By Len Ziehm

Golf is different in the Wisconsin Dells.  Given all the entertainment options for tourists, golf seems more an amenity than an attraction.

But, make no mistake, it’s a good one.

The Wisconsin Dells offers 142 holes and 12 different golf experiences, ranging from short courses to championship versions. The courses were designed around landscapes left by the glacier period and surrounded by sandstone bluffs, towering pines and rolling hills.  That makes The Wisconsin Dells special as a golf destination.

For the record my favorite course there is the 18-holer at Wild Rock, created by the well respected design team of Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry.  It’s a frequent tournament venue.

That said, the best golf facility in The Dells, in my book,  is Trappers Turn. It’s got three fine nines – the Arbor, Canyon and Lakes – as well as a unique 12-hole par-3 course called 12North.  Two-time U.S. Open champion Andy North and Oliphant Haltom Golf teamed up on this one for a series of challenging holes that measure between 50 and 120 yards and also includes a one-acre putting green.  Toss in the big clubhouse and restaurant and Trappers Turn gives you all you could want.

That’s brings me to the most interesting course in The Dells.  That would be the 18-holer at Christmas Mountain Village, called The Oaks. Christmas Mountain doubles as a ski area with 16 runs and two chairlifts in the winter.

Located in unincorporated Dells, it has the widest range of lodging options I’ve seen at a golf facility.  There are 60 year-round residents and visitors can also stay in campers, tents, log cabins, condos or villas. BlueGreen Vacations Unlimited oversees that.

What Christmas Mountain Village lacks is historical information, perhaps because the staff is relatively new.  Jacob James, the head professional, has been on hand for less than a year and Greg Schernecker, who has done solid work in improving course conditioning as the superintendent, has been on the staff for less than two years after coming over from John Deere Co. More