Cedar Creek Golf Club - A Young Golfing Masterpiece
A Dairy State Delight
By Mike May
While it's fair to say that the 'crown jewels' of golf in Wisconsin may be located in the eastern half of the state where you will find Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Brown Deer Park in Milwaukee, and Erin Hills in Hartford, golfers who travel to Wisconsin's west coast (along the banks of the Mississippi River) will be pleasantly surprised to find a delightful golf course on the outskirts of the riverside community of La Crosse, which may be more well known as the original home of Old Style beer. Lurking below the radar screen is The Golf Club at Cedar Creek (2600 Cedar Creek Lane; Onalaska, WI; 608-783-8300).
If you are a golf purist that is seeking an 'all-golf' experience, then The Golf Club at Cedar Creek deserves to be placed near the top of your list of places to play, especially in Wisconsin. Simply put, The Golf Club at Cedar Creek is a course that golf purists will appreciate. As the course's website states, Cedar Creek is focused on "Good golf, good friends, good food, and good service. Truly a fun place to spend your day." In all honesty, can it get any better than that?
"Cedar Creek is an unbelievable value relative to course design, playing conditions and general service standards," says Dave Cornelius, general manager of The Golf Club at Cedar Creek. "It's a pure delight to play."
The Golf Club at Cedar Creek (www.cedarcreekonalaska.com), a private club which is owned and operated by the Wilson Golf Group, was built to complement 'Mother Nature.' This course - a par 71 layout -- is located among the bluffs of western Wisconsin which overlook the Onalaska and Mississippi River Basins. Golf course architect Bob Lohmann took advantage of the local terrain to give Cedar Creek what it needed to be a standout track - geographic diversity. While the majority of the holes are in the river basin, there are a handful of holes located in the surrounding hills where the tee shots are struck from significantly raised tee boxes. The most memorable tee shots at Cedar Creek are the 6th hole, a downhill serpentine par five; the 9th hole, a left-to-right par four with a downhill tee shot; and the 14th hole, a short downhill par three which is an ideal opportunity to 'pepper the pin' with a short iron.
In addition to having many picture-postcard photo ops from various tees, the course is very well-manicured and well-maintained from the first tee to the 18th green. All aspects of The Golf Club at Cedar Creek - tees, fairways, rough, and the greens - are in excellent shape. Even the lakes and ponds look inviting, especially the water surrounding the island green on the par three 7th hole.
Overall, Cedar Creek has 'no tricks' up its proverbial 'sleeve.' Like all great golf courses, it rewards well struck shots and penalizes poor ones. For instance, during my debut round at Cedar Creek, I recorded three birdies on the back nine, but had enough stumbles coming home to shoot a respectable, yet disappointing, two-over-par round of 37. As for my first nine holes, I started with a par and finished with a par. In between, my game was 'hit & miss.' On my next visit, I'll know where to hit it and what areas to avoid.
Even though Cedar Creek has only been open since 1990, it has not taken long for golfers to realize that this course is a tremendous test for golfers with 'game,' but still an appropriate place to play for an average or beginner golfer to learn and enjoy this special game. In fact, Cedar Creek has hosted the NCAA Division II and Division III Women's Collegiate Championship, the NAIA District 14 Collegiate Golf Championship, the 1997 Wisconsin State Open, and is the annual home of the local La Crosse County Amateur Golf Championship. What's next? A professional tournament?
After walking off the 18th green, visit the Cedar Creek Bar & Grill, located inside the clubhouse. On Fridays, there's Friday Fish on the menu. Or, you can order any one of the 12 different styles of hamburgers. If you prefer chicken, consider ordering It's The Looney Bird. But, whatever you decide, you must get the Wisconsin state 'staple'- the Westby Beer Battered Cheese Curds - as an appetizer. It's what any golf purist would do and appreciate.
Revised: 05/16/2016 - Article Viewed 20,166 Times - View Golf Course Profile
Written By: Mike May
Mike May is a Wellington, Florida-based freelance golf and sportswriter, who is also a 25+ year public relations and communications executive in the sporting goods industry. He is also a veteran high school soccer official, an experienced high school basketball coach, an avid athlete, a part-time personal trainer, and a passionate golfer who is forever in pursuit of Old Man Par. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America.
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