Whistling Straits - Straits golf course - 3rd
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Whistling Straits - Straits golf course - 3rd
No. 3 on the Straits Course at Whistling Straits is one of many with vistas out into Lake Michigan. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Images
Erin Hills golf course - 4th
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Erin Hills golf course - 4th
From the tee box on the 439-yard fourth hole at Erin Hills Golf Course, you can see 14 other greens as well as Holy Hill National Shrine and Basilica several miles away. Andrew Hollingworth/Golf Advisor
Grand Geneva Resort - Brute golf course - no. 17
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Grand Geneva Resort - Brute golf course - no. 17
The 468-yard, par-4 17th is just one of the holes that lives up to the name of The Brute at Grand Geneva Resort in Wisconsin. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
River golf course at Blackwolf Run - hole 5
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River golf course at Blackwolf Run - hole 5
The par-4 fifth hole might be the most beautiful on the River golf course at Blackwolf Run. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Irish golf course at Whistling Straits - hole 4
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Irish golf course at Whistling Straits - hole 4
The fourth hole on the Irish Course at Whistling Straits is called "Sandbank" for a reason. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Brighton Dale Links  golf course
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Brighton Dale Links golf course
Golf Advisor reviewer btweed1683 says Brighton Dale Links' Spruce Course is a good value for the Milwaukee area. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Golf Courses of Lawsonia - Links Course - 6th green
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Golf Courses of Lawsonia - Links Course - 6th green
The Golf Courses of Lawsonia's Links Course has large and elevated greens. Courtesy of the Golf Courses of Lawsonia
University Ridge
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University Ridge
Golf Advisor's top Madison-area golf course is, not surprisingly, where the Badgers play: University Ridge Golf Club. Courtesy of University Ridge G.C.
Wild Rock Golf Club - hole 7
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Wild Rock Golf Club - hole 7
The back tees at Wild Rock Golf Club's 493-yard seventh hole soar some 100 feet above the fairway. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Grand Geneva Resort - Highlands G.C. - 4th
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Grand Geneva Resort - Highlands G.C. - 4th
The 192-yard fourth hole on the Highlands Course at Grand Geneva Resort and Spa is all carry over wetlands. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
SentryWorld golf course - hole 16
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SentryWorld golf course - hole 16
SentryWorld's famous 16th hole, the "flower" hole, was mostly left intact during the redesign. Courtesy of SentryWorld
Gary Player Course - Geneva National - hole 16
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Gary Player Course - Geneva National - hole 16
Fall colors help the 16th hole at the Gary Player Course at Geneva National Golf Club look even more scenic. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Arnold Palmer course at Geneva National Golf Club - hole 16
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Arnold Palmer course at Geneva National Golf Club - hole 16
A golfer tees it up on the par-3 16th hole on the Palmer Course at Geneva National Golf Club in Lake Geneva, Wis. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Lee Trevino course at Geneva National Golf Club - hole 1
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Lee Trevino course at Geneva National Golf Club - hole 1
The elevated first tee on the Trevino Course at Geneva National Golf Club reveals a par 4 cut through the woods. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Abbey Springs Golf Course - hole 17
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Abbey Springs Golf Course - hole 17
The 17th hole at Abbey Springs Golf Course overlooks Lake Geneva. Courtesy of Abbey Springs Golf Course
Hawk's View Golf Club - Como Crossings - hole 10
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Hawk's View Golf Club - Como Crossings - hole 10
Getting the third shot around the corner is critical on the 600-yard, par-5 10th hole on the Como Crossings Course at Hawk's View Golf Club in Lake Geneva, Wis. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Northern Bay Golf Club hole 10
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Northern Bay Golf Club hole 10
The 10th hole at Northern Bay Golf Club is a replica of the famed 17th at TPC Sawgrass. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Brown Deer Park G.C.
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Brown Deer Park G.C.
Brown Deer Park in Milwaukee boasts one of the country's best municipal golf courses. Courtesy of Brown Deer Park
Washington County Golf Course
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Washington County Golf Course
Many consider the Arthur Hills-designed Washington County Golf Course in Hartford, just outside of Milwaukee, the finest municipal golf course in Wisconsin. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Bull at Pinehurst Farms GC - hole 17
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Bull at Pinehurst Farms GC - hole 17
A well guarded green protects par on the 17th hole at The Bull at Pinehurst Farms in Sheboygan Falls, Wis. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Trappers Turn Golf Club
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Trappers Turn Golf Club
The greens at Trappers Turn Golf Club in Wisconsin Dells are generally small and undulating, well guarded by sand, woods, water or sometimes all three. Andrew Hollingworth/Golf Advisor
Sand Valley - No. 8
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Sand Valley - No. 8
The official opening of Mike Keiser's Sand Valley, plus the U.S. Open at Erin Hills, are two reasons why 2017 is a big year for Wisconsin golf. Matt Ginella/Golf Advisor

Major mecca: Tour the best public golf courses in Wisconsin

Wisconsin has in recent years become a mecca of major championship golf, thanks largely in part to Herb Kohler and his four-course creation at Destination Kohler on the shores of Lake Michigan.

The 2015 PGA Championship returns to Pete Dye's Straits Course at Whistling Straits , while 2017 will welcome a new U.S. Open venue to the rotation, Erin Hills Golf Course . Kohler's Blackwolf Run Golf Course has also hosted the U.S. Women's Open.

Grandstands are up behind the sixth green at Whistling Straits. #ginellasjourneys #golfisgreat

A photo posted by Matt Ginella (@matt_ginella) on

Wisconsin may become an even bigger player in the bucket-list golf destination game when Mike Keiser's latest project, Sand Valley, opens in 2017 with a new Coore-Crenshaw design. ( David McLay Kidd was hired for the encore , which is tentatively scheduled to open in 2018.)

Beyond the major championship venues, there are many high-profile, top 100-ranked golf to be had in Wisconsin. But the more regional and value-laden daily-fee and resort scene holds its own as well. You don't have to spend big money at the American Club to enjoy a Wisconsin golf trip. Lake Geneva Country Club and the Wisconsin Dells are other golf hotspots, especially popular getaways for golfers in Chicago.

The Golf Advisor staff has compiled this photo gallery of some of our favorite public courses throughout the state, from the major players to the bargains.

Do you have any other hidden gems in the state to share? How does Wisconsin's golf scene stack up to its neighbors, Michigan and Minnesota?

Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at BrandonTuckerGC.
Related Links
Any avid golfer looking to plan a trip to one of America's coasts would be remiss to ignore Wisconsin's "East Coast" along Lake Michigan. Here's a week-long Wisconsin golf itinerary that won't disappoint.
The Wisconsin Dells is still a prime locale to spend a week with the family and not break the bank, even if you do want to play some outstanding golf while you're there.
Pete Dye's courses at The American Club set the standard for daunting championship golf in the Midwest, but The Bull at Pinehurst Farms isn't far behind. Jack Nicklaus took a page out of Dye's playbook when he designed this challenging track. Still, the lost balls are worth checking off a bucket-list track.
The Lake Geneva, Wisconsin area is known as Chicago's playground, although it's actually closer to Milwaukee. About an hour and a half north of the Windy City, Lake Geneva was founded by Chicago's wealthy families around 100 years ago. Narrowing down the best golf isn't easy, but here are five golf courses that won't do you wrong.
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Major mecca: Tour the best public golf courses in Wisconsin
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