GRESHAM, Wis. - The fairways are encased within beautiful dense forests.
Buildings are largely invisible behind this curtain of trees, although the
prominent log-constructed clubhouse with its Northwoods appeal sits on a
rise overlooking several fairways.
The Pine Hills Golf & Supper Club is advertised as the best-kept secret in
Wisconsin. That's nice for golfers in the know, but the word is getting out
as more and more people take advantage of its beautiful fairways and greens
and the quiet, wooded elegance of its surroundings.
The Stockbridge-Munsee Community, Mohican Nation originally purchased a
nine-hole course in 1993 and expanded that to 18 holes, completing the
expansion in 1997. The entire Pine Hills Golf Course is beautiful,
particularly the newest nine holes. This portion was designed to preserve
the natural beauty with its thick forests of hemlock, pine, aspen, birch
and oak. The thickly wooded slopes enclose the fairways, providing golfers
with a feeling of seclusion.
A variety of animals and birds are commonly seen, adding to both the
northern woods atmosphere and the pleasure and excitement of playing the
course. Wild turkeys, grouse, bald eagles and ospreys are often seen, as
well as white-tailed deer and bears. General Manager Lloyd Young reported
that bears are seen nearly every week.
Young moved here a few years ago from his native Scotland, where golf has
been a mainstay of life since its beginnings. He built courses in that
country for a dozen years - generally for others, but also built three on
his own. He said that most courses are designed to make the land fit the
course by creating ridges, lakes and the like but not at Pine Hills. "The
course fit the topography of the land," he said. "There are no gimmicks or
touristy stuff. God built and designed this course." On the back nine
holes, he commented about the solitude there: "You could be the only person
on the planet. On many courses you're almost herded like cattle, nose to
tail; but here it's not like that at all."
Young also spoke of the increased use of the course during his three years
there, saying usage increased by 30 percent the first year and another 15
percent last year, and that it was running up another 25 percent to date
this year. National figures show only slight increases during that same
time. Pine Hills is also the only Indian-owned golf course in Wisconsin.
Located in the northeastern corner of the reservation, Pine Hills offers
visitors even more than sensational golf. The clubhouse includes a charming
restaurant with outstanding food and views overlooking the golf course from
either the tables or the attached deck. The Many Trails Banquet Hall
increases dining options with an outstanding menu and space for group
functions and receptions.
A few miles away is Konkapot Lodge, very modern yet built in the manner of
forest lodges. Huge logs, salvaged from the reservation following a
tremendous wind storm in 1997, were handcrafted by Arrowhead Log Homes, a
company owned by tribal members. The result is a magnificent log structure
set amid the forest where Pine Hills Golf Course visitors can relax and
spend a night in casual elegance.
Future changes to the course are still being worked out but they will
include a major practice facility. A junior golf program is also planned to
offer clinics for youngsters to get them interested in golf. These
improvements are slated for the near future, with other additions possible