best golf courses in the Midwest
Erin Hill is one of the best golf courses in the Midwest. Credit: Erin Hill

The Midwest is well known for golfing. There are thousands of courses in the area, so it’s important to find the ones that are the best. This list of the top 10 ten courses in the whole of the Midwest will ensure you have the best experience possible while traveling to your next golfing destination.

1. Erin Hills in Wisconsin

Erin Hills
Credit: Erin Hills

Access: Open to the public
Green Fee: $170-$385
Stay and Play Package: Offers various stay and play packages

The Erin Hills Golf Course is located on 652 acres of land that was once home to glaciers and rivers. This gave the course its unique shape and flow. When designing the course, the unique shape was kept to allow for a unique course and game unlike any other in the area.

The architects were Dr. Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry, and Ron Whitten. They created the course to accommodate the 23017 U.S. Open, making it a challenge for players, but still easy for spectators to see. The course isn’t the only thing impressive about the course. The caddies are knowledgeable and the overnight accommodations are comfortable and clean.

Read on our list of the best golf courses in Wisconsin for more great recommendations.

2. The Pete Dye French Lick Resort in Indiana

Access: Open to the public
Green Fee: $375
Stay and Play Package: Offers various stay and play packages

The Pete Dye Course at French Lick has a lot to offer. This course was the host of the PGA Championship in 2015 and is known to be one of the most iconic courses in the US. The stay and play packages are amazing and made our list of top Midwestern stay and play golf packages.

The Pete Dye Course isn’t all that French Lick Resort Offers. There are several other courses worth checking out while you are there. There are also dining rooms, concerts, and casinos to enjoy when you aren’t on the courses.

3. TPC Deere Run in Illinois

TPC golf
Credit: TPC

Access: Open to the public
Green Fee: $99, though locals get 20% off
Stay and Play Package: No stay and play packages

Since 2000, TPC Deere Run has hosted the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic every July. Though the course didn’t start hosting the tour until 2000, the course has been part of the PGA Tour since 1971. It was made to be a sister course to other TPC courses, especially TPC Sawgrass.

The architect of the course was D.A. Weibring. For those that don’t know about this man, he was originally a PGA Tour professional. He focused on keeping nature a huge part of the course, following natural lines and features of the landscape. The favored hole of this course is number 16.

4. Dunes Courses at the Prairie Club in Nebraska

the Prairie Club
Credit: the Prairie Club

Access: Open to the public
Green Fee: $157-$299
Stay and Play Package: Non-member stay and play packages start at $576

This is a great course for anyone to play but is especially beneficial to those that enjoy links-style golf. To get a good score on the Dunes Course, you need a ball that flies low against the wind. The course mimics a seascape with a winding path and tall prairie grass mimicking waves.

There are stay and play packages for the Prairie Club throughout the year, but they tend to fill up fast. This means it’s a good idea to plan this trip as far in advance as you can. In addition to the Dunes Course, there are also the Pines Course and the Horse Course. These are well worth playing at as well if you get the chance.

5. Straits Course at the Whistling Straits Golf Course in Wisconsin

Whistling Straits at Kohler
Credit: Whistling Straits at Kohler

Access: Open to the public
Green Fee: $300-$630
Stay and Play Package: Has a stay and play package all the to Dye Four Package

The Straits Course offers two miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan while you play, and a rugged and windswept terrain for the whole of the course. Designed by Pete Dye, it offers a mix of beautiful scenery and nerve-wracking holes to keep you on your toes.

There are a few other courses at Whistling Straits as well, known as the Irish Course, The River, and Meadow Valleys. These are also great courses definitely worth checking out. The course also offers a restaurant in a rustic Irish Farmhouse setting, and a golf shop in case you want a souvenir or forgot any important equipment at home.

If you’re interested to visit Wisconsin, here’s our list of the best golf packages in Wisconsin.

6. Wilderness Course at the Wilderness at Fortune Bay in Minnesota

the Wilderness
Credit: the Wilderness

Access: Open to the public
Green Fee: $40-$116
Stay and Play Package: There is a stay and play package starting at $124

Located right along Lake Vermilion, The Wilderness at Fortune Bay is another beautiful place to play. The course was designed by Jeffrey D. Brauer. The rolling greens and elevation changes in every hole provide a challenge for those looking for something new.

In addition to the golf course, there are also a casino, and various activities throughout the winter. Some of the winter sports include snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and fishing. There are also trails for cross-country skiing, so this is a perfect place to visit throughout the year, even when the golfing season is over.

7. The Bluffs Course at Arcadia Bluffs in Michigan

Arcadia Bluffs
Credit: Arcadia Bluffs

Access: Open to the public|
Green Fee: $100-$240
Stay and Play Package: You can book golfing and rooms at the same time, but there are no specific packages.

The Bluffs Course is a great place to play a game more in the links style with a fun view of Lake Michigan throughout most of it. In addition to the Bluffs Course, there’s the South Course with an older and more traditional feel to it. It’s well worth playing both courses if you get the chance.

The Bluffs Course offers an open green. Despite being open, the slope and shape lead to some unique challenges for the course. The course is open every day between April and November, so this is a great one to end your golfing season with.

We’ve compiled a list of more recommended golf courses in Michigan. Check them out.

8. Firekeeper Golf Course in Kansas

Firekeeper Golf
Credit: Firekeeper Golf

Access: Open to the public
Green Fee: $70-$100
Stay and Play Package: Stay and play packages are available starting at $239

Built by 4-time PGA Tour winner Notah Begay III and Jeff Brauer, the course was made to mimic the natural land and reduce disturbances to the area. The course is a total of 7,700 yards. Depending on your tee, there are a variety of different challenge levels. This allows you to adapt to the course as you improve and makes it fun to return to later.

The course is located just outside of Topeka, Kansas. The style of the course changes as you go along the holes. It starts with the feel of a links course but grows more traditional after the first few holes. It is a fairly new course, having just opened in 2011. It also has a casino to keep you entertained when not on the green with over 1,000 slots and plenty of game tables.

9. The Jewel Golf Course in Michigan

Grand Hotel
Credit: Grand Hotel

Access: Open to the public
Green Fee: $105-$185
Stay and Play Package: Offers a variety of different golf packages based on the summer and additional attractions

The Jewel Golf Course is located right in the heart of traditional Michigan scenery with views of the Straits of Mackinac. The 7th hole is especially remarkable and ranked one of the top 18 holes in Michigan thanks to the scenery. If you want some practice before getting to the course, there are driving ranges for a warm-up. You even get a bag of 50 golf balls for the driving range for practice.

The Jewel Golf Course is actually made up of two different 9-hole courses. These are the Grand Nine and The Woods Nine. Both were made by Jerry Matthews. The Grand Nine was made in 1901 with a redesign in 1987 and the Woods Nine was made in 1994. Horse-drawn carriages take you between the two different nines.

10. Sand Valley Course at Sand Valley Golf Resort in Wisconsin

Sand Valley golf
Credit: Sand Valley golf

Access: Open to the public
Green Fee: $105-$275
Stay and Play Package: Some basic stay and play packages are available

Sand Valley was the first golf course that Sand Valley Golf Resort had. It opened up in 2017 after three years of designing. The course has key features such as large, exposed dunes, fairways that are both firm and fast, and a variety of different ways to excel at the course.

The designer behind the course is Mike Keiser, who also created Bandon Dunes in Oregon. He is another designer who lets nature design the course for him. The course is designed to be fun and features a host of other amenities and activities besides golfing to make it fun for the whole family.

Sand Valley also made into our list of the best golf courses in the US. Check out the list to find more great golf courses!


What Is the Biggest Golf Course in the US?

The biggest golf course is considered to be RainDance. It’s located near Denver, Colorado. It measures a total of 8,463 yards. This makes it not only the longest course in all of North America but the third longest in the world.

Fred Funk, Harrison Minchew, and Martin Lind came together to create a course. The course is just about 5,000 feet in elevation, allowing balls to travel 15-20 percent further. This makes for a perfect challenge for people not from the area.

How Many Golf Courses Are in the Midwest?

There are quite a few courses in the Midwest. By rough estimate, you can expect to find a total of 5,330 golf courses in the states that make up the Midwest. With so many courses, it’s easy to understand why it’s important to figure out which ones are at the top of their class.

How Do I Keep My Golf Equipment Safe While Traveling?

There are a few ways to keep your golf equipment safe while traveling. First, it’s important to take the time and remove the heads off of your golf clubs. This stops them from breaking or catching on to something while traveling.

Another option is to buy a golf travel bag. This is a bag that goes over your normal golf bag and equipment to add further security and keep it protected from damages or spills that might occur.

How Many Golf Courses Are in Michigan?

Michigan is listed third for the total number of golf courses per state. Beating Michigan out are California and Florida. This means that Michigan has by far the most golf courses in the Midwest. But how many courses does Michigan have? The answer is about 873.

Here is a list of the other golf courses in the Midwest, and how many are in each state:

The courses break down as such:

  • Illinois: 695
  • Indiana: 437
  • Iowa: 394
  • Kansas: 247
  • Minnesota: 522
  • Missouri: 349
  • Nebraska: 232
  • North Dakota: 141
  • Ohio: 762
  • South Dakota: 154
  • Wisconsin: 524

As an alternative, how about relaxing and playing in a golf resort instead? If this sounds good for you, here’s our list for the 12 best golf resorts in the Midwest. Check them out!

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