Course Spy: University Ridge Golf Course

Stern examination: The 587-yard 9th hole at University Ridge.
John and Jeanine Henebry

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

\nSERVICE
\nSure, 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.

\nPACE OF PLAY
\nAn 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.

\nQUALITY
\nIn 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.

\nVALUE
\nThe 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!

\nVERDICT
\nOkay, 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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