Whitnall Park Golf Course

Whitnall Park Golf Course is one of the eight Milwaukee County courses that will open Friday.

Eight Milwaukee County golf courses will open Friday, along with courses statewide, per Gov. Tony Evers’ amended safer-at-home order.

The courses that will open are Brown Deer Park, Dretzka Park, Oakwood Park, Whitnall Park, Currie Park, Grant Park, Greenfield Park and Lincoln Park. Footgolf also will be available at Lincoln Park.

Last week, County Executive Chris Abele said the county courses would not open until it was “100 percent safe to do so.” He stressed that when the courses open, golfers must adhere to social distancing guidelines or risk having the courses close again.

“If people like the idea of being able to golf, the best way to ensure that they can keep doing it, and everybody else can keep doing it, is to make sure they stay distant,” Abele said.

The following guidelines are posted on mke.golf:

  • Golf will be walking only (no motorized carts). A limited number of push carts will be available for rental.
  • Pro shops and restaurants will remain closed, so food and beverage will not be available for purchase.
  • Clubhouse bathrooms will be available; on-course bathrooms will be closed.
  • Golfers must stay a minimum of six feet from other golfers, unless they are from the same household.
  • Congregating will not be permitted in the parking lot before or after golf.
  • No ball washers, rakes or trash cans will be on the course, so golfers should take any trash with them to dispose of at home.
  • Cups have been raised to eliminate the need to remove the ball from the hole. Flagsticks will stay in cups.
  • Scorecards and pencils will be available upon request from the starter, or golfers can track their scores with an app such as 18birdies.
  • Golf lessons will not be available.

Tee times must be booked in advance, and walk-on players are not permitted. Golfers may book a tee time online at mke.golf up to seven days in advance.

Tee times will be spaced every 15 minutes to prevent crowding at tees. Golfers should arrive no more than 15 minutes before their tee time to avoid crowding. Golfers should call the clubhouse at least 30 minutes ahead of their tee time to pay by credit card or gift card.

No cash payments can be accepted at this time and no rain checks can be issued, so golfers should check the weather forecast before playing.

Following are the clubhouse contact numbers:

  • Brown Deer Park: (414) 352-8080.
  • Whitnall Park: (414) 425-7931.
  • Dretzka Park: (414) 354-7300.
  • Oakwood Park: (414) 281-6700.
  • Currie Park: (414) 453-7030.
  • Grant Park: (414) 762-4646.
  • Greenfield Park: (414) 256-4010.
  • Lincoln Park: (414) 962-2400.

Elsewhere, several of Wisconsin’s top destination courses also will open for the season Friday.

All four courses in the Destination Kohler portfolio will welcome their first golfers with a host of early-season specials. Rounds on the Irish Course at Whistling Straits in Haven and the Meadow Valleys Course at Blackwolf Run in Kohler will be $85 through May 7 while rounds at the River Course at Blackwolf Run and the Straits Course at Whistling Straits will be $135 and $195, respectively.

Those are walking rates as Kohler courses adhere to social distancing rules and cannot offer motorized carts (at Blackwolf Run) or caddies (at Whistling Straits). A Kohler spokesperson did say forecaddies will be available on all four courses.

In Madison, University Ridge GC was given the OK by the University of Wisconsin to open Friday, again following the restrictions spelled out in the governor’s safer-at-home order. Tee times have been spaced 15 minutes apart and a round of 18 holes walking is $45 through April 30 and $55 from May 1 through May 26.

Troy Burne GC in Hudson and the Golf Courses of Lawsonia will also open for the season Friday as will courses in Lake Geneva and Wisconsin Dells – including Trappers Turn and Wild Rock GC – but two other destination courses will not open until after May 1. SentryWorld in Stevens Point, site of the 2019 U.S. Girls Junior Championship, will open May 4 while Erin Hills near Hartford, site of the 2017 U.S. Open, will open May 18.

Meanwhile, The Club at Lac La Belle, set to reopen June 20 after an extensive renovation, announced Wednesday that it will open a nine-hole loop May 1.

Some courses in Wisconsin opened last week and even before in defiance of the governor's current safer-at-home order.

Golfers returned to the course Saturday in Washington County, per an order from county administrator Joshua Schoemann allowing courses in his county to open immediately.

Other courses throughout Wisconsin were opening to members only in advance of Friday's statewide reopening of courses.

A pair of courses in Shawano County — Golden Sands GC in Cecil and Shawano Lakes GC in Shawano — also opened over the weekend. A post on each course's Facebook page indicated they received an exception to the governor's order and were able to open immediately.

In Dunn County, courses have remained open with the blessing of local authorities since March 31, following social distancing guidelines. 

Prior to Evers' initial "Safer At Home" order, which went into effect March 24, more than 30 courses had opened for the season across southern Wisconsin. The earliest course openings were on March 4 in far southeast Wisconsin.

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