A golf trip to the Lake Geneva region is not complete without a stop at Grand Geneva Resort. Located just west of downtown Lake Geneva, about an hour and 30 minutes from Chicago, this resort offers two championship courses, each with their own character and set of challenges for golfers of every caliber. On our latest trip to the area, we played the Brute, a 7,085 yard par 72 track with wide fairways, large bunkers and elevated greens. Much like its name would suggest, this course seems to play even longer than the yardage posted. Nearly every hole requires accuracy off the tee to avoid challenging approach lengths, and each green seems to be further than you think, forcing you to club up to make it back to the pins.
We played this course on a Saturday afternoon, taking advantage of the twilight discounted greens fees. While the skies had cleared from early morning showers, the course was still a bit saturated due to end of season maintenance on the fairways and greens. As expected, bunkers were properly groomed and the rough was just long enough to punish your wayward drives. Even with the wet conditions, the ball still rolled at decent speeds on the putting surface. Along with a large amount of bunkers, heavily tree-lined borders and water provide added challenge throughout the course, not leaving much room for error off the tee or around the green. The greens are typically large, but as mentioned above, elevated to challenge your club selection on approach shots.
Pace of Play:
We played as two groups, a threesome and a foursome. While there seemed to be a steady flow of groups on the course, there was never more than a moments wait on the tees. Given the afternoon start, the groups ahead of us seemed to quit after 9 holes. We managed to play the final 3 holes as a 7, with no sign of golfers behind us. The course layout is well paced with the both nines starting and finishing at the clubhouse. We finished our round with a bit of sunlight left, so we kept playing 10, 11 and 9 until visibility became an issue and fatigue set in.
Being a resort, the clubhouse is generously sized, extremely clean and modern. The bar and restaurant offers a great menu, along with views of the finishing holes and a terrace facing the tees of holes 1 and 10. The pro shop provides plenty of gear, both course branded and unbranded. There is both a practice putting green and driving range. Along with the Brute, there is also the Highlands, a second championship 18-hole course, with slightly shorter yardage, less water, but more hazard in the form of tall grasses. We did not play the Highlands this time out, but both are worthy of the price tag.
The standard weekend rate is $99-$129 with riding cart, depending on the season. There is a twilight rate of $89 which we utilized this time out. Be sure to check their website for current pricing as they offer occasional discounts. This resort is also frequently featured on Groupon, so be sure to check there first.
It’s hard to criticize either course at Grand Geneva Resort. With excellent course conditions, challenging elevated greens, varying looks from the tee boxes, and plenty of length, these courses offer exceptional golf for all levels. The staff is great and the proximity to the other championship courses in the area make this a must.