William Langford and Theodore Moreau designed the original 9-hole course at West Bend Country Club, which opened in 1930. Thirty years would pass before an additional nine was appended by David Gill to form a regulation 18-hole layout.
Unfortunately, the second nine holes were laid out in a different style to the first nine so in 2008 the club engaged St Louis-based architect Kye Goalby – who was familiar with the design style of Langford & Moreau – to restore the course to the way it might have looked eighty years previously.
This initially involved the removal of trees and the reconstruction of bunkers on the original nine but work then started on the other holes with the 14th in 2012 and by the summer of 2019, holes 10 to 15 had also been refurbished. The last three holes are still to be completed.
West Bend is one of the most unique courses I have ever played, and you know right from the first hole that you are in for something special. The famous Langford and Moreau (of Lawsonia Links fame) designed the original front nine, and the massively elevated green on the first hole indicates what you are in for. Outside of Lawsonia, I've never seen greens quite like these in terms of their slopes and elevation. If you happen to overshoot the second green, you will be coming back up something much like the "boxcar" green at Lawsonia or worse. The seventh hole is absolutely spectacular, as it curves to the right across a very undulating fairway to another high, elevated green.
The back nine was designed later, but it was meant to closely match the Langford and Moreau style. A scenic set of wholes (particularly 11-14) in their own right, they do not quite match the front nine, especially with the greens. The entire course is always in excellent condition.
West Bend is also a great club in general with a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere. It is without a doubt one of the great "golden age" courses in Wisconsin, and you won't soon forget your round here.