Golf Northern Door County

The fairway at Peninsula Park Golf Course waits patiently for spring.

The fairway at Peninsula Park Golf Course waits patiently for spring.

As I make my daily drive down the peninsula on Highway 57, I can always tell spring has truly arrived when I pass Maxwelton Braes just south of Baileys Harbor. The signal is the appearance of polo-shirted, windbreakered, club-weilding golfers who are so devoted they are on the course before the green is fully verdant. The quiet sport is so dear to Northern Door County’s heart that we have at least 10 courses for visitors and locals alike to try. Some courses boast water views and others sumptuous clubhouses, but all have the local charm and beauty for which Door County is known.

Not a golfer myself, I asked my husband Tim about his experiences on Door County’s links. His favorite golfing memory was made at the Peninsula State Park Golf Course. Many of the County’s courses host fundraisers for local nonprofit organizations throughout the season. The event my husband recalled was a four-person scramble, a type of golf tournament where each team starts at a different hole, all at the same time. “You might start at hole three and play all 18 holes until you get back to hole two,” Tim explained to me, his non-golfing wife. The fundraiser benefitted the school where Tim works. 

The event took place on a beautiful summer day with a clear blue sky, sunshine and a breeze. Tim really appreciates Peninsula’s course for its variety. Holes are a mixture of wooded to “open vistas that look over Eagle Harbor.” The day of the scramble drew a melange of community members, business owners, families and people from out-of-town. He said it wasn’t “super competitive; people were just out to have fun.” The fun was amped up by prizes: the longest drive or best putt might yield a gift certificate to a local restaurant. Though the team didn’t bring any glory that day, they had a blast. After the game, they retired to the clubhouse for food catered by a local restaurant.

Peninsula Park Golf Course overlooks beautiful Ephraim and Eagle Harbor.

Peninsula Park Golf Course overlooks beautiful Ephraim and Eagle Harbor.

Open for over 100 years, the Peninsula State Park Golf Course is one of the most unique and scenic in Northern Door County. You can golf the full 18 holes or try out its six-hole short course. The course has golf carts for rental and memberships available. 

Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in 12 minutes (7.1 miles)

Cost: Six holes $10, Nine holes $26, Eighteen holes $44; fees for eighteen holes reduced after 2pm

Pre-registration required: It is recommended to call or reserve a tee time online

 

Tim has also golfed at Maxwelton Braes Golf Course in Baileys Harbor. This course has 18 holes which cater to all abilities. Another historic course, Maxwelton Braes opened in 1929. The course has golf carts, pull carts and clubs for rental.

Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in 4 minutes (1.9 miles)

Cost: Nine holes $12.50, Eighteen holes $19; fees reduced after 1 pm

Pre-registration required: It is recommended to call or reserve a tee time online

 

Tim describes The Orchards at Egg Harbor as an upscale course. He says the parts of the course that move through an old cherry orchard are particularly memorable. The public course offers a full 18 holes, a restaurant and full bar as well as a banquet area. 

Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in 11 minutes (7.4 miles)

Cost: Rates vary 

Pre-registration required: It is recommended to call or reserve a tee time online

Sister Bay's Bay Ridge Golf Course is open year-round when no snow covers its grass.

Sister Bay’s Bay Ridge Golf Course is open year-round when no snow covers its grass.

For newer golfers or those who just want to golf nine holes, Tim recommends Bay Ridge Golf Course in Sister Bay. This quiet course is where the locals go. There it’s likely you’ll be greeted by the owner Dianne, who has run the course since it opened in 1966. Though smaller, Bay Ridge still offers amenities like cart rentals, beer and wine and a snack bar. Uniquely, Bay Ridge keeps its course open year-round, encouraging golfers to come out whenever the course is snow-free. 

Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in 12 minutes (8.8 miles)

Cost: Nine holes walking $15, 18 holes walking $25; Unlimited twilight golf after 3 pm $15

Pre-registration required: Not required, though they can be made by calling (920) 854-4985

 

Besides these courses, Northern Door County offers plenty more greens to explore and play, all within 25 minutes’ drive of the Blacksmith Inn on the Shore. Book a balcony to relax on after your day on the links. 

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