Courses and Travel

Course Spy: University Ridge Golf Course

Photo: John and Jeanine Henebry

Stern examination: The 587-yard 9th hole at University Ridge.

University Ridge Golf Course
Verona, Wisconsin
7,259 yards, par 72
Green fees: $45-$94
608-845-7700
universityridge.com

SERVICE
Sure, the course lacks the upscale luxury that's featured at Herb Kohler's Whistling Straits operation 130 miles to the east, but remember, the University of Wisconsin runs this facility. Attitude and hustle go a long way toward an 'A' grade.

PACE OF PLAY
An especially rainy day cleared out the crowds, so we buzzed around the course. However, a very demanding track promises its fair share of delays on most days, although posted notices seem to indicate a low tolerance for slow play.

QUALITY
In 2008, Jay Blasi, working for Robert Trent Jones Jr., helped transform his alma mater's course from a solid track into a great challenge, adding nearly 400 yards to the layout. It isn't Whistling Straits, but it's definitely all the golf you could want.

VALUE
The course isn't exactly muni-cheap, but it's well worth what we paid given the superb grooming, memorable holes and stiff but fair challenge. Play before 9 a.m. or after 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and it's less than $50 to walk. That's value!

VERDICT
Okay, so the course's name is about as enticing as a philosophy lecture, but the layout is so strong that even the most dissolute frats would be tempted to blow off the pre-game keg party just to squeeze in another nine.

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