Erin Hills, Hartford, Wisconsin, Usa








Erin, from Eirinn, the irish dative case of Eire, irish name for the island of Ireland.

After two great courses in Illinois (Cog Hill No. 4 and Pine Meadow) it was time to head north, direction Hartford, central-east Wisconsin. My destination Erin Hills, one of the new great golf courses of America, selected to host the 2017 U.S. Open.
A nice drive leaving the Windy City on I-94, through America's Dairyland.
After passing Milwaukee, and leaving the Interstate for a smaller and less crowded state highway I  found myself completely seduced by the beauties of the surroundings before reaching Erin Hills.
Just me, a few Harley Davidson's, charming farmhouses, burns and vast expanses of prairies.

I read many article about Erin Hills before my visit in Wisconsin, and I still wasn't quiet sure on what to expect. But once I passed the gates of the property what appeared in front of my eyes was beyond my imagination: an incredible panorama, native areas of fescue, endless shade of green, a walking only course, a state of the art practice facility, a lodge resembling an Irish country inn, a magnificent stone clubhouse, an irish pub, and three irish style cottages named Ballybunion, Royal Portrush, and Royal County Down.
Erin Hills is all that, a true piece of Ireland among the rolling terrain of Wisconsin left by the glacier thousand of years ago.
On that moment I could understand why so many golf insiders, pros, businessman, architects were so enthusiastic about that property.

The course is a memorable inland links, or better,  an unique "prairie links", as Robert Trent Jones Jr. stated during the lunch we had together on my visit.
A 7823 yds monster (77.9/145), that can be easily stretched to over 8,000 yds. A layout inspired by the Irish and Scottish courses built on 650 acres of land (comparing to Erin Hills, Pine Valley is set on only 200 acres) carved by the glaciers, made of undulating fairways, dunes, 136 bunkers, and challenging green complex.
18 holes designed between 2004 and 2006 by architects Mike Hurdzan, Dana Fry and Ron Whitten, who drew the course mainly taking advantage of what the glaciers left with just a little movement of ground. 

What is really interesting is the history behind this golf course. An history that, thanks to the vision of a local businessman, brought the U.S. Open on a piece of land that only ten years ago was still used for grazing cattle and making hay. The local businessman name was Robert Lang.
He bought the property in 1999 with the purpose of building a little nine holes course for his employee. But that land was a special site. A terrain made of dunes and natural elevation changes, covered by an endless sea of fescue that looked like it has been designed by nature to become one of the greatest golf courses of the country. And with the help of a team of the best golf architects, in just two year of works a jewel born. 
Mike Davis, the actual USGA Executive Director and at that time the USGA's Senior Director of Rules and Competition, has been invited to visit Erin Hills before and during the construction of the course. He fell in love with the place, one of the most fabulous site he has ever seen, he said. 
And even before the course was completed he assigned to Erin Hills the 2008 US Women's Amateur Public Links. 

Erin Hills opened on August 1st 2006, named "2007 Best New Course of the Year" by Golf Magazine, and, as said, hosted in 2008 its first national tournament. 
After the 2008 Women's Amateur Public Links Tournament the USGA suggested some changes on the course.
Pricey changes that brought the 111th 2011 U.S. Amateur Championship but at the same time forced Lang to sell its jewel cause he ran out of money.
New owner Andy Ziegler, a Milwaukee businessman and avid golfer, bought Erin Hills in 2009 for $10.5 Millions and focused on bringing an Open there. 
After an year long renovation of the course, in June 2010  Erin Hills was awarded the 2017 U.S. Open, the first U.S. Open to be held in Wisconsin. 
A great achievement for Erin Hills, a triumph for all the people that believed on it.
A triumph that awarded the courses with the debut at N. 10 in 2013-2014 Golf Digest America's 100 Greatest Public Courses.

Today the course appears as it will be for the greatest golfers on earth in four years.

An awesome layout, a course that looks like it has been there forever.
Playing Erin Hills is pure golf, golf as it was meant to be. 
Despite its youth, it is extraordinary how walking on those fairways conveys the unique and sensational feeling of being immersed and surrounded by the traditions of the game on an impressive environment.

UPDATE:


With the announcement of the 2015-2016 Golf Digest rankings, Erin Hills is humbled to debut as 42nd among America’s 100 Greatest Courses and to move up from 10th to 8th among the 100 Greatest Public Courses in the U.S. 
Some background as to why this is the first time Erin Hills has appeared in Golf Digest’s ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Courses: As Ron Whitten, Golf Digest’s architecture editor, was one of the architects of Erin Hills (along with Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry), to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, Golf Digest said from the course’s inception that Erin Hills would not be eligible for its rankings. Golf Digest changed its position for the 2013-2014 rankings, but Erin Hills was not eligible for inclusion in the 100 Greatest Courses ranking then as the requisite number of Golf Digest panelists (45) had not evaluated Erin Hills. For the 2015-16 rankings, though, more than enough panelists visited Erin Hills and graded it according to the criteria of shot values, resistance to scoring, design variety, memorability, aesthetics, conditioning and ambience.


The Lodge at Erin Hills

The Lodge, the putting green and the starter's box






Erin Hills's Driving Range

Erin Hills's Driving Range

#1 Hole 615 Yds Par 5

#2 Hole 363 Yds Par 4

#3 Hole 498 Yds Par 4

#3 Hole 498 Yds Par 4

#4 Hole 439 Yds Par 4

The 7th hole before becoming a Par 5 was a short blind tee shot Par 3. The bell was once used to advise golfers on tee it was ok to hit. The brackets of the bell provides inspiration for Erin Hills logo.

#7 Hole 605 Yds Par 5

#7 Hole 605 Yds Par 5

#8 Hole 490 Yds Par 4

#8 Hole 490 Yds Par 4

#9 Hole 165 Yds Par 3
#9 Hole 165 Yds Par 3 and the halfway house
#10 Hole 504 Yds Par 4

#12 Hole 466 Yds Par 4

#12 Hole 466 Yds Par 4

#14 Hole 614 Yds Par 5

#15 Hole 370 Yds Par 4

#15 Hole 370 Yds Par 4

#17 Hole 481 Yds Par 4

#18 Hole 660 Yds Par 5

#18 Hole 660 Yds Par 5



#18 Hole 660 Yds Par 5






1 comment:

  1. It s all are use full information and it is must for my admission thanks for it sir
    MBA Direct Admission 2014

    ReplyDelete

 
SITE DESIGN BY DESIGNER BLOGS