like a true escape from the everyday.

7. Arcadia Bluffs – Arcadia, Michigan

Perched on the bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan, Arcadia Bluffs is a stunning links-style course designed by Warren Henderson and Rick Smith. The course’s wide fairways, dramatic elevation changes, and breathtaking views make it a must-play for any golf enthusiast. The challenging layout ensures a memorable round for players of all abilities.

8. The Prairie Club (Dunes Course) – Valentine, Nebraska

The Prairie Club’s Dunes Course, designed by Tom Lehman and Chris Brands, offers a true links-style experience in the heart of the Midwest. The course features wide fairways, massive sand dunes, and expansive greens, providing a unique and challenging test of golf. The natural beauty and remote location add to the allure of this exceptional course.

9. Crystal Downs Country Club – Frankfort, Michigan

Crystal Downs, designed by Alister MacKenzie and Perry Maxwell, is a classic course that combines strategic design with stunning scenery. The course’s undulating fairways, tricky greens, and panoramic views of Lake Michigan make it a favorite among golf purists. Its challenging layout requires precise shot-making and creative thinking.

10. Sand Hills Golf Club – Mullen, Nebraska (Private/Call for Access)

Sand Hills Golf Club, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, is often regarded as one of the best courses in the world. This remote, minimalist course blends seamlessly with the natural landscape, featuring rolling sand dunes, native grasses, and firm, fast fairways. The course’s design emphasizes strategy and creativity, making it a unique and unforgettable golfing experience.

FAQs about Top 10 Golf Courses in the Midwest USA

Are these courses open to the public?

Some of the courses on this list, like Erin Hills and Arcadia Bluffs, are public and welcome all golfers. Others, such as Medinah Country Club and Oakland Hills, are private and require a membership or invitation to play.

What is the best time of year to play golf in the Midwest?

The best time to play golf in the Midwest is typically from late spring to early fall (May through October), when the weather is most favorable. However, the exact timing can vary depending on the specific region and course.

Do these courses offer accommodations for out-of-town visitors?

Many of these courses, especially the public ones, offer on-site accommodations or are located near hotels and resorts. For example, Whistling Straits has the American Club, a luxury resort in Kohler, Wisconsin.

Are these courses suitable for beginners?

While these courses are known for their challenging layouts, many of them have multiple tee options that can make the game more accessible for beginners. It’s always a good idea to check with the course in advance to understand the level of difficulty and available amenities.

Can I book a tee time online for these courses?

Most public courses, like Erin Hills and Arcadia Bluffs, offer online booking for tee times. Private courses may have different procedures, often requiring a member’s assistance or a special invitation.

The Midwest USA is home to some of the country’s most prestigious and scenic golf courses. Whether you’re looking for a challenging championship course or a relaxing round with stunning views, these top 10 golf courses offer something for every golfer. Happy golfing!

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