Is Door County a Golf Destination?

by | Nov 10, 2022 | Golf Courses

Jason Daubner is the general manager at the Peninsula State Park Golf Course.

Door County has enough courses for tourists to make golf the highlight of their trip, but has the county become a true golf destination?

“I think it is still a work in progress,” said Jason Daubner, general manager of Peninsula State Park Golf Course. He said that in order to consider the peninsula a significant golf destination, he would have to compare it to other well-known destinations. Those include the plentiful concentration of courses with big-name designers in budget-friendly destinations such as northern Michigan, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in the South or Myrtle Beach, or higher-end locales such as Pinehurst or California’s Monterey peninsula.

Daubner said the county’s offering of courses compares better to the Wisconsin Northwoods, which has many hidden gems with a bit of driving time between them.

However, some of those – such as Timber Stone, Sweet Grass and Grey Walls – are “linked to a stay-and-play package and considered a destination,” Daubner said.

“I think that there are only three top-notch golf courses in Door County, and none of them provide a stay-and-play–type package,” said Brandon Hansen, the PGA head professional and operator of Idlewild Golf Club.

However, some of the county’s less-heralded courses with lodging attached or adjacent are seeing improvements in playing conditions, which could lead to a further increase in golf-focused visitors.

Jack Jackson, owner of The Orchards at Egg Harbor, still isn’t sure Door County has the number of destination courses to make it a mecca for golf aficionados. However, over the past two years, he has seen an increase in the number of eight- to 12-person groups traveling to the county and making golf part of each day.

“We definitely see people who come up and play three, four or five rounds,” he said, mentioning that many play The Orchards at least once or twice if they’re golfing on most days of their trip. He said many play some of the other courses, and Peninsula State Park Golf Course surely is the busiest course in the county.

With that said, some days it’s tough to get last-minute tee times for eight or 12 golfers at Peninsula, and most players can no longer finagle their way onto the private (yet very busy) Horseshoe Bay course. 

Jackson takes tee times during the winter or even a year in advance for large groups so that he can accommodate groups planning ahead for summer golf trips.

“We certainly get a lot of groups of 12 guys who come up to Door County and play Ryder Cup events at different courses,” Jackson said. But a lot of those times, the groups come up “and pile into a house” that one of them owns.

“There are plenty of courses; it just depends on what type of course they’re looking for,” Jackson said of what the county has to offer.

original article can be found here