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Sean_A

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2022 Lake Michigan Tour - 2 Eagle Springs & DUNES CLUB New
« on: September 19, 2022, 12:19:49 PM »
An old photo of the house.


My trip to Wisconsin dairy country was far too short. I had to be back in Chicago the next day, but not before stopping at one more Wisconsin course.  Eagle Springs is a 6th generation owned resort whose 18 hole course was founded in 1893 by Irish immigrants, making it the oldest resort course in the state. The course has also been recognized as one of the 100 oldest in the US and one of the top 9 holers as well. A familiar story, the course was reduced to nine holes during the Depression. The course may be nine holes, but it is brimming with character. The opener is next to the highly individual house which was once the laundry room for the resort hotel. The hole is a blind 300ish yarder that plays to a humpback fairway shy of the green. With a little luck the ball will ride the humpack to the green...ok, a lot of luck...ok, its virtually impossible.  Mike Bolan long had the reigns and was creative in his guardianship of the course. The green originally was a small raised punchbowl. Bolan retained the punchbowl and added the left plateau which allows for more hole locations, albeit difficult hole locations. A photo of the old version of #2


The outrageous short volcano 2nd is a kissing cousin to LuLu's version. Its interesting that there is a LuLu Lake just south of Eagle Springs! Bolan could see that the hole was polarizing and because of this some golfers were skipping it. Instead of altering the hole, he spent four years clearing trees and built an alternative green.

The course isn't a two-trick pony either. There are earnestly six holes of merit with the 6th being the only flatish hole. Bolan has taken a back seat and passed the responsibility to his niece by marriage, Anne Krug. Located within a comfortable driving distance to Milwaulkee, Madison, northern Chicago & Rockford, Eagle Springs may seem in the back and beyond, but it isn't. Without photos, this is all I will write except to impart that Eagle Springs is more than a passing curiosity. I wish I made more time for the place. For under $40 to walk 18 on a weekend, its criminal not to give the course a go.  1*  2022


Off to O'Hare to pick up a few chaps for the next leg, Dunes Club.

A special thank you goes to Andy Fried Egg for suggesting I see Eagle Springs.

More to follow

Ciao
« Last Edit: January 16, 2023, 05:37:35 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Tim Gavrich

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Re: 2022 Lake Michigan Tour 2 EAGLE SPRINGS & DUNES CLUB
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2022, 12:49:51 PM »

About a mile from Dunes Club is Grand Beach, a 1912 Bendelow 9-holer with a bunch of charm and quirk. Well worth a wander if you have time while in the area.
Senior Writer, GolfPass

Chris_Blakely

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Re: 2022 Lake Michigan Tour 2 EAGLE SPRINGS & DUNES CLUB
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2022, 07:12:56 PM »
I wonder how many of these sites get their info / hidden gems from GCA?  This site has been talking about Eagle Springs for some time!


Grand Beach is a solid 9 hole course, but not in the same class of quirk and charms that Eagle Springs.  It was also done prior to joining Chicago Park Builders when he green sites became a lot better!


Chris

Cal Seifert

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Re: 2022 Lake Michigan Tour 2 EAGLE SPRINGS & DUNES CLUB
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2022, 07:18:42 PM »
I wonder how many of these sites get their info / hidden gems from GCA?  This site has been talking about Eagle Springs for some time!


Grand Beach is a solid 9 hole course, but not in the same class of quirk and charms that Eagle Springs.  It was also done prior to joining Chicago Park Builders when he green sites became a lot better!


Chris


Andy Johnson, the founder of the Fried Egg is a member here so it is very likely.

Sean_A

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Re: 2022 Lake Michigan Tour 2 EAGLE SPRINGS & DUNES CLUB New
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2022, 07:29:39 PM »
I wonder how many of these sites get their info / hidden gems from GCA?  This site has been talking about Eagle Springs for some time!

Grand Beach is a solid 9 hole course, but not in the same class of quirk and charms that Eagle Springs.  It was also done prior to joining Chicago Park Builders when he green sites became a lot better!

Chris

I am sure that many got info and ideas from this site, but that's why this place exists. That said I don't recall hearing about Eagle Springs before I asked Andy Fried Egg. I am just happy someone told me about ES, its excellent.

Ciao
« Last Edit: January 16, 2023, 05:38:41 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Tommy Williamsen

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Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

"Deep within your soul-space is a magnificent cathedral where you are sweet beyond telling." Rumi

Sean_A

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Re: 2022 Lake Michigan Tour 2 EAGLE SPRINGS & DUNES CLUB New
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2022, 06:13:49 PM »
Thanks Tommy. I missed this interview the first time around!

DUNES CLUB TOUR

Covering approximately 60 acres the Dunes Club is the definition of efficient use of land. Having a very small membership accentuates these possibilities and it is clear from the pint size house that less was going to be more. Located near New Buffalo, Michigan, on the south-east side of Lake Michigan, the site was guaranteed to be sandy as so much of this side of the lake is. This was Mike Keiser's first foray into golf courses and it is clear he understood winning formulas. Walking only seems to be a theme of Keiser projects and that is the case at Dunes Club.

Well known Dick Nugent is the architect of record, but Jim Urbina made significant changes.  Nugent started his career with Robert Bruce Harris before forming Killian & Nugent in1964. The course I most associate with Nugent is Kemper Lakes; long time host of the Kemper Open and 1989 USPGA. Jeff Brauer and Jim Engh are among the many architects who worked with Nugent.

We arrived at Dunes Club with just about enough time play nine holes. The heavily treed property with low sun and meant loads of shade. The attractive mid length opener is a good representation of things to come. The hole moves to the left, but in a fairly gentle manner.


An enchanting short hole, the 2nd green slips from the left to right.


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: January 16, 2023, 05:39:55 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Sean_A

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Re: 2022 Lake Michigan Tour 2 EAGLE SPRINGS & DUNES CLUB (1-2) New
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2022, 07:33:21 AM »
DUNES CLUB TOUR CONT

A decent length par 5, the third has a few breaks in the fairway.The first is over broken ground and the second over sand shy of the green.






A long, relatively straight-away par four, the 4th didn't leave much of an impression on me. About the same length as #4, the 5th has the challenge of carrying water shy of its large green.


The rear of the green has been made much more attractive with tear-away bunkers in the hill.


I don't know how many tees are on the 6th. They seem to be scattered everywhere!  We chose the attractive tees on the high right.


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: January 16, 2023, 05:44:13 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Sean_A

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Re: 2022 Lake Michigan Tour 2 EAGLE SPRINGS & DUNES CLUB (1-6) New
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2022, 06:05:55 AM »
DUNES CLUB TOUR CONT

Perhaps my favourite hole on the course, the 7th swings left. For those who catch the middle-left of the fairway there is the possibility of shooting forward an extra 20 or so yards. One can see from the pix that the site is heavily treed!


I didn't realize the green had such a strong backboard until I saw an approach shot slide back toward the hole.


Sometimes cited as the best hole on the course, the three-shot 8th plays over junk for the second and around a few trees which necessitate an accurate shot if going for the green and to a lesser extent for the layup. Its a beautiful looking shot, but I think too heavily influenced by trees.
A look at the green from centre-right of the fairway. This is classic target golf.




Its not difficult to wind up in the trees even when trying to lay-up!


The home hole takes us to a raised green below the attractively modest house. I am not convinced the circular bunker fits with the remainder of the course aesthetics and if truth be told it reminds me of P Ruddy work.


That ends what was a perfect way to start a buddy trip. A quick nine holes off the plane in a serene setting to set up a good night's sleep. I enjoyed the Dunes Club, but wasn't enthusiastic about the tree situation. I am told some trees have come out and there are plans to remove trees here and there. Regardless, we were very lucky and privileged to get a game. I also note that the club house is superb. Its a perfect set up for a small club and a breath of fresh air compared to the many gin palaces associated with golf. Perhaps most importantly, the Dunes Club provided concrete encouragement for M Keiser and convinced him that future projects were in the cards. 2022

Other Courses on the Tour

Lawsonia Links
https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,71343.0.html

Arcadia Bluffs South
https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,71374.0.html

Ciao
« Last Edit: January 16, 2023, 05:44:51 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Carl Nichols

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Re: 2022 Lake Michigan Tour - 2 EAGLE SPRINGS & DUNES CLUB
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2022, 12:33:22 PM »
I've never had the good fortune to play the Dunes Club, so this reaction is just from Sean's pictures, but I'm surprised there hasn't been more commentary on how tight it is--it appears downright claustrophobic.  Perhaps that's just from the pictures and the time of day? 

John Mayhugh

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Re: 2022 Lake Michigan Tour - 2 EAGLE SPRINGS & DUNES CLUB
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2022, 07:52:15 AM »
It's been quite a few years since I played there, but there is more room than you perceive from photos. Fairways are pretty wide, but there's generally not a lot of rough between fairway and trees, so it looks tighter. There are trees that impact play more than I would prefer (such as the 8th). The overall vibe of the place makes up for that sort of thing.

Thanks for the tour, Sean. Eagle Springs is an interesting place.

Thomas Dai

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Re: 2022 Lake Michigan Tour - 2 EAGLE SPRINGS & DUNES CLUB
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2022, 06:30:42 AM »
Thanks for this Sean. Missed it when initially posted. Looks cool. I can understand from the photos your thoughts on the trees. There do seem to be an awful lot and the bigger they grow the more expensive they are to remove.
Atb

Sean_A

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Re: 2022 Lake Michigan Tour - 2 EAGLE SPRINGS & DUNES CLUB
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2022, 04:06:02 AM »
Thanks for this Sean. Missed it when initially posted. Looks cool. I can understand from the photos your thoughts on the trees. There do seem to be an awful lot and the bigger they grow the more expensive they are to remove.
Atb

I guess I am contrarian. Generally speaking, it seems to me that the smaller the property the less need there are for interior trees. As usual, there are some cracking specimen trees buried in green walls.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

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