The number of public golf courses in Wisconsin that closed during 2018 reached three before the calendar flipped to 2019.

Windwood of Watertown Golf Course ceased operation Dec. 31, Jeanne Whitish — president of Madison Golf Development, which owns the facility — confirmed the closing in an email to Wisconsin.Golf. The 18-hole course, which is located east of Watertown on County Hwy. CW, followed Lakeshore Golf Course in Oshkosh and Tumbledown Trails Golf Course near Middleton in closing during 2018 as family-owned and municipal courses continued to struggle in a tight economy.

The facility, which included a 15,000-square-foot clubhouse, opened in 1994 as Windwood Country Club and was the only 18-hole public course in the Watertown area. Built on a 147-acre farm, the layout was designed by Bob Lohmann, who also did Cedar Creek Golf Course in Onalaska, Whispering Springs Golf Club in Fond du Lac and Bishops Bay Country Club in Middleton.

Madison Golf Development took ownership of the course in 2003. At one point, it also owned the Meadows of Six-Mile Creek Golf Course  in Waunakee and Meadow Springs Country Club in Jefferson, but the Windwood closing leaves only the Waunakee facility in its portfolio. 

"Basically, we closed due to the lack of financial feasibility," Whitish wrote in her email. "Golf clubs serving the smaller markets are just way under-utilized, over-supplied, and (in) less demand. We likely delayed our decision longer than we should have, but it's always hard to give up on something."  

Whitish said the Watertown property remains for sale as "a banquet facility alone, full operation or land redevelopment." For more information, contact Whitish at (608) 836-0596.