The name “Egg Harbor” may bring thoughts of glamorous Atlantic City golf to mind, but the Horseshoe Bay Golf Club resides in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, looking over the title bay.
Interestingly, the land had always been intended for a golf club, ever since it was purchased by Frank Murphy during 2017. Unfortunately for him, that dream did not materialize. Instead, the property flourished as a dairy farm (note the hole name at No. 14, “Udderly Dangerous”) and apple orchard.
Eventually Murphy’s dream came to fruition, albeit a little late for him to enjoy. Rick Robbins and Brian Lussier designed and completed construction of the Horseshoe Bay course in 2000. The route rides around the slopes of the former orchard, around a residential development that grew along with the country club.
The best views, which were recognized by Murphy many moons ago, make themselves apparent as players complete No. 9. As players head back toward the clubhouse or No. 10 tee, they’ll be treated to a view out across the Green Bay of Lake Michigan.
Situated in the northeast corner of Wisconsin, Horseshoe Bay is a Door County gem. In fact, the private club is almost everything you’d want in a club--good practice facilities, tasty food, and a more than functional golf course--to join. There are many holes with fun high-risk, high-reward outcomes: the par four second that begs the golfer to shave off a little yardage by aiming over a pond that extends to nearly 300 out from the tee; the two par fives (the eighth and 13th, which is hilariously named “Double Delicious”) with double deck fairways. The fairways are winding and generous, adding to the playability of Horseshoe Bay for the average golfer. One might wish that the vistas of Green Bay to the west were utilized more than just for the ninth green and the finishing hole. Had a few more holes with these views been incorporated in the design, who is to say this course wouldn’t be among Wisconsin’s best? Note for any first timers: some greens have big undulations, and that can be confusing at times (see the aforementioned 13th, which has a massive back to front slope). You may need a few times around the property to fully understand the 22-year-old design. That being said, Horsehoe Bay is still the best golf course in the famous Door County peninsula, and it’s not even close. I’m convinced that if HB was placed in Milwaukee or Madison that publications would rank it higher in the state than they currently do. Personally, I’d put the course firmly in the top 15 or so in all of Wisconsin.