Thank you to the entire staff for our stay this past holiday weekend! It was everything they said it was and a bit more than I expected. We will be back and will pass the word on to all, that this is a world class destination. Having been to Pebble, Bandon, Kohler, Pinehurst, and Kiawah on many occasions, rest assured you are on the top of list. We cannot express our thanks for the wonderful hospitality shown us by the staff (like we owned the place) and the facilities and the golf course! Fantastic all around venue and a memorable weekend for us.
Cannot possibly begin to thank you enough for our wonderful trip to Erin Hills.
From our 4.5 hour drive on Friday from the Minneapolis area your staff greeted us and took our golf bags to the range for the morning, instructed us to maybe keep our putters in case we wanted to step out to the practice green that evening.
We were amazed at the accommodations and how well they worked for our large group of 11 players. The new cabins overlooking the property were very well equipped for whatever activities we wanted. We loved staying on the property and couldn't have been more impressed with the rooms. Several people commented on how comfortable the beds were to me. The flat panel TV's with satellite in every room allowed us to enjoy the Open Championship and not miss a minute of action. The fridge kept our beers cold. The main room had several fascinating books on Golf, course architecture. The furniture was well appointed. Everything was new and fresh, yet old world. The bathrooms were top notch in every room.
We strolled down to the pub on Friday night and had a few beers and putted around until our bus to Milwaukee we had rented picked us up. It was a very short 35 minute drive to all that city has to offer. There was never a dull moment in Milwaukee and thank goodness close so we were able to get some good rest for the golf in the morning.
Breakfast was either a buffet style if you were in a hurry, or order from the menu, both worked well for our group. There are always stragglers. Our clubs were all at hitting stations at the range in the morning and our caddies were at the bags introducing themselves. John was also there to meet us and hand out pre determined matches with pre-marked scorecards according to our handicaps. He explained the rules of the day’s competition and we agreed on a small friendly wager. We took the 1st tee at 9AM for a few group pictures, and our matches started. The course was in impeccable shape, and the greens were particularly pristine. The undulation and pins were not unfair, but were subtle yet challenging. Erin Hills likes to make sure the groups are well staggered, and allows time in between tee times for the purpose of feeling like you are not packed in like sardines on the course throughout the day. This is a well thought out feature and not seen at destination championship courses such as Bandon, Whistling Straights, Pebble, or St Andrews.
The competition that Erin set up for our group, with three 9 hole matches finishing with a tie break on the putting green (with a pre-setup course with rock and debris hazards, and OB ropes) was well above and beyond what any other resort style course would do to accommodate a group of our size, and boy did it made our stay much more enjoyable. We were one of maybe 25 groups for a perfect weather day in July, and you really feel like you have the place to yourselves. We were 11 guys, and so for dinner after the rounds on Saturday, they reserved the "club room" for us, which is a private dining room on site. Before you enter the private dining room there is a appetizer and drink room, with TWO large flat screens for our enjoyment of the Open Championship highlights. It was incredible. We were able to be a bit ruckus at dinner in the private dining room talking about the days competition without fear of ruining the experience for anyone eating out on the patio or next to us in the main dining room, which we would have felt badly about. Erin really planned it down to the last detail for our group, and I have told at least 30 people about the experience we had.
I'm almost forgetting the biggest asset....the course! There is no wonder why such a course was selected to host a US Open. The property is such a beautiful piece of land it literally is awe inspiring. The fact that there is a golf course there is pure pleasure. The yardage is a bit deceiving in the fact the course was fast and firm. We played from the Green tees at 6,700 yards, and there were several birdies in the group of average golfers. I cannot say that we had those opportunities at other difficult courses, but we sure appreciated them of course as they were due to good shots with fair results. Greens held an appropriate approach, and had real movement on those approaches which the caddies knew well, and directed those approaches accordingly. Several holes at Erin I replay in my head over and over. Number 2 is an interesting blind shot par 4 with a table top green. Number 3 is a 490 yard elevated tee par 4 with a severely ridged green in back, and the pin was back on our day. Number 10 had a long approach with the pin on the left. Hit a good drive here or have a 4 iron or hybrid to the green. 10 is a fun carry from the tee over a gorge. Number 16 is a great punchbowl par 3 where you can only usually view the upper half of the flag stick. Everything funnels towards the middle here. It has a redan hole feel of "who is closest??" Number 9, while I'm not crazy of par 3 finishers was a real deciding factor in many of our matches. It’s 141 from the green tees, and the shot is about judging the wind, bounce, spin, and at all costs avoiding the deep pot bunkers around the green. This shot really grew on me, and was pressure packed with all 3 of our groups watching. A par is a good score on this hole of a mere 141 yards. There are many other special holes, but the natural land routing through the dunes should be a surprise for any player planning on going. From Augusta to Pebble, TV can never capture the true scale of these courses, nor the undulation and elevation changes accurately. This is of course true at Erin Hills. The natural routing, enormous feel, severe undulation an elevation and spectacular green complexes are the subtle details are what makes Erin Hills so special in person, and I would put it in my top 5 courses ever played.
Minor detail...the value ratio of Erin Hills is like no other resort course I have travelled to. It’s on scale of Bandon which has the famous $1 cup of coffee in the morning (Erin had free coffee) but with much better lodging options and accommodations. It has no different feeling than any top 50 country club and how they care for their regular golfing members who play every Saturday morning.
My hats off to all of the Erin Hills staff, our wonderfully poor caddies (poor meaning we felt for them due to errant shots all day). I cannot recommend Erin Hills more highly, and know you will have an incredible time when you go!
Erin has great golf and the best golf hospitality I have ever experienced (and I have been to Pinehurst, Pebble Beach, Half Moon Bay, and Bandon Dunes).
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Simple escapes: Centuries away from the everyday
There are some golf courses you simply play. And others that leave such an indelible mark on you that they come to define what great golf truly is. Such is the case at Erin Hills, where a convergence of classic character and innovative design create a golf experience unlike any other. Nestled amid the bucolic glaciated terrain of Erin Wisconsin, it’s the perfect destination for a quick escape.
Our drive from Chicago was an easy one, and we arrived in time for a late lunch on the patio of the classic stone Lodge. Our plan was a simple one: Get in a pair of rounds, take advantage of a private short game clinic, and leave the city behind for a short break of fresh air, fine food and fun.
Erin Hills has the character of an Irish retreat, right down to the walking-only play of the course. The stone clubhouses and collection of luxury cottages stand like historic icons on a rolling landscape of green, while the course is gently laid upon the land, with tumbling fescue fairways giving way to native roughs. A misty fog and an Irish brogue from the staff and I’d believe I was in the old country rather than a few short hours from Chicago.
After an enjoyable first round to stretch our legs and find our rhythm, we met Director of Golf Rich Tock at the range for a private clinic for our group, while the intoxicating smells of the clubhouse pub wafted across the practice area, a prelude to the evening ahead. After experiencing Erin’s storied bunkers firsthand on our opening round, I enjoyed the short game instruction and vowed to return prepared in the morning. With renewed confidence in my short game, we found a corner of the porch of the Clubhouse to rehydrate and dine, enjoying, among other items, Chef Sean’s signature Irish Whiskey Glazed Barbecue Ribs.
I’m the first to admit that in nearly every instance, a beer is simply a beer. However, there are some moments in life where the environment turns the simple moment of a pint with friends into something much more. As the sun dropped beyond the winding fairway of the 18th, there was no other place in the world I longed to be.
The cottages at Erin Hills were purpose built for this type of experience. Four spacious bedrooms surround a well-appointed common area ideal for a weekend escape. Or an evening of poker and fine single malt, as the case may be. Still, with an early tee time calling, we retired at a reasonable hour and rested up for what I was sure to be one of my more memorable rounds.
There is something special about a walking course. The quiet. The intimacy with the terrain. The time alone with your thoughts. It is a more connected experience, and one that I have missed too often for the convenience of a cart and a well-stocked ice chest. But as we wound along each rolling fairway, I become one with the course in a way I don’t usually experience golf.
The highlight of the round for me was a well-judged and executed 8-iron to the short par-3 9th hole. With the drop in elevation and cross-breeze, club selection was anything but a given. I managed to hit my tee shot to within 10 feet of the hole and make the birdie putt, a feat all the more meaningful with the knowledge of the trouble that awaits a missed tee shot.
By mid day, we had the clubs loaded in the car, and enjoyed one of Chef Sean’s cheddar soup (we’re in Wisconsin after all) and a smoked ham club at the clubhouse pub, before heading back to reality.
It was hard to believe we’d only arrived twenty-four hours before. My closest similar experience involved a 9-hour flight, and a day-long drive through the foggy rain of a Scottish countryside. We vowed as a group to make this a standing annual adventure, and started coming up with other reasons to return, from client meetings to a company retreat.
One of the best things I've ever done for my business is a stay-and-play with clients at Erin Hills. Even though we already had a great relationship, the Erin Hills experience took it to a completely unprecedented level. Day One featured lunch on the patio overlooking the first hole, followed by a superbly-caddied round of golf. Afterwards, as we settled the bets in the clubhouse, we enjoyed what my client calls a "Man's Man's Dinner," with some superb red wine. Then, it was back outside to sip single barrel bourbon by the fire overlooking the golf course and a surreal Wisconsin sunset. When it was time to call it a night, we simply headed upstairs to Erin Hills' exceptional guest rooms to rest up for day two -- breakfast in the Clubhouse, a second shot at the 2017 US Open site, and then lunch overlooking the course before taking them back to the airport. The client still mentions it almost every time we talk. While each of my 14 rounds at Erin Hills has been memorable, the stay-and-play trip with customers was simply unforgettable!"
Senior Vice-President & Managing Director
I recently played golf at Erin Hills, last years' site of the U.S. Amateur, I believe the first ever held in Wisconsin and what a treat it was. We arrived at noon and enjoyed a quick lunch in the pub, had time to hit a few balls on the range, of which I was told by Rich Tock, Director of Golf, as he walked by and said hello that they had just completed the new target greens on the range. After golf we stopped at the outdoor terrace to enjoy a cold beer and then proceeded up to our cottage to clean up for dinner. The new 4 bedroom cottages are spectacular I might add. Our eight guys had a drink on the porch overlooking the golf course and sunset before dinner and our meal was terrific.
Then we proceeded back to the outdoor terrace where the gas firepits were lit and sat around the firepits way into the evening. One of our team enjoyed a cigar and red wine as I tasted one of their 20 year old scotch’s they have on hand. What a night!!
Next morning we played again and headed home mid afternoon. I have played Erin Hills numerous times in the past, but the condition and service was second to none. I am already planning my next trip back.
What I retain is the memory of a fabulous golf course in a captivating location. It was a privilege to play the course.
[The staff] combined with the seemingly effortless attention to detail and genuineness that creates an atmosphere that, in my experience, clearly differentiates Erin Hills.
To say I enjoyed my time is an understatement. My peers and our clients had a blast at Erin Hills. From the moment we pulled into the parking lot, the experience was top notch. The food was great. The course was amazing, it might have been one of the most fun and challenging courses I’ve ever played, not to mention beautiful.
Your staff, accommodations and service were truly first rate and gave us all the feeling of being welcome and at home without any of the pretentions that can sometimes be associated with upper tier golf destinations. You and your staff’s efforts were not lost on us, and it is this that will bring us back year after year.
The golf course is fantastic – one of the few "national destination" public golf courses worth every penny of the fees charged. Walking courses require caddies and the expectation is for excellent caddies. Our caddies (a brother team) were outstanding. They read greens perfectly, and otherwise managed the double bags and my game with such skill that I felt like I had my caddie to myself. This golf course ranks up there as one of my top 5 and I have played many of the best, worldwide.
Overall, the golf day experience was a 10 out of 10 for me and my time on the course will be remembered, hole by hole, for a long time. And if my memory starts to fade I will jump in my car, drive 90 minutes and refresh the experience – without hesitation. I look forward to coming back to Erin Hills again and again.
Lake Forest, Illinois
One of my customers called this morning, and said, "those people at Erin Hills were so attentive that when I got home last night I stood in the driveway looking for them to take my stuff in the house and put my clubs in the garage!"
It was, in the words of the other client, "A couple rounds of golf I’ll never forget. My buddies are going to be SO jealous..."
We’ll be back. Often.
From the time we got there to the time we left that your staff was outstanding. From the bag drop, to the range, to the Lodge, to your starter, and on the course.
We had a great time. The course definitely lived up to all the comments.
West Bend, Wisconsin