In the rivalry of all things between Minnesota and Wisconsin, you can chalk this up as a win for the Badger State.

Golf Digest recently published their biennial list of the best public golf courses in the United States for 2023-2024, highlighting some of the best courses almost anyone could play - if you're willing to crack open the piggy bank.

In that ranking, Wisconsin eclipsed Minnesota's number of courses by a sizable margin. Wisconsin has 10 courses on the list, compared to just three for Minnesota. While I may be a Minnesota boy, I am willing to admit Wisconsin is home to some epic courses - so epic that two of them appear in this year's top 10 list, and four of them in the top 20. That's way better than Minnesota's best-ranked #43, #67, and #81.

MORE: See The Minnesota Courses On Golf Digest's Top 100 Greatest Public Courses List

Even casual golfers will recognize at least some of the names on the list from Wisconsin on Golf Digest's list. Here they are:

Wisconsin Courses Appearing On Golf Digest's 100 Greatest Public Courses List

Whistling Straits: Straits Course - Haven, WI (#4)

Having played host to events like the PGA Championship, Ryder Cup, and other major golf events, one would expect this stunning course to make an appearance high on the list. Coming in at #4 this year, down one spot from the previous ranking of #3, this stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline was once an abandoned airbase, converted into a spectacular course designed by Pete Dye, who also designed Northern Wisconsin's Big Fish Golf Course in Hayward.

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Golf Digest describes the course as having "rugged fairways and windswept greens" and being "peppered" with 1,012 bunkers.

The Straits is a walking-only course, with a strong recommendation (though, not a requirement) to have a caddie. You can learn more about The Straits (and the 4 other courses at Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run), including booking information and rates, on their website

Erin Hills Golf Course - Hartford, WI (#10)

Another course that has played host to some significant events in the golf world, Erin Hills sneaks in as the #10 course on the 2023-2024 ranking, falling one spot from #9 in the last ranking.

Located just northwest of Milwaukee, this course is about 24 miles inland from Lake Michigan.

Rates during prime season (June 15-October 1) for 2023 are listed as $385 for an 18-hole round with early/fall/late season rates as well that are as low as $315 for a round.

Sand Valley - Nekoosa, WI (#17)

Heading even further inland from Lake Michigan, you'll find the third of Wisconsin's four top-20 courses on Golf Digest's list. Designed by Coore and Crenshaw, this was the firm's first course designed away from an ocean. The course rose from #18 in the previous ranking to #17 in the most recent list.

As the name would suggest, there's a lot of "beach" on this course. The course describes itself as "a place where massive, exposed sand dunes tower above you, where players walk, and where the fescue turf plays firm and fast."

In Golf Digest's description, they say the course has "some dual fairways, gigantic sand spits, enormous greens and even a hidden putting surface." It was named Golf Digest's best new course in 2017.

Rates during prime season (June 1-October 2) for 2023 are listed as $275 for an 18-hole round with early/fall/late season rates as well that are as low as $210 for a round. This is another walking-only course.

Blackwolf Run: River - Kohler, WI (#18)

We head back to Kohler for another Pete Dye creation that lands at #18 on the most recent ranking, falling two spots from #16 in the previous Golf Digest list. Blackwolf Run is a sibling of Whistling Straits, operated by a subsidiary of the Kohler Company.

Golf Digest says The River course at Blackwolf Run features "some of Dye’s most exciting holes", highlighting the "triple-option reachable par-4 ninth", "boomerang-shaped par-5 11th, and "monster par-4 18th".

Unlike Whistling Straits, Blackwolf Run does allow carts. You can learn more about the course, including booking information and rates, on their website

Sand Valley Golf Resort: Mammoth Dunes - Nekoosa, WI (#26)

Back to Nekoosa for another course at Sand Valley - Mammoth Dunes. This course was built just as the construction of Sand Valley was being completed. This course, designed by David McLay Kidd, features some unique scenery and (as the name would suggest) huge dunes.

Golf Digest's description notes a "meandering layout, enormous fairways, big accessible greens and visually-unique hillsides of exposed sand".

Rates during prime season (June 1-October 2) for 2023 are listed as $275 for an 18-hole round with early/fall/late season rates as well that are as low as $210 for a round. This is another walking-only course.

SentryWorld Golf Club - Stevens Point, WI (#52)

In a break from the trend of wide-open courses, SentryWorld Golf Club is described as a "lush, tree-lined" course in Central Wisconsin, due-west of Green Bay by about 70 miles.

This course, falling to 52 this year from their previous ranking of 50, features their signature "Flower Hole", which is the par-3 16th hole. Golf Digest describes this hole as using " petunias, snapdragons, marigolds, geraniums and other annuals grown on site as decorative hazards".

Rates during prime season (July 4-October 1) for 2023 are listed as $300 for a "fully inclusive" 18-hole round experience.

Whistling Straits: Irish Course - Sheboygan, WI (#56)

Back to Whistling Straits for the #56 course on this year's list, falling from #47 in the previous ranking. Golf Digest says this course features a lot of similarities to it's sibling The Straits, further up the list.

A couple of the major differences are that the fairways are bent grass rather than fescue, and golf carts are allowed on this course (they aren't on The Straits).

You can learn more about this and the other courses at Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run), including booking information and rates, on their website.

The Golf Courses of Lawsonia: Links - Green Lake, WI (#62)

This historic course in Green Lake, between Oshkosh and Wisconsin Dells, comes in at #62 on the most recent Golf Digest ranking, coming up from #68 on the last list. The course was built back in the 1930s, offering some really cool features on an otherwise modest course.

Golf Digest's description notes "large platform greens perched above deep trench bunkers dug out with pre-modern steam shovels." They also highlight the par-3 seventh hole, specifically the green. Golf Digest describes the green as kind of like a birthday cake, developed by creating a dirt pile on top of an old railroad boxcar.

Blackwolf Run: Meadow Valleys - Kohler, WI (#74)

Another return to the Whistling Straits/Blackwollf Run properties on the top 100 list, with the Meadow Run course coming in at #74 on this year's ranking - the same as it was ranked in the previous list.

Described by the course website as "subtle and devilish", deep bunkers and tricky pin positions await on this character-filled course.

You can learn more about this and the other courses at Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits, including booking information and rates, on their website.

The Bull At Pinehurst Farms - Sheboygan Falls, WI (#88)

Just southwest of Blackwolf Run is yet another Wisconsin course on Golf Digest's top 100 public courses. This one, which was previously ranked #91, comes in at #88 on the most recent list.

Golf Digest highlights "broad meadow holes in the meadows, tightrope holes through the woods, and shorties along and across the winding Onion River" on the site of this 400-acre complex. The course's website also highlights that it is home to Wisconsin's only Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Hole.

Rates during prime season (May 12-October 12) for 2023 are listed as $119 Thursday-Sunday and $99 Monday-Wednesday for Wisconsin residents and $149 Thursday-Sunday and $119 Monday-Wednesday for non-residents. Early/late season and twilight rates are also available.

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