Pure Perfection At Troy Burne Golf Club
By Rhett Arens
Sitting down and writing about Troy Burne is an easy pleasure. To be sure it’s not quite as much fun as actually playing it, but it’s still a joy. Troy Burne Golf Club ranks right towards the top of blue ribbon championship courses year in and year out in the middle of the country. That’s saying something given the high count of PGA level tracks. This opinion is backed up by the expert staff at GolfDigest, where it again ranks in their top 100 Public Courses in the U.S.
The course isn’t a Jekyll and Hyde tale of the two halves, but each nine is distinctly different. The front features a number of stadium style greens and fairways built into a quasi-links design. Tucked into 225 acres of rolling Wisconsin countryside, the front nine is fairly open and wind exposed with beautifully crafted fairways sunken between rounded berms. They twist and turn in both directions with native fescue running along both sides. Did I mention bunkers? Oh yeah, there are a total of 120 throughout the course and the front nine sees more than its share of those. They seem to appear at critical landing points, daring you to take them or go around them. Try to keep in mind this bunkering is a design element to be enjoyed… not cursed at. The rough typically isn’t of the short-hair variety either, so club down or you’ll be coming up short and checking your language again.
The back nine ambles through a quiet hollow surrounded by mature trees of all varieties – pines, birch, oak, and maple. It seems the water comes into play more often on the back as well. Those water features tend to protrude out into the classic landing yardages creating target shot opportunities and tempering your ‘grip and rip’ instincts. This all adds up to a wonderful ‘course management’ element. We have course architects Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry along with design consultant and local icon Tom Lehman to thank for putting together such a strategic layout and incorporating the natural elements so creatively. There are four sets of tee’s stretching from 4,932 off the forward yardages to 7,003 at the Lehman tees. Again, the wind will help you decide what works best on a given day and keeps the course playing differently throughout the season.
At the helm of this class operation is long standing PGA Head Professional Dave Tentis. Dave is known as a long hitter and had the honor of playing in 3 of the 4 Majors during his PGA playing years. His playing career was unfortunately cut short by freak injuries. It’s a credit to Dave’s character that there isn’t an ounce of bitterness in the man. He is a humble leader in the clubhouse and sets the tone for a downright friendly atmosphere. This type of customer kindness is not typically found at courses where the hard-core, highly-skilled take their rounds. So if your handicap has more than one digit in it, don’t be shy about making the short hop through Hudson into Troy Burne territory. Know that Dave and his staff will welcome you with a smile.
There isn’t a need for too much tweaking on the course beyond the diligent grounds keeping that happens on a daily basis. In 2019 they brought in a new fleet of luxury Yamaha carts. These sweet rides are equipped with GPS, which now gives everyone a heads-up on those carries and layups. They also feature adjustable seats and all the electronics needed to stay connected to the outside world (if you think that will help). The course conditions like many this year are nearly perfect. When they say “nearly perfect” at Troy Burne they mean “perfect.” Quality being one of those subjective terms that Superintendent Mitch Fossey holds in the highest regard. If design is the hallmark at Troy Burne than the course conditions are its cornerstone. Those of us that have played it over the year’s savor pulling up to that first tee and sinking into 4 hours of choice golf ambience.
If you are planning a wedding and corporate event you will find the amenities and service impeccable. Dave and his staff understand and appreciate your needs and the importance of a well-run, enjoyable event for your organization. Knowing the impact your event can have on your client relationships, they are well-positioned to help plan, manage, and host your outing.
If 2020 has taught us anything, we need to grab life while it’s here and enjoy it. If there is a more enjoyable way to spend 4 hours than crisscrossing manicured fairways while laughing and joking with family and friends I haven’t found it. If you’re looking for a place that offers a bit of reprieve and a guaranteed level of excellence, go visit Dave. He’s got Troy Burne dialed in for perfection.