- Address856 Canyon Rd, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965, USA
Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry are best known in the Wisconsin golf scene for their work at Erin Hills, the host of the 2017 U.S. Open, but they had been to the state before. In fact, the pair’s work at Wild Rock (the course of The Wilderness resort) seems almost like a precursor for their next project in the state.
First, Wild Rock is not shy from the tee. Although it may not reach the 8,000 yards of the aforementioned U.S. Open host, scratch players will be able to find all they can handle from the back tees here, which tip out at 7,400 yards. More interestingly, Wild Rock also features significant emphasis on centerline bunkers, both forcing players to think off of the tee, or complicating approaches into the greens.
There is also significant altitude change, although in Wild Rock’s case, that ties back to the property’s former life as a stone quarry. Pockets of rock and piles of boulders add a unique visage to the course, even if they rarely play much of a strategic role.
The course’s showcase hole is No. 15, a short par three (180 yards from the back tees) that plays over the tree line and across a deep quarry, which lends an almost desert air to this Midwestern property.
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By the end of the 1980s, the partnership of Jack Kidwell and Michael Hurdzan was responsible for setting out more than a hundred courses across the US Midwest.