“Eagle Springs is the oldest course in the state of Wisconsin, and might also be the quirkiest” (as described by golf.com). The USGA lists it as one of the first 100 clubs established in the United States and it is highly ranked by Golf Magazine. More importantly however, is to see where Always Time for 9 will rank Eagle Springs Golf Resort.
We started our day by traveling back in time to 1893 as owner Anne Krug shared the history of Eagle Springs Golf Resort with us. The hotel is gone; the laundry is now the clubhouse; the resort cottages are still there; and years ago the course had been reduced from 18 to 9 holes. But what a 9 holes!
As we stand on the blue tee box at Hole #1 and view the blind tee shot up the hill, we old men decided to drive up the hill and play from the white tee boxes. A wide, wide open fairway greets you at this opening hole. If you can’t hit this fairway, please trade your clubs in for a tennis racket. The green is straight down the fairway, but that green!!! It’s crazy! I’ve never seen one with this much undulation. The left side sits up high, but it slides dramatically to the right and collects into a bowl. I know first hand as my putt ran by the hole and settled in that basin. It’s quirky but I loved it.
Hole #2 is the Volcano Hole. As our tee shots at this 134 yard par 3 collided with the putting surface, you could feel the tectonic plates converging. As we watched a few balls trundle down the sides like hot lava, we grabbed more balls to take mulligan shots at this signature hole. A bend to the right and a pond to carry are the initial issues you face at Hole #3. On this risk/reward hole, how daring are you to carve off some/most of the pond to allow this 302 yard par 4 tp play a little shorter?
Squidy’s Bar advertises Beer; Booze; and Food at the fourth hole – sounds good to us! This number one handicap hole has an almost straight fairway with a creek to carry on your tee shot, and dense woods down the left side. Even though there are a few large trees to the right side, you definitely want to be over there. Anne cautioned us to stay right on this hole because of a big drop off if you wander left. And I’m talking a severe plunge down that side as we found out. A few of us forgot to heed her warning! I understand why this is the #1 handicap as the green (which is tucked to the left of the fairway) is very undulating and slopes from left to right. So if you are down in the valley to the left, good luck stopping any shot to the green.
Hole#5 is a 408 yard par 4 with a dogleg left. If you possess a nice fade, this is the perfect hole for you. A large tree to the right will impede any direct draw line to find the fairway. Somehow my tee shot found the required height to clear the tree and find a safe landing spot. Your second shot needs to be precise as a pond and creek cross the fairway in front of the green. Hole #6 is one of the easier holes as long as you brought your good sand play with you. The short, straight par 4 has bunkers left, right, and behind the green.
The seventh hole is normally a relatively easy downhill par 3. However, today our teeing area was restricted to the left side of the tee box due to a swarm of bees making their home on the right side. Thankfully they let us play through with no painful incidents.
Hole #8 has a blind tee shot, so just hit it through the gap. Once you get up the hill, it flattens out (unless you are too far left) and the fairway is very wide. When you finally locate the green at this par 5, you encounter a putting surface that is surrounded on three sides by a vast horseshoe bunker.
What a fun finishing hole at #9. It is a dogleg left, but it does have a risk/reward feature for your tee shot. A large tree guards the bend in the fairway and will discourage the short hitter from trying to go left. However, a long hitter may be tempted to take that left path, but any ball that falls short will find the very penal rough. As you come to the finish of your round, the green angles back to the right and is surrounded by trees. From a distance the green looks rather flat, but it is anything but that. There is a dramatic slope on the right and any ball hit short could roll back down the hill to the cart path.
But wait, this is not the finishing hole for us today. We were directed by Anne to play the alternate Hole #2. For those golfers who have difficult time climbing the #2 Volcano Hole, they are given an alternate downhill, short par 3. It’s not long, but if your shot goes left good luck holding the putting surface.
Rating – Ace (59 out of 60): The Krug’s were outstanding hosts. Anne gave us a tour of the property and Matt took time out of his busy day to share more of the course’s history. This sixth generation family-owned course was a great halfway stop between our drive from Chicago to Green Bay. It’s also an excellent stop for those golfers who have spent most of their money in Kohler, WI since it doesn’t take too much out of your wallet to play this fantastic course.
As previously mentioned, it has been listed as one of the first 100 clubs established in the United States by the USGA and ranked as one of the 50 best 9-hole courses in the world by Golf Magazine. So what was the Always Time for 9 ranking? The 59 out of 60 is the highest rating we have ever given! I think you can determine how we felt about Eagle Springs Golf Resort.
W352 S10355 Tuohy Rd., Eagle, WI 53119; 262-594-2462; www.eaglespringsgolfresort.com