“The changes that were contemplated
and made over the last year were really
intended to make it little more of a medal
play approach to things,” Hurdzan said
recently. “We took a little bit of what the
Scotch used to call ‘the rub of the green’
and what we as American’s would call ‘the
flukiness’ out of it. We tried to make the
golf course a little more predictable.”
Hurdzan admitted that there had been
too many places where players could hit a
good shot and get a bad result, such as the
former par- 3 seventh hole, called “the Dell
Hole,” which required a blind shot. That
hole has been removed from the routing.
Trees and bunkers also were removed
during the recent renovation. In many
cases those bunkers laid in front of greens,
and now that they’re gone several holes
will be receptive to bump-and-run shots.
That’s a key consideration because Erin
Hills can be heavily impacted by wind, and
its fescue fairways are conducive to that
kind of shot.
Erin Hills was created by Delafield developer Bob Lang, who assembled the 652-
acre property, hired the architects and
ushered the course through its formative
years. Lang sold Erin Hills to Mequon
resident Andrew Ziegler in the fall of 2009.
Since then Ziegler has upgraded the
facilities with a second clubhouse, guest
cottages, a state-of-the-art maintenance
facility and the recent course changes.
The initial construction was a unique
U.S. AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP
What: The 111th U.S. Amateur Championship
When: Aug. 22-28.
project as major golf course developments
go. Lang began mowing fairway areas
according to an early routing plan. Then
Hurdzan, Fry and Whitten arrived to com-
plete the actual design, although to hear
Hurdzan tell it, some higher power might
also deserve credit as “architect.”
“What we had to work with was already
created by the receding glacier, and we
had a lot of room, too,” Hurdzan said.
“Everything was laid out naturally. The
tees were laid in pretty much natural areas,
the greens were laid in natural hollows,
and that’s why some of them have such
large contour changes – because that’s
what was there.”
The USGA took an early interest in the
property and its potential. Erin Hills
was awarded the 2008 U.S. Women’s
Amateur Public Links Championship
before the course was even
seeded, and it was awarded the
2011 U.S. Amateur months before
that first USGA event took place.
“As in all USGA competitions,
the best player will win, Hurdzan
said. “But in this (U.S. Amateur),
I think it is the most precise
shotmaker, or strategist, who
will win.” ;;
The ninth hole at Blue Mound G&CC plays back to the club’s impressive clubhouse, built in
the 1920s. Blue Mound will host U.S. Amateur stroke play qualifying on Aug. 22-23.