Whistling Straits Golf Course Review – A Classic Wisconsin Experience


Whistling Straits Golf Course Review – A Classic Wisconsin Experience: A blog about the best golf courses to play while in Wisconsin, reviews and ratings.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Whistling Straits Golf Course Review – A Classic Wisconsin Experience

Visiting Whistling Straits for a round of golf is truly a classic Midwestern experience. Located in the town of Haven, WI (northwest of Sheboygan), Whistling Straits is a classic Wisconsin golf course. The course was designed by Pete Dye and has hosted numerous high profile professional events including the 2004 PGA Championship won by Vijay Singh, the 2007 U.S. Senior Open and will host three PGA Championships over the next ten years including this years event which will be played in August (8/10-16/10).

The Whistling Straits Golf Course is located on an old airfield that was used to train pilots during World War II. The course features two distinct nines with what I would consider the “western” nine being more classic Midwestern golf holes and the “eastern” nine following more of a links design similar to courses found in Scotland or Ireland. In fact, it was rumored that Dye went to

Whistling Straits Golf Course Review – A Classic Wisconsin Experience: A blog about the best golf courses to play while in Wisconsin, reviews and ratings.

Whistling Straits has played host to two PGA Championships, one US Senior Open and is scheduled to host the Ryder Cup in 2020. Designed by Pete Dye, Whistling Straits is a true links style course and if you have ever played a links course before then you know that it means firm fairways and undulating greens. If you haven’t played a links course before just know that you are in for a treat!

Whistling Straits is located on the western shores of Lake Michigan about 30 miles north of Sheboygan in Kohler, Wisconsin. In addition to Whistling Straits there are two other courses on property but today I am going to review the “Irish” course which is the closest one to Lake Michigan. The Irish course is actually made up of two courses, the Irish (the front 9) and the Straits (the back 9) so when visiting be sure you know where you are going.

This is not one of those courses where every hole looks exactly alike or every green has the same slope or break to it. There

Whistling Straits Golf Course Review – A Classic Wisconsin Experience

Whistling Straits was designed by Pete Dye and opened in 1998. This Irish Links style golf course is truly a classic experience that should be on every avid golfer’s bucket list. Whistling Straits offers some of the most beautiful views available anywhere in the country and makes golfers feel like they are playing in Scotland or Ireland. With literally hundreds of bunkers, large undulating greens and fescue fairways this course is as difficult as it gets. Whistling Straits has hosted major championships including the 2004, 2010 and 2015 PGA Championships, 2007 U.S. Senior Open, and will host the 2020 Ryder Cup. Whistling Straits offers two courses The Straits Course (the one you see on TV) and The Irish Course which is a links style course with slightly smaller greens but still features many bunkers and fescue fairways.

While you’re in Wisconsin, you have to play the Whistling Straits golf course. It is often ranked as a top 100 course in America and the world and has hosted multiple PGA Championships. The course itself offers a unique experience among some of the most unique terrain in the country.

The first hole at Whistling straits golf course is a par 4 that has been voted as one of the most difficult opening holes in America. You tee off on top of a plateau, looking out over Lake Michigan. The fairway is narrow, but there are no bunkers to worry about. The green is raised, and it slopes all around it. There is plenty of space between the green and the water if you hit your drive to the right side, but don’t go too far or else you will have to carry your ball over a ravine to get on the green. The green itself is relatively flat for putting but be wary if you miss by more than 6 inches; your ball may find its way back into one of the many bunkers surrounding it.

A short drive from Milwaukee, past rolling Wisconsin farmland, the Whistling Straits golf course is a classic experience. Whistling Straits is part of the Destination Kohler, which also includes their incredible American Club resort – listed as one of the top 5 hotels in the world.

Upon arrival at the Whistling Straits property, you are greeted by the majestic white and red clubhouse which sits atop a ridge overlooking Lake Michigan. The view alone is worth the trip! The club features a state-of-the-art driving range, practice green and chipping area to warm up before you play. There are a variety of golf options at Whistling Straits including 2 Championship courses; The Irish Course and The Straits Course. The Irish course is much more player friendly while still providing a great challenge for all level of players.

The main attraction at Whistling Straits is their links style, Scottish influence “Straits” course which has hosted several PGA Championships and will be hosting the 2020 Ryder Cup Matches. It’s an absolute treat to be able to play such a prestigious course that has hosted some of golf’s greatest players over the last 15 years.

What makes this course so special? It’s unlike anything you will ever play

Welcome to this Whistling Straits Golf Course review. Whistling Straits golf course is located in Haven, Wisconsin and is one of the top ranked courses in America.

Whistling Straits is a unique golf course in Wisconsin because it actually feels like you’re playing over seas. The course was designed to look like an 18th century Irish links-style course. It has deep pot bunkers, rolling fairways, dunes and little roughs that wrap around the course. It’s simply gorgeous.

Whistling Straits is a golfing paradise for those who love to play links style courses. Opened in 1998 it has quickly become one of the best courses in America with two championship courses on site, The Straits Course and The Irish Course. Both are amazing golf experiences that any golfer should make sure they get to play at least once in their life.

Whistling Straits is an example of the type of world-class golf course that has been popping up in Wisconsin at a rapid pace over the last twenty years. Each of the three courses offers a different experience and I would recommend playing all three if your budget allows.

The Irish Course is my personal favorite. It offers more dramatic elevation changes than Straits, while still having some of the same great lake views. The back nine is also more interesting than the front nine.

If you are playing with a group, it’s worth it to go ahead and book your tee time early in the morning. This will give you the most enjoyable experience at Whistling Straits without having to endure a marathon round.


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