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"Golf Wisconsin" offers great advice for links fun

With much of the state sitting below a solid snow pack and winter tee-ing us off, it may be hard to think about golf, but what else can we count on to carry us through to spring? If you want to get a head start on warm weather planning, Jeff Mayers and Jerry Poling can help.

The duo, which penned "Wisconsin Golf Getaways" - one of the definitive books on Wisconsin links - in 2001, recently published "Golf Wisconsin: The Official Guide to the State's Top 25 Public Courses ... Plus 50 More Places to Play," out in paperback from Madison-based Jones Books.

The slim, small-format book aims to update the previous work, says Mayers, who is president of WisPolitics Publishing in Madison, which maintains the Web site.

"The idea came about because of discussions with my co-author, with whom we did a previous travel guide," says Mayers. "We thought there was a market and enough new courses to do a compact, glove-box sized book with color photos. He and I made phone calls and jointly came up with the list then made visits in our respective parts of the state."

Mayers' co-author, Jerry Poling, is a columnist and editor at the Eau Claire Leader Telegram and has written a number of books about Wisconsin sports, including "After They Were Packers: The Super Bowl XXXI Champs and Other Green Bay Legends" and "Summer Up North: Henry Aaron and the Legend of Eau Claire Baseball."

The heavily illustrated, 115-page book includes courses all around the state, from Brown Deer Park in Milwaukee to Northwood in Rhinelander, Troy Burne in Hudson and House on the Rock in Spring Green.

The book is clearly heavily researched and Mayers, laughing, agrees.

"Yes, (it was) back-breaking research ... when I carried my bag."

But why focus only on public courses?

"Certainly, there are some private courses --- say, Milwaukee Country Club -- that would rank in our top 25," says Mayers, "but the best new courses in the state by and large are public and why write about golf courses on a select few can play?"

The book is state-focused rather than Milwaukee-focused, but we know that Mayers spends a lot of time in Southeast Wisconsin, so we couldn't help but ask about favorite courses here in the Brew City area.

"I love the old Lawsonia course," he says, "(it has) great inland links with a great history. And I love brown deer because it is a municipal course that has stood the test of time; short but testy with tall tall trees and sloping greens; plus all of us can play a course that the pros play."


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