Highlands at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa boasts two championship golf courses. The Brute Course is a formidable test while the Highlands Course presents a more player-friendly layout though it still has plenty of challenges in store. Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye teamed up to design the Highlands. It is a traditional links-layout that is tumbles across glacier-carved hills and valleys. It perfectly mimics the feel of courses of the British Isles especially on the undulating greens that are flanked with bunkers. The course is playable for all skill levels though low handicappers looking for a challenge might want to tackle the Brute. The resort has garnered a popular following amongst both locals and visitors. Conde Nast Traveler ranked it in the top ten northern US golf resorts and that is just one of the many accolades Grand Geneva Resort & Spa has received.
|Forward (W)||71||5011 yards||68.3||115|
|Gold M: 71.5/125||389||506||432||192||434||549||157||345||461||3465||318||594||217||394||398||350||381||150||392||3194||6659|
|Blue M: 69.2/120||376||483||394||153||410||511||146||320||450||3243||308||553||199||333||384||325||347||136||379||2964||6207|
|White M: 66.8/114 W: 70.0/118||333||450||350||117||374||483||136||264||435||2942||272||525||155||330||332||305||333||122||359||2733||5675|
|Red W: 68.3/115||290||421||328||91||355||457||127||230||304||2603||226||481||128||305||320||240||305||108||295||2408||5011|
This course is very strange in many ways. It has many very pretty holes, especially on the front nine. It was in good condition minus the very slow greens. However, it has been redesigned several times and it shows. The course has some of the stupidest hole designs I've ever seen. Don't hit your ball anywhere to the right on 15, even a little, or you'll find out the cart path is a few feet from the fairway and right next to it is a road. Sixteen may be the dumbest hole I've ever seen. Tree line right up against the tee on left, all the way up, and a big tree in the middle of the fairway that blocks 2/3 of the fairway. You can hit a great drive--middle of the fairway--and be in jail.. And here I thought they had Bob Cupp redesign a course that was supposed to be miserably difficult to play!. Oh, and don't forget the road in middle of the fairway on 16 (an insanely stupid design for so many reasons) that cuts the hole in two. One just gets a sense that this course, whatever it once was, has been hacked apart and has no real identity. It is absolutely not a links course. That idea is laughable, so don't buy into the whole "it's a Scottish course" thing they are trying to sell.
Again, there are many good looking and fun holes here. They are offset by a half-dozen poorly designed to downright stupid holes. Of all of the resort courses in Lake Geneva, I would put this one last on my list to play. The Brute, which is bizarre in its own way, is a far superior course. They should have left the Highlands be the Briar Patch. It would at least have a consistent identity. You can see the Dye / Nicklaus influence on a number of holes, but there's no consistent feel to the course design. Too many cooks.
A few other thoughts: the driving range is hitting off of mats, which is annoying. The clubhouse is quite dated and a mile from the parking lot. The staff were also mixed. The guy in the pro shop was nice, but the rest of them seemed distracted and indifferent (no one at the bag drop)--not what I'd expect at a supposedly luxury resort.
I'm glad I played the course once. I won't be back.
Hello ajpalmer2. Thank you for taking the time to leave a thoughtful and detailed review of your pros and cons of course. We are going to pass along your feedback to the staff so they can consider changes. Thanks for visiting us!
Great course. But a 5 hour round was disappointing. Marshall needs to do a better job
Hello. Thank you for reviewing the course. We apologize for the delay of play during your round. This is by no means the standard we strive to achieve. We work hard to accommodate everyone who visits our course and to best control pace allowing everyone to finish in a reasonable amount of time. We will continue to look for ways to improve, and we are glad to see you rated the course conditions to be great during your game. Thank you for playing Highlands at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa. We hope to see you again soon.
A lovable mutt of a golf course
The Highlands is like the lovable mutt you adopt at the Humane Society. It's not a pure bred, but it's still adored by all. It's a hybrid course with a little bit of Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus and Bobby Weed all sprinkled into the rolling hills north of Chicago. Some golfers like it better than its more famous sister course, The Brute.
Because there is no signature look or trait, it's got a little bit of everything - bunkers, elevated tees, elevated greens, a short 4 (10th), etc. You'll never be bored.
Great time on Highlanda
Cart path only on most holes because of weather. Course in great condition. We'll be back.
Nothing to complain about here. Course was in very good shape, except we had cart path only due to the rains the previous night. Staff was super friendly. We'll be back!
If only they could have turned the 30mph winds off....
We have played this course a few times and will play there again. A little wet today but fun.
Challenging course. Great layout. GPS on carts. Friendly staff
Definitely will play here again soon
Grand Geneva Resort (The Highlands)
The Good: Fun Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye collaboration is the second course built at Grand Geneva Resort. Wide open fairways provide the opportunity to keep the ball in play, but small, lightning quick greens protects The Highlands. Good course conditions, very nice off-course amenities, and excellent practice facility. Excellent Par 3's and some good risk/reward Par 5's. Most of the Par 4's have a "go for broke" opportunity off the tee, making for an enjoyable resort experience. Several holes have some great elevation change for a course in southern Wisconsin.
The Bad: Overpriced at $130 during high season. The Highlands is a $75 track that disguises itself as a premium resort course. Some holes are beautiful while others seem lackluster. Several tee boxes are uneven. Greens are almost too fast for the resort golfer.
The Verdict: The Highlands is the little sister to The Brute and for a reason. While it does offer great greens and a playable layout, there are only a few holes that justify the hefty greens fee. Nonetheless, there aren't too many more beautiful walks in the park in Southern Wisconsin.
Best Hole: The Par 3's #4 and #12 are great, but the downhill Par 4 #14 offers the best photo of the course. A downhill tee shot to a well-guarded uphill green.
Was in Lake Geneva area for my wife's family reunion. I was able to sneak away for some golf and decided to play The Highlands for the first time. There were some pretty heavy rains the night before but course was in excellent shape. It was cart path only which made the course a bit of a walk at times. Course conditions were very good, greens had been aerated weeks ago and ran very nice. Bunkers needed to be worked from the rains but that would be expected. Definitely recommend this course and next time in LG I will be back.
Not quite The Brute but still a challenge
This was my first time playing either course at Grand Geneva. Even before stepping foot on the course, I was impressed with the facilities. The pro shop is very nice. The practice green is very large with a variety of slopes to get you ready for the greens on the courses. The is a chipping/pitching area next to the practice green. Balls on the driving range are included with your greens fees. You have to hit off of turf but the range is large with a variety of flags set at different distances to get you warmed up. The golf carts are set up with a very nice GPS unit which gives readings of distance to the pin, front and back of the greens, hazards, etc. Probably the nicest GPS set-up I've seen on a cart.
The starter at the first tee recommended the blue tees for my group. In doing so, he said it really doesn't matter what set of tees you play from. He stated The Highlands course will give you multiple chances for birdies and pars but it will also give you multiple chances for double and triple bogeys.
The course does not play extremely long as even from the tips it is less than 6700 yards. Where this course will beat you up is the par 4's. Many of them have such tight landing areas off the tee where you will have to hit a wood or a hybrid off the tee to play it safe. If you miss badly, you are in the woods or waste areas, and are scrambling for bogey. Elevations changes will also play havoc with your club selection and distances. Overall, the course was in excellent condition. Just be aware, the course was closed on 4/25, as they were starting to aerate the greens. If you play The Highlands in the next week or two, the greens may run a little rough.
Pace of play on a Sunday afternoon was just OK. There were waits on some tees and several holes had multiple groups on them. I believe we finished our round in a little over 4.5 hours.
Out of the two course, I enjoyed The Brute more but will definitely play The Highlands again. The two courses compliment each other well. If you play The Highlands first, it is a good warm-up for The Brute. If you play The Brute first and get beat up, The Highlands will be a welcome recovery round. For perspective, I shot 10 strokes better on The Highlands than I did The Brute.
A scenic, playable course through beautiful woodland
TheHighlands used to be called The Briar Patch. It was one of the early, and few, Pete Dye-Jack Nicklaus collaborations, opened in 1968 as part of the Playboy Resort. Some older buddies of mine who played the original said it was much tougher at that time than its sister course, The Brute. But it was reworked and softened in the mid-late 1990s by Bob Cupp and Bob Lohman -- and renamed to sound less threatening. A bit more target-golf than The Brute, but "getable". A guy I played with had 5 birdies and an eagle, but still shot 80, due to some triple-bogeys. In other words: getable, but still plenty of trouble to find -- wetlands, woods, high grass. Lots of short par 4s, which will challenge your club selections and strategy, depending on the tees you play -- anything from a driver down to hybrid will be an option. Undulating greens that still show telltale hallmarks of the Dye-Nicklaus days. Great staff and practice area!
Can score well or score high
The Highlands at grand geneva is a very nice course with very good amenities. Staff is friendly and helpful and the bag of tees and repair tools are a great addition. You can score on this course very well but the course is tight which can make the score go up up up. Fairways are some of the best around and greens are always in good shape too. The 9th hole is for sure the hardest hole in walworth county maybe the hardest in southern wi. 450yd par 4 uphill with a landing zone off the tee about 30 yds wide with ob on both sides. Then have a long iron or hybrid up hill to a false front green. Getting out of here with 5 is a good score. The golf course is a top 5 lg cpurse to me the bev carts are huge and obnoxious and the price for the course is far to high, but they always throw out deals with the hotel so check for those. Great course to play if you can find a deal.
Grand Geneva Resort - Highlands / Very Nice!
This is a very nice upscale coarse and got a very good price from golfnow.com . I was supposed to be paired up with other golfers but was told the coarse was wide open and could go out when ever I felt like it. I hit a couple at the range first and when i went to the 1 tee there was no one waiting so I just went out alone. The coarse was in great condition for mid Oct. and it had some quite challenging holes. I would definitely play this coarse again.
good value --will be back-will attend with regular four-some