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On-going course improvements highlight the start of the 2024 season

By Brian Weis

"I want this to be the best course in the Dells.'
That's what Course Superintendent Gregg Schernecker said three years ago around this time of year when looking ahead to the long list of improvements he had planned for both The Oaks and The Pines courses, located in Christmas Mountain Village (CMV) about four miles west of Wisconsin Dells.

That's when Schernecker was in his first days at CMV, and it didn't take long for him and his landscaping team to start engineering course enhancements that have contributed to two of the most successful years of golf for CMV, not just in increased business, but also in publicity.

Last year, CMV won in the category of Favorite Golf Course in the reader poll-driven "Best of Madison" contest by Madison Magazine. The CMV courses were featured in The Wisconsin Golf Show, which aired throughout last summer on Madison's Television Wisconsin (TVW). In 2022, famed golf writer Len Ziehm of the Chicago Herald visited, golfed and wrote about CMV, saying The Oaks was "the most interesting," of the courses he played while he was in the Dells.

"The Oaks, though, is the eye-catcher - especially the back nine," Ziehm wrote at the time. "The views there are stunning and the course can stand up to any in the area."

Ziehm said Schernecker has done "solid work in improving course conditioning as the superintendent," which is no surprise when Schernecker's career includes building a nine-hole course in Poynette literally from the ground up in 1999, worked as superintendent at two other Wisconsin courses over a 10-year period before selling John Deere equipment to courses all around the state.

On-going enhancements to The Pines and The Oaks

Too many course improvements have been made to list them all, but there have been some noticeable changes made in 2022 and 2023.

Among the most significant are: Several greens have been enlarged, sand traps that were once removed have been rebuilt; tee boxes have been added and some leveled out; green tee boxes have been installed on all holes; trees have been cut back for better playability; netting has been erected on the front nine of The Oaks to prevent balls from flying to the road near the RV campsites and the pond near hole five has been landscaped to rid it of damage where muskrats dug trenches, and railroad ties now gird the pond walls.

"It looks more like a pond that should be next to a green," Schernecker said.

The ongoing upgrades of last two seasons to The Oaks and The Pines have made an impact on CMV regular golfers Lori and Les Schmolke, who have, incidentally, worked in the pro shop for two years, but have been golfing the CMV courses for 20. In a combined comment about the last time they golfed at CMV, the Schmolkes said, "The Oaks is a premier course and a 'must play' to these two avid golfers."

They noticed that even this early in the season, The Oaks was especially enjoyable to play.

"We played The Oaks course recently, and we were pleased how the course came through the winter in excellent condition," they said. "The greens, tees and fairways have been mowed; they are rolling the greens daily which makes play feel more like mid-season conditions. We like how they trimmed the trees on hole 13, which gives a better view of the fairway. They cleared more trees on hole 14 close to the green, making it more player-friendly.

What's coming for the 2024 season

Fast forward to the start of the 2024 season, and any golfer can see the results of Schernecker's diligence toward his goal of excellence for all 27 holes of The Oaks championship course and The Pines executive cours.. And this season is on target for the same treatment.

Among the most notable projects are a new chipping green with irrigation, lights and a sand trap for practicing; the move of the pond on hole six on The Oaks to 30 yards closer to the tee; installation of a tee at the driving range at the bottom of the hill behind Mulligan's and leveling it off with a bulldozer; a landing area to the south side of the green at hole 14 on the Oaks including cutting back trees and brush and adding soil for leveling.

"A new landing area at hole 14 will speed up play, and make the hole more fair," Schernecker said. "That was a poor design issue, and now we're fixing it. We're adding the chipping green because good golfers want to practice-they don't always want to play. We also do meticulous clearing of brush and trees because it speeds up play, and it's what the course was designed for, instead of foliage over-growing."

Golf season passes on special through April 15

For anyone who's golfed at CMV through the years, they'll agree with the Schmolkes that the improvements are what make The Oaks the premier course it is. For an older course that was even closed for two years prior to Schernecker's coming, The Pines offers that varied range of skill that makes it family friendly and the perfect course for beginners.

If you're a golfer in the Wisconsin Dells, or Sauk, Columbia or Dane County areas, consider a golf season pass that gives you unlimited golf including your cart, the ability to book tee times up to 45 days in advance, includes your Wisconsin State Golf Association (WSGA) handicap, unlimited range balls and green fees are waived when you sign up for any CMV in-house events. If you buy a season pass before the clock strikes midnight on April 16, you'll get four free passes to give away, or six if you order as a couple. Use this link to buy passes online at


Find us: S944 Christmas Mountain Rd, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

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See you on The Mountain!

Revised: 03/27/2024 - Article Viewed 974 Times - View Course Profile

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, 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 In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and 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.

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