Maxwelton Braes under Contract for Sale

Owner takes pride in course improvements since 2014

Also this week: Maybe you need a lesson

Some golfers saw a “Closed” sign on the door at Maxwelton Braes Golf Course for a few days this spring and promptly jumped to the wrong conclusion.

Owner Jim Bresnahan said he and an employee were diagnosed with COVID-19 one week, and for the safety of others, they locked the clubhouse. They distributed cart keys to members and allowed nonmembers to pay greens fees on an honor system.

At about the same time, a rumor developed that the course had been sold and was closing.

The golf course is not closing, and it was not officially sold as of May 26. But Bresnahan confirmed that a group of investors has an early-June closing date to purchase the course.

“In my opinion, even though we’re under contract, it’s not sold until we sign the bottom line,” Bresnahan said. 

He did not go into details, but he wanted to dispel rumors about the course. Bresnahan said a group of investors expressed interest in purchasing the lodge at Maxwelton Braes, as well as the course, in order to reunite the hotel and golf business that began operations south of Baileys Harbor in 1929. 

Bresnahan said he had had no intention of selling the course, but an opportunity arose. He worked hard to improve conditions after purchasing the 18-hole track in 2014 and said he’s proud of the work his son-in-law, Jeremy Tepe; and greenskeeper Don Dietrich did to keep the greens rolling true and to improve the nonirrigated fairways.

Bresnahan said they sought out and found alternative ways to care for the fairways, one of which was using Wisconsin-sourced Milorganite, a slow-release fertilizer that, over time, can improve soil quality and help to add topsoil over the bedrock that’s all too close to the surface. He said the Milorganite helps to retain some water during dry times at the course as well.

Bresnahan said he hopes he can stay on working at the course in some capacity, and he’s set up bank accounts for current, annual and multiyear golf membership fees to transfer to the new owners.

Need a Lesson?

OK, so you’ve teed it up. Had some fun. Fell back into some of the same old bad habits. Golf teachers and area golf professionals can help. Ask at your local clubhouse.

Peninsula State Park Golf Course, for example, provides many lesson and learning opportunities. For beginners or a short game tune-up, the Peninsula Golf Association offers a driving range and chipping green on one side of Highway 42 and an award-winning six-hole short course on the other.

LPGA instructor Sylvia Ferdon provides golf lessons throughout the season, and PGA pro and director of instruction Matt Stottern will return to Door County again this summer. Check out for lesson information, pricing and links to contact the instructors. The Peninsula Golf Association instructors provide price breaks for lessons taken in groups of up to four people, as well as major discounts for junior golfers.

The Dr. William & Carolyn Bell Junior Golf School will return to Peninsula State Park Golf Course for a pair of four-day group sessions June 13-16 and July 11-14 for golfers ages 8-14. Entry forms will be available at the clubhouse. To get more information, call 920.854.5791.

Also, the First Tee Program at Peninsula State Park Golf Course – a nine-week summer activity for ages 8-17 – will meet Wednesdays, June 29-Aug. 24, 4-5:30 pm, at the driving range and short course. Find out more by calling 920.854.5791.

At Idlewild, PGA head professional and manager Brandon Hansen (contact him at 920.256.1162 or [email protected]) and PGA pro Randy Meyer (contact him at 920.495.4181 or [email protected]) both provide lessons. Junior golf program information will be available soon at