It seems this summer has been unusual in many ways, for one my play has exceeded my wildest expectation, and second my travel has been filled with drama and mishaps. You’d think getting to Milwaukee from SF on a non-stop flight would be easy, but what I didn’t remember was that I had my money clip stolen with my ID, cash and credit cards in July. On Thursday evening I made a mental note to make sure I grabbed my Passport to ensure I’d get through security and onto Milwaukee. As it turned out I forgot my passport, and when I realized I wasn’t going to be able to get through security, I quickly called the amazing Limo service to see if there was any way he could stop off and get my passport from my home and drive it back to me in less than 30 minutes.
This seemed impossible as I waited at the front of the security line the agent would not let me through with just a debit card with my picture on it. Somehow with no time left the Limo driver ran to the front of the security line and had my Passport in hand. Several nice people let me move up to the security screening and off I sprinted to the gate, just getting in the plane as they shut the door. I’m not sure I’d be very good at all this travel on a full time basis.
Safely here in Milwaukee, land of the World Champ Green Bay Packers and the division leading Brewers, it also is a lush area with some really great golf courses. Not only do all of my relatives live in the greater Milwaukee area, but I played in the 2008 US Mid Amateur at Milwaukee CC and thought it was one of the best Mid Am venues I had played.
Blue Mound Golf and Country Club is a beautiful and lush tree lined course measuring only 6,666 yards at a par 70, but don’t be fooled by the short yardage this is NOT an easy course. If you just miss a green off to any side of the green, you’ll be faced with some really nasty lies in grass that is deep and skunchy. By skunchy I mean you will be guessing how hard to whack at it to get the ball out and onto the green. The green are quite large and wide, and VERY fast on the downhill putts. There will be some low scoring on this course along with some high scores as well. I really like this course as a contrast to Erin Hills which is almost opposite Blue Mound in every way possible. The defense at Blue Mound will be the high rough off the fairways and the tough rough around the greens. The greens are big and undulated making long putts a real challenge to lag close to the hole.
The top amateurs in this day and age are long and straight and they typically tear up the short courses. I will be curious to see how the top tier guys fair at this beautiful and lush course in Milwaukee.
Erin Hills reminded me a lot of last years US Amateur venue Chambers Bay, but without all the crazy undulation in the green complexes. I think Erin Hills is more appealing to the eye off the tee and has the same length that Chambers played to. At over 7,700 yards long this is a very long course, but if you are striking your ball solidly it really doesn’t play that long. A few of the longest par 4 holes were a 4 or 5 iron into the greens, and the 3rd hole uphill into the wind was a baby rescue. But for the most part I thought the course was a lot fairer than Chambers Bay where you needed to get the right ricochet to hit a shot on the green in many cases.
It’s getting late so I’m just going to post some pictures of both courses. You’ll be able to tell the Blue Mound holes from the Erin Hills holes.
Stay tuned for day 1 of the US Amateur from Milwaukee Wisconsin!
2011 US Amateur interesting facts: