Erin Hills, Sand Valley, Lawsonia, Kohler

Alright, so I’ve searched and I’ve scoured but have been unable to find any thread on this particular topic. If @3wiggle wants to come get me, please DO IT. With that said, in my quarantined boredom I am dreaming of golf trips, both feasible and unfeasible. I am calling on you Refugees to help me with this tentative Wisconsin plan for May 2021.

Day 1: Fly into Milwaukee, play Erin Hills, stay night in lodge (with kettle loop or putting course mixed in)
Day 2: Erin Hills in the AM, drive 2 hours to Sand Valley, Sandbox upon arrival; Stay at SV.
Day 3: Play Sand Valley in AM, Mammoth Dunes in PM; stay at SV.
Day 4: Sandbox AM, Mammoth Dunes or Sand Valley in PM; Stay at SV.
Day 5: Play whichever course was skipped Day 4, Twilight Sandbox; Stay at SV.
Day 6: Leave SV early AM and drive to play Lawsonia on way back to Milwaukee Airport. Fly out that PM.

In an ideal world, I would love to play Lawsonia before we get to Sand Valley, but not sure how it will work with some Erin Hills packages.

A few preliminary questions:
How is the weather in May? Looked in the Sand Valley Thread and it looked fine.
How likely are we to be paired with another group at EH or SV as a two-ball? As a three-ball?
Any advice on Erin Hills in particular? A lot has been said about Sand Valley, but I’ve only seen a few mentions of Erin Hills.
Is Lawsonia really a must play? I’ve seen split opinions.

To those of you who have reached the end of this message, you a real one. I’ll hang up and listen.


I think that trip looks good. I haven’t been to Sand Valley or Lawsonia so can’t comment on specific logistics around those.

Erin Hills is good. Obviously got skewered a bit during US Open but I’d be happy to play it again. We did similar thing as you are suggesting, hit it right after landing at airport. We then drove on to Kohler for the weekend.

Lawsonia is great. Worth at least stopping by there on the last day, en route to Milwaukee.


That was my thought. Also a veryyyy nice way to break up the 2.5 hour drive from SV

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I played Erin Hills a few years ago and liked it a lot. I was living relatively close by, so I didn’t stay on site, but the accommodations looked pretty nice. I was a single and got paired up with another single, and a two-ball (fairly funny story came about from the two-ball). I’d recommend a caddie at Erin Hills for at least one of the rounds because it’s a pretty long walk due to it being such a big ballpark.

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Looks like a solid plan and certainly doable depending on flights. Wisconsin weather in May can be hit or miss. We played Erin Hills over Memorial Day weekend in 2018 and the temp was over 100 with heat indexes. We played Sand Valley and Lawsonia in May 2019 and weather is in the 50s.

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I played both Lawsonia and Erin Hills on a weekend back in 2015. If I had to do it over again, I would spend a second day at Lawsonia and skip Erin Hills. I get the desire to play EH,and if you haven’t done so, go for it. But if it was me, I would absolutely play Lawsonia as often as possible.

Of course, I mean Lawsonia Links. Skip the other course.


Interesting. I’ve been super intrigued by EH from the 17 Open and the pictures just look so pure. If I recall correctly, there should be some NLU content around Erin Hills in the future (might be wrong), and that might help color my decision.

Looks like an awesome trip.

I can’t speak highly enough of Lawsonia as a stop. My thought in looking at the itinerary is the last day is going to be really flight dependent. Getting from SV to the airport with a round at Lawsonia is going to be a really long day. SV to Lawsonia is every bit of an hour plus drive. Then another couple of hours to the airport. It might be worth considering staying closer to Lawsonia on Day 5, and doing two rounds there? The course definitely gets more fun the more times you go around it.

I would say you’re definitely likely to get paired up with someone at SV as a two-ball, and likely as a 3-ball. I know personally, I’ve been there as a single and gotten paired up with a 3-ball and also played as a 3-ball and had a single get paired with us.

Weather in May should be fairly decent. Obviously rain could happen, but temperature wise everything should be playable.


That was my guess. The trip would likely be a 3-ball and I’m hoping that decreases our chances of being paired with a single (I feel bad saying that, but it’s the truth), however it is not as if it would be a major deterrent.

Don’t get me wrong, I am glad I had a chance to play EH. I enjoyed it and, were it not for the price, I would play there again. But I would not play EH again over Lawsonia.

Sand Valley opened soon after we moved from the Twin Cities. I’d like to go back and play SV at some point. I also would make a point to visit Lawsonia again.

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Gotcha. I think the May 14-22 Stay and play package of 250 green fee, pay lodging, and “complimentary” green fee the next day isn’t that bad of a deal. Golf and lodging would add up to 590 plus food and pro shop. It’s not cheap when you add in the food and pro shop, but 590 for two great rounds of golf+lodging, plus kettle loop/putting course for free is definitely decent.


You might have better luck mid-week with not getting paired up at SV.

I think having a longer period at Lawsonia might also be a nice change of pace. The thought of getting there and having a full day, or full afternoon to just bomb around with carts and get as many holes in as you can before the sun goes down sounds like heaven to me.


Lived in the MSN and MKE areas for most of my life, and I will say that the weather is May can be perfect, snowing, or hotter than all hell. Plan for pants, pullovers, etc. as well as shorts just to be safe. The price for EH with that stay and play option is about the only way to make it worth the cost. As was said, I would take a caddy at least once for EH, as well as having one for the first round on SV as there are some lines that aren’t obvious from the tee that are where you should go. MD is pretty in front of you, outside of couple shots that you can use slopes when you know where to go.

If you need a 4th… I’m right down the road.


I’m going to counter everything that’s been said and say, while I enjoyed Lawsonia a lot. I think Erin Hills and Sand Valley are more enjoyable. Lawsonia certainly worth a stop while you’re there but wouldn’t forego a round at any of the others for an extra at Lawsonia. One time around will give you a good feel of it.

Also a reminder that the third full course at SV might be open by May 2021 so may alter some of your plans.

Of the courses on your trip I’d list them out as such:

  1. Mammoth Dunes - very few courses that are more fun than this. Somehow challenging while allowing for lots of birdies
  2. Erin Hills - I really like it due to a mix of tough holes and gettable holes. Conditioning is over the top compared to the others. It’s not as tough as walk as people make it out to be but it is long.
  3. Lawsonia - while it is really good and a great value, I find it to have a few average holes and a bit of repetition in the style of greens. Also pretty tough imo. Gotta really be on or it will beat you up.
  4. Sand Valley - it’s good but compared to the others it’s just fine. Feel like if you’ve played several C&C courses you know what you’re in for
  5. Sandbox - this all depends on how you play it. If you’re just having fun, gambling, hitting different shots it’s awesome. If you’re just going thru it to score/stroke play is put it at the bottom. My suggestion. Take a 9 iron and a putter and figure out the shots you have to play.

Can’t go wrong in this trip though to be honest.


Forgot about the Doakito. Shit.

If it’s open, I think our emphasis at SV will be Mammoth Dunes and Doak’s new course with a round at Sand Valley included of course. If it’s not open, will be cool to get a peek at a golf course right before it’s opening/in construction; plus, it’ll be a GREAT excuse to go back :grinning:

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I was also a bit underwhelmed by Sand Valley my first 2 plays, but I find myself thinking about it a lot recently, about some of the shots and how I’d play them differently the next time around.

I have a feeling that it’s going to grow on people over time, similar to the way Bandon Trails has.

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Having played the other 2 courses early on in the process, I would say you might be better off coming back after the new course has some time to mature a bit. I know they are taking more time with this one than they did with SV and MD, but I will say year 2 of both courses was a fair amount better than year 1. Not saying don’t go play if it’s open, but if it means you get to come back, that may be a better option. Even more so since there’s no way that is the last course that goes on that property.


I don’t think SV is bad by any means, I just think with C&Cs usual high standards I was a little underwhelmed.

I think part of that is the property they chose/were give. It’s far more subdued in parts. There are several holes that are merely fine while Trails worst hole is probably a touch under really great.

Again this is totally nitpicking but it’s the difference between a course being a 7(SV) and a 9(Trails) imo.

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Totally agree