Whistling Straits (Straits) - Wisconsin - USA

Whistling Straits,
444 Highland Drive,
Kohler,
Wisconsin (WI) 53044,
USA


  • +1 800 618 5535

  • Michael Aschenbach

  • Pete Dye

  • Dirk Willis


Whistling Straits is set on the western edge of Lake Michigan, simply head for Destination Kohler. If you didn’t know the history behind Whistling Straits, you’d believe that the 560-acres of land had been shaped by the hands of time. But you’d be wrong. Whistling Straits was the vision of Herbert V. Kohler, Jnr. who transformed a former airfield into one of the most dramatic courses on the planet. Naturally, Pete Dye and his team of bulldozers were involved. The earth certainly moved here at Whistling Straits.

In 1998, the course opened for play and even Pete Dye felt that building Whistling Straits was a “once in a lifetime thing”. Architects are generally presented with uninspiring land and a tight budget; this was not the case at Destination Kohler. It took a few million dollars and a Herculean effort to build the incredible Straits course, which is sculpted for two miles alongside the Lake Michigan shoreline.

After the 2004 PGA Championship, the field were united in their view that this is one of the best golf courses in the world and it’s surely one of Vijay Singh’s favourites, especially after his play-off win. The PGA Championship returned to Whistling Straits in 2010 and it was Germany’s Martin Kaymer who lifted the title after a play-off win against Bubba Watson, claiming his first major and becoming only the second German major winner after Bernhard Langer. Dustin Johnson should have been the third man in that play-off but incurred a two-shot penalty for grounding his club in a bunker.

Jason Day bagged his first major title in 2015 winning the PGA title by three shots from Jordan Speith after carding a record score of 20 under par. We think the Straits course will only get better and by the time it plays host to the Ryder Cup in 2021 it will be considered a modern classic.

With an interesting figure of eight routing for both outward and inward nines, the layout is extremely well-balanced and utilises the natural elements to full effect There are far too many good and interesting holes to mention here. We’ll just close by saying that Whistling Straits is an architectural engineering work of art and it’s and absolute must-play course.

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for Whistling Straits (Straits)

Average Reviewers Score:
Description: If you didn’t know the history behind Whistling Straits, you’d believe that the 560-acres of land had been shaped by the hands of time. Rating: 8.7 out of 10 Reviews: 29
TaylorMade
jud tigerman
A very good course on a great piece of lakefront property. Great caddy program. A couple of weak holes and the price keep it out of the very top rank. For the money, you'd be better off driving another hour or so to play Lawsonia.
May 15, 2009
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Reddrop
Alright. Played Whistling Straits this past summer. I have to agree, Blackwolf Run is way better. The course is in way better shape, the holes are better sculpted. I think this course is way over rated. Sure, the views are great, if you're on the lake. With the exception of 10 and 18, the inland holes are mediocre. My biggest peeve would be the fariways. I had a couple lies in divots. There's WAY too much play here. And not the good kind of play, I mean the "lets take up half the day with our company golf outing" play. If there hadn't been a major championship here, I don't know if we would be talking about it.
January 10, 2009
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

David Davis
Had the honour of being invited to play the Straits course in the beginning of July. Must say it was certainly in perfect shape and we had warm, sunny but quite windy day. Now everyone is entitled to their opinion but to claim this course is not one of the world's best and would be simply ludicrous. From the Championship tees where we played it's tough as nails with many intimidating tee shot and very little margin for error without being punished on approaches. Several holes stick in my mind but #17 was visually quite intimidating on the day we played not too mention that it was playing about 220 yards with a 3 club wind in our face. In all this is an amazing course, extremely difficult and who cares if it's as links a course as the great courses in Ireland, Scotland and Britain. I absolutely love those courses as well but don't think anyone should be comparing them. Straits was man made in the 90's and not 1790's or 1890's. Course on another note indeed as they mention above, the top players in the world were in awe of the course. That says enough, play it along with the other courses there at Kohler, it's an amazing destination for a great holiday, American or not.
September 24, 2008
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

kelly conway
Played WS recently, and overall it was quite dissapointing.On the plus side, the views of Lake Michigan are beautiful and the holes (excepting 2 or 3 holes, including most notably 18) are quite good.I have several problems with WS. First the whole project is inauthentic...a completely manufactured links design on flat farmland. The fairways were in poor condition as growing and maintaining fescue grass in Wisconsin is difficult.Finally my round took an excrusiating 5.5 hours.
June 26, 2008
4 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

stewart
I think the truth about the Straits course lies somewhere between the previous comments. The Straits course certainly is not “a Standard American course made to look like it’s in Ireland”, nor does it “make Ballybunion look ordinary”. The Straits is the closest thing to a “true links” of any course I’ve played in the US. Most American courses that people call “links-like” are simply treeless courses with a lot of flat sand bunkers surrounded by well manicured mounds. That is NOT what the Straits course is about. I can tell you that many of the holes along Lake Michigan visually and viscerally reminded me of the 4th through 8th holes at Turnberry (Ailsa) or the 5th through 8th on Western Gailes, my two favorites. The Straits is not on a par with those courses, but it is not too far behind. The wind off the water, the mist in my face, the ruggedness of the rough and the overall look of the Straits course do make you feel like you could be looking out on the Firth of Clyde. There are many more bunkers on the Straits course and they are not the same style as found on the Scottish links I have played. Much of the bunkering on the Straits is just eye candy and doesn’t come into play. I was disappointed and at the same time amazed that the sand dunes, mounds and bunkers were all man made. They look as though they’ve been there for ages, as do the walking paths. Like a true links, part of the course’s defense is the wind. When the wind dies down the course was not that tough. For me, the main factor that differentiates this course form its Irish and Scottish brethren was the inability to run shots up to the greens despite the open fronts to most of them. This may have been due in part to heavy rains the night before I played. In any event, comparisons aside, this is a fun and challenging course with 18 picture postcard holes, including four tough par threes and a good mix of waterside and inland holes. It is a great test that requires focus and concentration on every shot.
May 09, 2008
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

JF Lane DVM
Outstanding course...I loved that you could only walk--NO CARTS--I do think that Arcadia Bluffs--across Lake Michigan is just slightly better. It seemed that you could play out of trouble @ AB. Whistling Straits was just to penial when you were in the junk. I understand its not supposed to be easy...but at least you could punch-out and get it back in play @ AB.The caddies and the club house were fantastic at the Straits. It made it a great unforgetable round...2nd best couse in the US that I have played.
February 06, 2008
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

bob
I like Blackwolf Run a bit better but the Staits course is a very good links style track. Pete Dye at his best. Too expensive. Arcadia Bluffs in Michigan is better by far.
February 17, 2007
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Chris
The previous reviewer must be having a laugh. Whistling Straits is nothing but a poor imitation of a proper links course, and certainly completely inferior to Ballybunion and probably another 20 to 30 "real" links courses in GB and Ireland. It might look nice, though even that is debatable, but it isn't a links course. It is a standard American course made to look like it is in Ireland.
October 25, 2006
4 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

John
Can’t believe I’m the first to write a review for the Straits. It’s a Pete Dye beauty and a real must play for any serious golf course nut. Don’t come here expecting to shoot low scores just relax and enjoy the scenery! Makes Ballybunion seem ordinary. Mecca for golf lovers.
October 15, 2006
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Response
Brian
October 28, 2006
The straits course is one of the most spectacular courses i have ever had the privilage to play on. The course is always in immaculate condition, and all of the staff is top notch. The club house is another amazing feat in itself. How they built all of the huge dunes and the thousands of sand trapps i will never know. And to go along with the straits course you have 5 other world class golf courses with in a half an hour of eachother ( Irish @whistling straits, both Black Wolf Run Courses, The Bull, and Erin Hills). The world class american club and spa are another reason to play and stay in the area. If you live in that area then there really would be no reason to golf any place else, except for maybe ireland. And as far as any one saying that this is just a poor immatation of a scottish links course, then they should take a look around the country and try to find a better example of a british isles course than this one.