NORTHERN WI GOLF COURSE LISTED IN TOP 50 FOR TOUGH BY GOLF DIGEST, BUT WHY?
Non-designer Resort Course Gets Recognized Along Side the Big Budget and PGA Tour Courses for Tough, But There is More to the Story.
Golf Digest says:
"48. TEAL WING GOLF CLUB
HAYWARD / WIS. / 6,379 YARDS / PAR 72
Some fairways are no wider than their tee boxes. Apparently, no trees were harmed in the making of this golf course."
Hayward WI February 13th, 2007 Golf Digest March edition had a list of "America's 50 Toughest Courses" including many of the common names but also some surprises. Teal Wing Golf Club was listed 48, alongside more noted courses including Wisconsin's Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run. Golf Digest gave a brief explanation, simply put "it's tight with lots of trees" but there is much more to the story. Teal Wing, located in Hayward WI, is a Forest course built under strict environmental standards, with championship tees that make the pros nervous but also with forward tees that let grandma and kids enjoy the game too. Not all of Teal Wing is as tough as it seems.
In fact, Teal Wing was rated the 11th best new course in the nation by Golf Digest in 1998. Designer Jim Homes saidŠ "this is a course that rewards experience. This is where people will bring there friends, after they themselves have played, to win back the bet. Environmentally very friendly: Teal Wing is a 10-year old course near Hayward, Golf Capital of Wisconsin, in the NW part of WI. Teal Wing was designed and built by the Ross Family who own and operated Ross' Teal Lake Lodge, since 1921. Teal Wing was built under Audubon International Signature Status, to strict environmental standards that make it a win-win for nature and golfers. This matched with the Ross family's interest to build a golf course that laid gently on the land and enhanced the natural environment. The Ross' designed the course so there was little earth moving, nature provided the majority of the hazards with wet lands and 200-500 year old trees. Teal Wing was cut straight out of an old growth forest and Ross' admits that the course ended up tougher than planned because they did not get the edge kill that one expects when cutting fairways from a mature forest. Ross states that this has provided them an added opportunity to now perfect the course as it matures, taking down the problem trees and widening the fairways, roughs, landing zones where needed to help the golfer. Victoria Ross (4th generation owner/operator) says "each year we tackle 2- 3 holes, under the guidance of Course Pro Phil Meyer, focusing on what will be the best for the golfer, the maintenance, and the environment. They are not big changes, and the course is still a challenge from the back but it is this fine tuning that will make the course even better."
Choice of 5 tees: Ross' designed Teal Wing to be a challenging course from the back tees, but Ross' also built 5 tees (a new concept in the 1990's) so there was a tee box for every skill level. Ross' wanted to build a course that a whole family could enjoy together while on vacation. The most forward tee box, called the purple tee (from the poem "When I am old I shall wear purple") makes Teal Wing an executive par 3 with no water carries. The scratch golfer who plays from the championship tee box at 6379 yardage with a slope of 139, should expect a tough game (just like Golf Digest says). However, they can bring a beginner golfer along to play the forward tees, and who knows who will win! Golf For Women Magazine voted Teal Wing in the "Top Female Friendly Courses" in 1999, based from the woman's tees. With 5 tees to choose from, one can choose how much of the course to bite off that day and what level of game you are up for. Each tee, going forward makes the carries shorter and the fairway openings wider. Golfers playing from the back tees need to remember Tim Ross' words "Teal Wing, from her back tees, eats macho for lunch!"
Families are very welcome too: Teal Wing was built to cater to many different types of golfers. The serious golfer but also the families enjoying the great northwoods on vacation. The 5 tees are just one part. Teal Wing also offers family specials, kid Tuesdays where kids golf for Free, and 4-seater golf carts so the whole family can enjoy the game. Teal Wing has 10-minute tee times, so there is no crowding. Teal Wing succeeds in welcoming the serious foursome as well as the relaxed family vacationer. The course boundaries are a million acre national forest so we have an infinate supply of critters. Mother nature and the multitude of wildlife are not biased, and will put on a show for everyone.
Teal Wing admits that it is one of the toughest courses in WI from its Gold (back tees), and are honored to find themselves in Golf Digest national list. It reminds us that one does not have to be a big budget course or have a name designer to get noticed. But as in most things in life, there is more behind the story. Teal Wing was designed carefully to respect the environment, to provide an enjoyable game for every skill level with 5 tees, and continues to work with nature and the golfer to perfect the course. As Tim Ross says ³no ones drives 100 miles to play an easy course, but we wanted to create one that all skill levels could enjoy. Ross' Teal Lake Lodge has hosted generations of family reunions and with Teal Wing all generations can compete. From the purple tee grandmother, usually paying the bill, may beat her athletic grandkids playing the tips.
Read the Golf Digest Article (see page 5, Teal Wing is 48th)
TRAILER BOATS MAGAZINE
April 2001 "MULLIGANS and MUSKIES" - "For one of the greatest guy days ever, --- you can shoot a round of golf in the morning then literally step from the putting green onto a boat to fish for the mythic muskellunge." by Doug Thompson
GOLF FOR WOMEN MAGAZINE
August 1999 "Top 100 Women Friendly Courses"
POST-CRESENT, APPLETON, WI
July 1999 "Teal Wing has already earned its stripes" by Rick Pledl
November 1999, "Architorture" by Ron Whitten
April 1998 "Glorious Golf"
March/April 1998 "Wisconsin's North Woods"
June 1997, "Resort Courses Get New Looks" by Debbie Allen
WISCONSIN R.E.C. NEWS
May 1997, "Preservation with Recreation"
GOLF FOR WOMEN MAGAZINE
Mar/Apr 1997, " Top 175 Women Friendly Courses"
WISCONSIN GOLF AND VACATION GUIDE
1997, "Best New Course in Wisconsin"
Oct, 1995, "Sound The Retreat" by Ron Whitten