Wild Rock Golf Club: The 'other' great Wisconsin gem by Hurdzan & Fry

WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. - When Dr. Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry were working on the Erin Hills Golf Course - now famous for hosting the 2017 U.S. Open - they were also busy designing Wild Rock Golf Club about 90 miles away.

That fact, perhaps more than any other, reflects the design talents of both men, who split ways in 2012. While Erin Hills can be exacting and demoralizing to play for amateurs, Wild Rock, an amenity of the Wilderness Hotel and Golf Resort, couldn't be more fun, just like the waterparks at the resort. Both courses debuted in 2008 with linksy elements like tall grasses lining the fairway and the occasional tiny sand trap that looks like a pot bunker.

Wild Rock - ranked no. 1 in the state and no. 30 nationally by GolfAdvisor users in 2016 - features more rolling topography and thousands more trees than Erin Hills, an interesting point considering thousands of other trees were removed to open up wide fairways and dramatic vistas from several elevated tees on the rolling property. There aren't many hazards to worry about, but a stream fronting the first green, a pond on the par-3 fourth and a quarry on holes 13-15 can certainly snatch your ball. A barn (on hole 17) and water tower (most visible from no. 3 and no. 17) give Wild Rock that rural Wisconsin vibe.

Most golfers come off of Wild Rock feeling like GolfAdvisor user 'Bernier', who gave the course a five-star rating and added: "I would recommend this course to anyone that is visiting Wisconsin."

Staff rating of Wild Rock: Review by Jason Scott Deegan

Jul 24, 2017

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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.