Getting To Know: Morningstar Golfers Club
An Insightful Interview With Jim Frutchey, Jr., Owner
By Brian Weis
Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with Jim Frutchey, Jr. who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.
Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
Morningstar was built in, around, and above an old quarry, providing for a championship test with spectacular elevation changes and views. These elevation changes are as much as 85 feet on several holes and 125 feet throughout the property. Through imaginative design eleven of the holes play downhill as the course winds through stands of mature hickory, oak, maple, and stately pine. Four lakes come into play on five of the holes and native grasses frame most landing area's. Each hole is in harmony with its surroundings, giving one the impression that it has always been there to play. Five sets of tees give the course wonderful variety for players of all skill levels. Morningstar will test the skill and character of all players and the vista from the veranda of the clubhouse is unsurpassed in southeast Wisconsin as thirteen of the holes are in view 100 feet below.
If Someone Was Looking To Golf In The Area, Why Should They Play Your Course?
No golf trip to southeast Wisconsin is complete without a round or two at Morningstar Golfers Club. The championship golf is unsurpassed in the area and the vistas may well be unsurpassed in the state. The challenging course, the magnificent views, the fifteen acre practice facility, and the unsurpassed service make Morningstar THE COURSE by which all other area courses are measured. It has become the benchmark for Southeast Wisconsin golf. The "English Hunt Club" clubhouse sits perched above the entire front nine and is the home of Hickory Sticks Eatery and Pub. Hardwood floors, crown molding, and ornate woodwork create a warm ambiance and a gathering place for golfers and non golfers alike. And a cocktail on the veranda is a must for every guest. Championship golf, unsurpassed vistas, and benchmark service guarantee every visitor a memorable experience at Morningstar.
What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
Morningstar features "target golf" in a subtle way. The design yields options for every player on every shot so that all may play the course "their way." There are no forced carries or blind shots and all putting surfaces are accessible from the air or through the run up shot. Risky shots played well are rewarded and risky shots played poorly are punished, but not unduly so. Recovery is possible for shots out of position. Most greens are flanked by mounds, bunkers, and grass depressions, so it is best to always be conscious of "short siding" oneself, as up and ins become very difficult from those situations. As a general rule, long is not a good miss at Morningstar. Better to play short and set up a reasonable chip and putt rather than take it deep and be faced with an impossible recovery. It is all right there in front of you.....just play your best shots and don't get greedy.
Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
Two factors are the driving forces behind our endeavors at Morningstar.............the fierce pride that our membership has for Morningstar, and the high regard in which Morningstar is held by the golfing public. From our very first year (2001) our spectacular vistas set us apart, but soon the quality of the golf, the condition of the course, and the level of the service became the things that were most talked about. "Word of mouth" is the very best advertising, and the word quickly spread about The 'Star. Our players understand and appreciate the spirit and tradition of the game and it not unusual to have a player go one fairway over to remind another to replace a divot or fix a ball mark. Our players understand and appreciate their duty to play without delay, to keep up with the group in front, and to leave the course in better condition than they found it for those who follow.
What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
The "signature hole" at Morningstar is a much debated subject, both by members and guests. We feel that each hole is unique and is a favorite of someone, so in that respect there are 18 signature holes. Players of different skill levels might well choose different holes. However, if we took a poll of all players we believe it would produce the following results.............
MOST NATURAL HOLE.....# 13.....a par 4 that just "belongs."
MOST DIFFICULT HOLE(S).....# 6.....an uphill par 4 that plays about 460.....and # 16.....a par 4 that actually IS 460!
MOST PHOTOGRAPHED HOLE......# 18.....coming home through the quarry!
MOST MEMORABLE HOLE.....# 17.....don't miss right; it's 60 feet down that slope!
MOST MEMORABLE SPOT.....# 17 tee. Thirteen holes are in view!
What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
Morningstar is well known for its collection of short par 4's. While I truly love them all, and feel each is memorable in its own way, I am always drawn to # 4. It is a downhill par 4 of only 385 from the back tees, but the strategy of the hole perfectly represents what golf at Morningstar is all about. Normally playing into the prevailing wind, there are two key features on the tee shot.....a deep bunker down the left side at 230 yards, and a stand of cottonwoods down the right side at about 280 yards. Challenge the bunker, successfully carry it, and the approach opens up the green. Play to the right of the bunker and the trees come into play for the second. The green is crowned in the middle and runs away at the rear to a chipping area. There are bunkers to the right and several large boulders on the left to punish the pulled approach. You have to think all the way and 4 is a well earned score.
Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole?
Lunch or dinner at Hickory Sticks after your round is the perfect way to complete your Morningstar experience. A full menu of fine fare, good wine and beer, and generously poured cocktails awaits you in a warm and comfortable atmosphere. The golf course is in view from the dining room and the veranda virtually hangs out over the front nine and finishing hole, providing a great view of other players trying to bring it home. You can applaud their birdie or give them the raspberry about their flubbed chip or three putt! In either case, your cocktail will satisfy and your meal delight the palate. We also cater to non golf guests for lunch and dinner and The 'Star has the areas finest fish fry on Friday nights from 4:00 to 9:00 pm. Hickory is a non smoking facility for the enjoyment and health of our guests, but that veranda may be the best smoking venue in all southeast Wisconsin!
Who Holds Course Record and What Was Their Score?
The course record at Morningstar is held jointly by Jason Samalian, Head Golf Professional at Meadowbrook CC in Racine, and Eddie Teresa, Head Golf Professional at North Hills CC in Menomonee Falls. Both shot 63 in Wisconsin PGA Section events. Jason shot 32-31 and Eddie shot 33-30. Both cards are on display in the Golf Shop.
Of even greater significance at Morningstar is the course record for TIME ELAPSED for a round. That record is held by a foursome of our members who played their round in 2 hours and 55 minutes. It is a record that we encourage you to challenge on your next visit to The 'Star!
Back Tee Stats
Morningstar Golfers Club
S77 W26285 Prairieside Drive
Waukesha, WI, 53189
Revised: 01/28/2013 - Article Viewed 21,614 Times - View Golf Course Profile
Written By: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler