Whistling Straits Country Club is a 36-hole public golf facility located in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The facility has two championship 18-hole golf courses. They are, The Straits Course and The Irish Course.
Whistling Straits Country Club, The Straits Course opened in 1997. The course was designed by Pete Dye.
The Straits Course is the flagship course at Whistling Straits. It has a length of 7,514 yards and a par of 72. Set along a two-mile stretch of Lake Michigan, the course features vast rolling greens, deep pot bunkers, grass-topped dunes and winds that sweep in off the lake.
#17, named "Pinched Nerve", the unofficial signature hole, is the most difficult par-3 on the course. At 223 yards, with towering sand dunes and the lake to the left leaves golfers with no option but to go straight for the green.
The Straits Course duplicates British and Irish links layouts, its original state however, was not linksland. The original landscape of the Straits Course reguired movement and redistribution of 800,000 cubic yards of dirt and sand, all of it remaining on-site with none brought in from outside sources.
The Straits Course hosted:
The 2004 PGA Championship won by Vijay Singh in a playoff over Chris DiMarco and Justin Leonard.
The 2007 U.S. Senior Open won by Brad Bryant, and the 2010 PGA Championship won by Martin Kaymer in a playoff over Bubba Watson.
The 2010 PGA Championship won by Martin Kaymer in a three-hole playoff, his first major championship. Liang Wen-Chong set the course record for the Straits Course with a 64 in the third round of the 2010 PGA Championship.
The 2010 PGA Championship was the site of the Dustin Johnson controversy. Johnson, who was leading the tournament at the time, hit his drive deep into the gallery to the right of the fairway. His ball came to rest in the sand, and he proceeded to complete the hole in bogey to drop into a tie with Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson. However as he left the 18th green, an official informed him that he may have been guilty of a rules infraction while playing his second shot on the 18th hole. It was determined that Johnson's ball had been in a bunker and he had grounded his club, an offence which attracts a 2-stroke penalty. As a result, he fell out of the playoff and into a tie for 5th place. The bunker lay outside of the gallery ropes in an area where the crowd had been walking, Johnson had not realized that the sandy area where his ball lay was in fact a bunker. Prior to the tournament, the Rules Committee had notified all competitors and posted statements throughout the clubhouse locker room, informing the players of a local rule that declared that all sandy areas, regardless of their location and condition, were to be considered bunkers (hazards).
$251 (cart not included), played on Thursday, June 2007 at 8am
Spectacular, top 3 of over 375 courses played. Absolutely loved this golf course, and may be best ever. Very challenging, and majestic views with dramatic bunkers and topography. CANNOT WAIT for Ryder Cup here in a few years!
$401 (cart not included), played on Thursday, June 2010 at 10am
A must play once course similar to Bandon Dunes, Pebble Beach, and the Scottish courses. Walking only and mandatory caddies but my experience was exceptional. Caddies do doubles and even with some hackers in our group, kept their spirit up and remained helpful and accommodating. Be prepared for a $500 - $600 round including lunch and caddie tips. I always travel with shoes, markers and balls so I only need rental clubs. Whistling Straits offers Titleist AP2's or Taylor Made R9 irons so nothing below par in equipment and facilties. Definately a camera required course. I've played the Old Course, Ballybunion, Old Head, and several "Royal" courses and this ranks right there with them all. Do yourself a favor and play from an appropriate tee. Ego said move back but the green or blues tees were quite a challenge especially with the rough up for the 2010 PGA being played there in August.
$301 (cart not included), played on Thursday, May 2008 at 6am
Creating this course was an amazing feat as the hundreds of bunkers and huge dunes are all man-made. However, they look as though they've been there for centuries. This beautiful rugged course, located on the shore of Lake Michigan, does evoke the look of an Irish or Scottish links and the wind, mist and overcast the morning we played added to that feel. However, the course does not really play like a links as the turf was not amenable to bump and runs on many holes. According to the staff, the course was about 4 weeks behind where it normally is at this time of year due to the harsh winter. Much of the fairway grass was still dormant brown. However, this only affected the look, not the playability of the course. The greens were in great shape but not super fast. The sister course (the "Irish", while not as scenic, was greener and had faster greens)The course is gorgeous and challenging. My caddie read the greens great and I had a career puttin day. Definitely worth the trip despite the price. The American Club and Lodge in Kohler had a decent package and of course besides the Straits and Irish courses, there are two great and very different courses at Blackwolf Run just a few minutes away. Here is a link to my photos of the Whistling Straits courses: http://sports.webshots.com/album/563362146wpPzyH
$351 (cart included), played on Monday, August 2007 at 6am
$201 (cart not included), played on Tuesday, April 2006 at 10am
One of those courses you have to play at least once at almost any price. Links golf at its finest, comparable to almost anything in Ireland / Scotland. And the experience with a caddie is first rate, and unfortunately unknown in most of the US. Major championships will be held here for many years to come.
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