Jump to content

Whistling Straits (Irish Course) - Sheboygan, WI


Recommended Posts

I have experienced Whistling Straits in several ways over the last year. I was a volunteer at the 2015 PGA Championship, operating ShotLink lasers on-course during three days of the tournament. I was also able to play the Irish Course with my dad on 5/9/16, getting to experience one of Pete Dye's creations first-hand.

The Straits Course, on which the PGA Championship is played, is set along the Lake Michigan shoreline near Sheboygan, Wis. It's annually ranked as one of the best courses in the world, and it's easy to see why. It has hosted three PGA Championships, and will host the Ryder Cup in 2020. While I have not played the course, I have seen how demanding and beautiful it is. Maybe someday I'll give it a go...

The Irish Course is set further inland, but is not any less scenic than it's companion course. Elevation changes, huge (and numerous) bunkers and a creek that winds its way through the property give the Irish a distinct personality. Even with all the hazards and challenges, the Irish is accessible to higher handicappers (like me). We played from the white tees, which totaled right around 6,000 yards. This seemed appropriate for golfers of our skill level. We were also lucky enough to get perfect weather for golf that day, with sun, temperatures in the mid-50s and a very light wind.

The Irish Course has several signature holes including No. 6, named Mulligan's Watch. This par 3 features an island green that's completely surrounded by sand. Another memorable par 3 is No. 13, appropriately named Blind Man's Bluff. From the tee, you can just barely see the flag, and the pin that it's attached to seems to be about 13 feet tall. You cannot see the green at all.

You can take golf carts on the Irish (no carts are allowed on the Straits, and  a caddie is required), which was both a plus and a minus. Carts are only allowed on cart paths, so situations where you'd have to take long walks to get from your cart to your ball occurred. However, having the cart was helpful for cutting down what would have been a five-mile walk. While the walk wouldn't have been a problem for me, my dad appreciated being able to sit and ride up to each shot.

Another highlight of the round was seeing the famous Whistling Straits sheep, which are allowed to roam the property freely. We later found out that it was their first day back on-site for the 2016 season, so we were indeed lucky to catch a glimpse of the animals near the Hole 17 tee. 

After the round was complete, my dad and I headed to the Irish Pub, set on the upper floor of the clubhouse. Through the windows of the pub, you could see the No. 9 and No. 18 greens of the Straits. As for refreshments, we each enjoyed a Jigger Ale, a Scotch Ale that's only available at Kohler properties in Sheboygan and at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. The service was impeccable, and we had a fun and informative conversation with our bartender about the beer we were enjoying, as well as the golf course itself. The pub is a lovely setting for a post-round beverage and a great way to end your day at Whistling Straits.

Playing a round at Whistling Straits needs to be a bucket list item for anyone passionate about golf. The Irish Course provides a challenge, yet is set up for golfers of any skill level to enjoy. The staff was extremely helpful and welcoming, which also helps ensure a memorable experience. 

If you find yourself in Wisconsin and are looking for the golfing experience of a lifetime, head to Whistling Straits. You won't be disappointed!

WhistlingStraitsSheep.jpg

WhistlingStraits13.jpg

WhistlingStraits10.jpg

WhistlingStraitsIrishPub.jpg

WhistlingStraitsTroll.jpg

WhistlingStraitsClubhouse.jpg

  • Like 2

What's In My  :nike-small: Xtreme Sport IV Carry Stand Bag:

:nike-small: Vapor Fly (9.5*) Driver

:cobra-small: Baffler XL 3 Wood

:taylormade-small: Burner Rescue 3 Hybrid

:cobra-small: F8 5 Hybrid

:taylormade-small: Burner Plus Irons (5-SW)

:cobra-small: Trusty Rusty 51* Wedge

:wilson_staff_small: 8862 Putter

:srixon-small: Q Star Tour Ball

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Me a my regular travel buds were planning to shoot for Kohler for our Sept./Oct. trip but we backed out this year. Various reasons. Yes, it's expensive and we travel to other expensive destinations so that wasn't the underlying factor. Mostly scheduling. Anyway.... I envy you playing there. Have you ever played the two courses a Blackwolf Run? We were going to. We had also planned to skip over to Erin Hills. Any experience there?

My Sun Mountain bag currently includes:   TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png 771CSI 5i - PW and TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png PFC Micro Tour-c 52°, 56°, 60 wedges

                                                                               :755178188_TourEdge: EXS 10.5*, TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png 929-HS FW4 16.5* 

                                                                                :edel-golf-1: Willimette w/GolfPride Contour

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have yet to play Blackwolf Run or Erin Hills. But both are on the bucket list, for sure. 

 

I live about 30 minutes from Erin Hills, and I cannot wait to watch the US Open there next year!

What's In My  :nike-small: Xtreme Sport IV Carry Stand Bag:

:nike-small: Vapor Fly (9.5*) Driver

:cobra-small: Baffler XL 3 Wood

:taylormade-small: Burner Rescue 3 Hybrid

:cobra-small: F8 5 Hybrid

:taylormade-small: Burner Plus Irons (5-SW)

:cobra-small: Trusty Rusty 51* Wedge

:wilson_staff_small: 8862 Putter

:srixon-small: Q Star Tour Ball

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just about a year ago my wife and I went to Kohler, on our way to Houghton MI.  We played the Straits and Blackwolf Fun River courses as planned, and had such a good time we played the BR Meadows Course on the day we left.  We would have preferred the Irish, but it was booked up that morning.

I thought every one of the courses was outstanding.  Even on the Straits, there was reasonable room off the tee, but things got more exacting as you got closer to the greens.  At Blackwolf Run, I'd have loved to play the original 18 in one go, but its now split between the two courses there.

:titelist-small: Irons Titleist AP2 714, KBS Tour S, 3 flat

:callaway-small: Rogue SubZero, GD YS-Six X

:vokey-small: 52, 56, and 60 wedges

:ping-small: B60 G5i putter

Right handed

Reston, Virginia

Link to post
Share on other sites

At Blackwolf Run, I'd have loved to play the original 18 in one go, but its now split between the two courses there.

 

They do still offer chances to play the original layout...I think it's usually during early spring or late in the season.

 

I got an email earlier this year with early season deals for PGA Championship volunteers at Kohler, and one of the options was to play the original championship course at Blackwolf Run. However, that was only offered until April 21.

What's In My  :nike-small: Xtreme Sport IV Carry Stand Bag:

:nike-small: Vapor Fly (9.5*) Driver

:cobra-small: Baffler XL 3 Wood

:taylormade-small: Burner Rescue 3 Hybrid

:cobra-small: F8 5 Hybrid

:taylormade-small: Burner Plus Irons (5-SW)

:cobra-small: Trusty Rusty 51* Wedge

:wilson_staff_small: 8862 Putter

:srixon-small: Q Star Tour Ball

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Me a my regular travel buds were planning to shoot for Kohler for our Sept./Oct. trip but we backed out this year. Various reasons. Yes, it's expensive and we travel to other expensive destinations so that wasn't the underlying factor. Mostly scheduling. Anyway.... I envy you playing there. Have you ever played the two courses a Blackwolf Run? We were going to. We had also planned to skip over to Erin Hills. Any experience there?

I used to caddie at Erin Hills and recently played the Straits course and the River course. Erin Hills is awesome. They have cleaned it up a lot since the US Amateur and, while it isn't as visually stunning as Whistling Straits, it is every bit as difficult. They moved very little dirt when crafting it, so it is visually intimidating. The closing stretch from 14 through 18 is awesome. I highly recommend it.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy mobile app

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have yet to play Blackwolf Run or Erin Hills. But both are on the bucket list, for sure.

 

I live about 30 minutes from Erin Hills, and I cannot wait to watch the US Open there next year!

I get the opportunity to volunteer there for the 2017 US Open. I'm pretty excited!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy mobile app

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

On my bucket list for sure. Hope to see a lot of pictures from the U.S. Open and Ryder Cup.

 

Sent from MyGolfSpy mobile

WITB:

 

Driver:   :cobra-small: F9 driver 9* stiff shaft 

FW Wood:   :cobra-small:  F9 wood 14.5* regular shaft

Hybrids:  :nike-small: Vapor Flex  3 hybrid regular shaft 

Irons:  :srixon-small: Z565 - 7 thru PW & ZU85 - 5 thru 6 with Recoil ZT9 F4 shafts                                            

Wedges:   :cleveland-small: RTX4 52*, 56*, 60* 

Putter:  Scotty Cameron M2 Newport

Ball:  :Snell: Black

Bag: 2015 Ogio Chamber Cart Bag & 2018 MyGolfSpy Stand Bag

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the biggest perks to volunteering at last year's PGA was that, if you finished all your shifts, you'd get first crack at volunteer opportunities for the 2020 Ryder Cup!

What's In My  :nike-small: Xtreme Sport IV Carry Stand Bag:

:nike-small: Vapor Fly (9.5*) Driver

:cobra-small: Baffler XL 3 Wood

:taylormade-small: Burner Rescue 3 Hybrid

:cobra-small: F8 5 Hybrid

:taylormade-small: Burner Plus Irons (5-SW)

:cobra-small: Trusty Rusty 51* Wedge

:wilson_staff_small: 8862 Putter

:srixon-small: Q Star Tour Ball

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great Pics Sroel908 and Sproutland.  Brings back fond memories.  Haven't played any of the courses in 9 years, but used to play them a lot.  Played Blackwolf Run, all three iterations, probably 20 times, the Straits about 6 times and Irish twice.  Clients loved to be entertained there and ex was a golf nut who wanted to celebrate anniversaries in Kohler.  Erin Hills wasn't built the last time I played golf up there.  Great, great golf experiences.  The most memorable was playing the Straits during the week of the Women's Open on Blackwolf Run.  The course hadn't opened yet, but one of my clients was an 18th hole sponsor of the Open and one of the perks was a pre opening round on the Straits.  Pete Dye and Herb Kohler were cruising around on a golf cart checking out the play.  The course opened the next week.  

  • Like 1

Nonchalant putts count the same as chalant putts.

In my Ogio Ozone XX Cart Stand Bag:

Ping G400 10.5 Deg Driver, stock Stiff shaft
TM Rocketballz 19 Deg 5 Wood, stock Matrix Osik Stiff shaft
TM Rocketballz Stage 2 21 Deg Tour 4 Hybrid, Rocketfuel 80h Stiff shaft 

Callaway Apex CF 16 Irons, 4-P, Stiff Shafts
 
Scor 48 and 55 degree wedges.  
Renegar 60 Deg Steel Shaft Lob Wedge

TM Ghost Spider Si 38" Counterbalanced Putter

Link to post
Share on other sites

Me a my regular travel buds were planning to shoot for Kohler for our Sept./Oct. trip but we backed out this year. Various reasons. Yes, it's expensive and we travel to other expensive destinations so that wasn't the underlying factor. Mostly scheduling. Anyway.... I envy you playing there. Have you ever played the two courses a Blackwolf Run? We were going to. We had also planned to skip over to Erin Hills. Any experience there?

Black wolf Run courses are super.  They are difficult so play the right tees so you can enjoy yourself instead of getting beat up.   

Link to post
Share on other sites

Black wolf Run courses are super. They are difficult so play the right tees so you can enjoy yourself instead of getting beat up.

This is very true.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy mobile app

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Love me some Wisconsin Golf. Used to play all 4 Kohler causes annually. And played 8 holes of Erin Hills the month it opened. It was walking only and they were working out of the Barn.

 

A downpour started and they rode out to get me off the course (I was the only one who had gone out that day) I'd love to go back and play the entire course, now that everything is finished.

  • Like 1

:titelist-small: TSi2 Kuro Kage 50g R Flex

:titelist-small: TSi2 16.5 FW with GD AD IZ 6 Shaft

:ping-small:  G410 FW 7 Alta CB R flex 

:ping-small: G410 Hybrid 26 degree Alta CB R Flex

:titelist-small: T100S/T200 Combo 5-7 T100S 8-P T200 TT Black Oynx R Flex

:titelist-small: SM7 54.08 F 58.12 K 

:ping-small: Heppler Tomcast 

:titelist-small: ProV1X Play number 12

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...