Don’t let the title of this blog fool you. Abbey Springs is NOT a new course in Wisconsin, but it is one that might not be as popular with Wisconsin golfers as other courses in the area. It doesn’t have the expansive footprint of the Grand Geneva property, which is geared for hosting large, multi-course outings. And it doesn’t have the famous names of Palmer, Trevino, and Player attached to its courses like the 54-hole Geneva National facility. But Abbey Springs has a LOT going for it.
Since meeting Jack Shoger and Dan Dlabal last year, they have been nothing but supportive of what I am trying to do with Wisconsin Golf Trips. Both gentleman have a long history at Abbey Springs, and they appreciated meeting someone who was excited to try and promote the course and bring some new faces to Abbey Springs. As part of my ever-expanding website, I wanted to go down, take my time on the course, and get some good photos for the website. Jack and Dan were nice enough to host not only myself, but the rest of the Kauflin clan as well. I played from the back “Walnut” tees, while my wife and daughter played from the “Oak” tees. Our son, Kevin, rode along and enjoyed the day as well.
After a pretty benign first hole, I was immediately struck by the beauty of the second hole, a par 3 over water with weeping willow trees surrounding the water. I am a sucker for weeping willows on a golf course! After missing the green, I hit what I thought was a reasonably good chip to the hole. It hit a slope and continued past the hole and down and embankment to a collection area under the hole. This would be the first of a few shots that I hit exactly how I wanted that did not translate to a decent score. Abbey Springs is trees, red stakes, and elevation changes on almost every hole. Thank goodness they send you out in high end carts with some power and good brakes, because you need them pretty consistently.
To tempt the long hitters, there are three super-elevated tee boxes to relatively short par 4s, including a couple holes with a view of the lake in the background. The par 5s are doable, reachable for the longer hitter, and offer tons of variety. The par 3s are pretty much right in front of you and are very fair. There is a lot of risk/reward out on the course, which I personally think makes a course that much more fun. To me, the greens were certainly the biggest challenge at Abbey Springs. Lots of undulations, lots of spines, lots of tilt. They kept your attention and made you focus on every stroke.
I will admit that I walked away feeling that I had played well, but also feeling like I had just been beat up a bit. But if the true sign of a good course is whether you would want to go right back out for another 18, then Abbey Springs passes the test with flying colors. I don’t know if it is a course I would love playing every day, but as a course to play when coming in for a Wisconsin Golf Trips’ package…I think it is ideal. And that whole area in Fontana, with the lake, Abbey Resort, and all the little eateries near the marina? It is just a cool place to hang out. Abbey Springs is a true Wisconsin gem. If you have never played there, or haven’t been there for a while, I highly recommend putting Abbey Springs on your list to play as soon as possible. To view my complete gallery of photos from Abbey Springs, click here.