Erin Hills - Home to U.S. Open

Erin Hills Golf Course History Not So Smooth

This is a pretty exciting time here in Wisconsin. Can you imagine the U.S. Open practically in your backyard? This is the first time it has come to Wisconsin so we are pretty excited. 

Erin Wisconsin is about 35 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

Hopefully you have already made your plans or you won’t have a place to stay! Although possibly the smallest town to host an Open, it is so charming with many other nearby towns to visit too.

Holy Hill MaryErin has a population of just 4,525 in one of the most beautiful areas of Wisconsin. The glacial topography makes the town unique with dramatic changes in elevation.  Viewers who either are lucky enough to have gotten a ticket and those who are watching from home will see the breath-taking view of the Holy Hill Shrine of Mary of Christians at Holy Hill that sits on the highest elevation in this part of the state.Erin Hills is located 35 miles northwest of Milwaukee and 115 miles from Chicago. General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee is serviced by most major airlines. Additional airport facilities are located in Waukesha and Hartford for private aircraft. The property address is:

Erin Hills
7169 County Road O
Erin, WI 53027

The scenery is gorgeous and participants and viewers alike will enjoy the views and the people. Holy Hill is located in southeast Wisconsin, on the highest elevation in this part of the state. Situated on 435 acres of rural countryside the view upwards and down towards Erin is awesome.

Erin Hills Golf Course is host to the 2017 U.S. Open Golf Tournament.

There’s actually a lot of exploration you can do in the area when the tournament is not going. Visit downtown, visit nearby or go back to Milwaukee.

Erin Hills Golf Course has quite a history.

As an avid golfer, Steve Trattner (a software programmer) had his eye on the farm land with the vision of  building a golf course. So he went to a Milwaukee-area millionaire businessman, Bob Lang where he convinced him to come out and look at the land.

Bob Lang went on to buy the land but lost millions in developing and was forced to sell his 11-year old passion for a $10 million dollar loss.

It was during that time, that Steve Trattner had killed his wife. He was convicted and is still serving a 35 year prison sentence! He will be watching the Open from the Waupaun Wisconsin Correctional Facility!

At that point Lang and his friends lured Whistling Straits Executive Director, Mike Davis, to Erin Hills where there was still much work to do. Davis, also the U.S. Open Championship Director, put in a good word and in 2008 the USGA awarded Erin Hills the first tournament with U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links. It fared so well that they put the tour in the rotation for the Amateur Tours. 

Erin Hills - Home to U.S. Open

When the U.S. Open begins with a practice round June 12, the Town of Erin will be ready for its close-up at the center of the golfing world.

Up to 45,000 spectators, volunteers, officials, workers, media and golfers are expected to descend upon Erin Hills daily during the tournament, a huge crush for a town of around 3,790 residents.

“It has to be the smallest town to ever host a major championship,” said Danny Sink, director of U.S. Open championships for the United States Golf Association.

Sink said over the last 18 months, the USGA worked with town officials and residents to allay whatever concerns they might have about how the tournament would affect local life.

There will be a transportation system to limit the number of automobiles driving through Erin. A detailed traffic plan will include a bus system will shuttle in most fans from two remote parking sites. Local residents will receive permits for parking. USGA officials are confident they can bring off the event smoothly. More about Erin Wisconsin and what you can do nearby. Otherwise, Milwaukee has lots of great restaurants and places to hang out and explore as well.

Lang just kept building on and making everything bigger which is what you see now. He is expected to be at the tournament this week, but not in a professional capacity. He is proud of the project he created despite the professional and personal costs.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, Trattner’s attorney said, “It’s sadly ironic because without Steven Trattner, there wouldn’t even be an Erin Hills.”

You can read the six-part story of the golf course by Dana Fry in the Milwaukee Journal. It’s quite a story and really sad on many levels. Hopefully, the national exposure from the U.S. Open will remind people what a great course the Hills are. 

I hope you get the chance to visit our area sometime soon. Better yet, maybe you are one of the lucky people who got tickets to the Open. To that, I say, Enjoy! It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity! If you are attending, you can review the U.S. Open Rules and Etiquette Guide online at