Landscape & Surroundings Give Lake Hallie's Character
by Brandon Berg, The Herald
Two-time U.S. Open champion and current ESPN golf commentator Andy North grew up on Lake Hallie Golf Course. His father, Stu, gave lessons at the course for several years while staying in his summer home in New Auburn. The Lake Hallie Golf Course is one of the area’s oldest courses and has plenty of history. Open for over 80 years, Lake Hallie offers plenty for golfers of all ages and difficulties.
Lake Hallie Golf Course was purchased in 2009 by Dino Amundson and Dave Eisenhuth. They with the area, each growing up not far from the course. Amundson attended Eau Claire Memorial High School, Eisenhuth went to Eau Claire North.
They each had business experiences in other fields, but banded together to purchase the course and have learned plenty about the golf business as they’ve gone along. Amundson worked for over 30 years in the heavy construction business and now dedicates his time to the course.
“It’s a learning experience almost every day,” Amundson said.
Ownership has worked to improve the course any way possible and said they are pleased with the improvements they’ve been able to make to the course and to the clubhouse/dining area.
“We here at Lake Hallie, our full staff from our grounds crew to our bar and our restaurant to our pro shop, we take a lot of pride in our golf course and we work very hard to supply very good customer service,” Amundson said.
Lake Hallie Golf Course is one of the area’s oldest golf courses. The 18-hole course was built in the mid-1920s and opened in 1925. The course was scaled back to nine holes during The Great Depression with the back nine holes being shut down. Those back nine holes were later renovated and reopened in the 1980s.
The front nine features one Par-5 (494-yard Hole 3) and two Par-3 holes (192-yard Hole 4 and 200-yard Hole 9) to go with six Par-4s.
“It’s two totally separate entities from the front (nine) to the back (nine),” Amundson said.
Fred Hancock who grew up on the course and served as PGA professional for six years said the course doesn’t have a single signature hole, but rather a few different holes that the course is known for.
Hole 4 is a challenging Par 3 followed by a Par-4 Hole 5 with a variety of hazards "It is the classic risk reward short par 4-in my opinion... it is the absoulute best short par four in the Chippewa Valley. Hole 8 is a 395-yard Par-4 with some qualities of one of the most famous golf courses in the country.
“The eighth hole is a miniature version of Pebble Beach, the 18th hole,” Hancock said. “It’s got Lake Hallie on the left and side, it’s a 410-yard par-4. A great hole.”
The back nine has more of a variety of yardage with two Par-5s and three Par-3s to go with four Par-4s. The middle of the back nine offers a stretch of three Par-3s in a five-hole stretch before ending with a Par-4 and a Par-5 18th Hole with a distance of 550 yards, the longest on the course.
“It’s got enough challenges where the expert golfer is going to have challenges, yet the novice golfer, the older golfer, the female golfer, can play it and have a blast,” Hancock said.