Make your plans today and join us for the second annual Wisconsin Gutty Challenge, July 21-23, 2016. The date has been strategically planned: May, All American; June, National Hickory Championship; July, Wisconsin Gutty Challenge; August, Foxburg Championship; and September, CB Macdonald Challenge and Eastern Canadian Hickory Championship.
Veteran hickory player, collector, and tournament organizer Greg Smith, has promised a great, challenging, fun event that is destined to become the fastest growing gutty event in the USA.
Eagle Springs has been family-owned for five generations. Current owner, Mike Bolan, is the great-great grandson of John Tuohy, an Irish immigrant who settled among the Indians and started farming the land in 1866. Tuohy’s son, William, built the resort and legend has it that sporting goods pioneer A.G. Spaulding designed the first two holes. The course opened in 1893, which makes it the oldest in Wisconsin and among the oldest in the United States.
Once an 18-hole layout built around a grand hotel that catered to wealthy Chicagoans, Eagle Springs has retained much of its nostalgic charm. The hotel is long gone, but nine cottages remain, which are rented out seasonally.
Highly respected Milwaukee Journal Sentinel golf reporter, Gary D’Amato, has written: “With a blind tee shot on No. 1, a wickedly elevated green on No. 2, bowl-shaped greens that funnel approach shots toward the hole and a practice putting green built in front of the first tee, Eagle Springs breaks most modern rules of golf course architecture. The second hole ranks in the Top Ten Best Par 3 Holes in Wisconsin, at #9.
Eagle Springs is so unusual, so charming and so delightful to play you’ll remember every hole a week later. The first two holes should be preserved forever as examples of pre-1900 course architecture.
There are only two tees and the course measures 2,814 yards from the back and 2,309 from the front. Eagle Springs is no pushover, however, because you have to use your noggin and hit good shots.
The clubhouse, at one time the hotel laundry, features the gnarled trunk of an ancient apple tree that once grew through the roof. The tree died after the parking lot was paved in the mid-1990s.
Several divisions are planned including gutty, traditional hickory and scramble. Regardless, all contestants will play the limited flight Braid ball (three are included in the entry fee). Optional practice rounds are available on Thursday, July 21, followed by two days of tournament golf. Awards will be completed mid-afternoon on Saturday.
Expect additional details and registration information on Feb. 14, 2016.
If there are any immediate questions or for any clarification, contact Tournament Director Greg Smith:
When the inaugural event was announced last year, it became clear that many thought this course was “way up north”, close to the Michigan Border. Not so. In fact, Eagle centrally located a mere thirty minutes from Lake Geneva and is easily accessible from all Midwest locations.
Because of the central location, a group hotel is not feasible. A few examples: Milwaukee West hotels are a 40-minute drive; Lake Geneva, 30 minutes; Whitewater, 22; East Troy 18. Madison, Racine, and Kenosha are a little over an hour. The closest hotel is in Mukwonago, 7 miles from the course.
Eagle Centre Bed and Breakfast is an authentic replica of an 1846 Greek Revival Stagecoach Inn. This B & B offers four rooms and is 10 minutes from the course.
Everything is within a short drive: Old World Wisconsin, and Kettle Moraine Southern Unit are must visits, especially for families, plus several casinos and Milwaukee seasonal activities.