Whistling Straits

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Whistling Straits
Clubhouse during 2010 PGA Championship
Club information
LocationTown of Mosel, at Haven,
Sheboygan County, Wisconsin
Established1998, 23 years ago
Owned byKohler Company
Operated byThe American Club
Total holes36
Tournaments hostedPGA Championship
(2004, 2010, 2015)
U.S. Senior Open (2007),
Ryder Cup (2021)
WebsiteWhistling Straits
Straits Course
Designed byPete and Alice Dye
Length7,790 yards (7,123 m)
Course rating77.2
Slope rating152[1]
Irish Course
Designed byPete and Alice Dye
Length7,201 yards (6,585 m)
Course rating75.6
Slope rating146
11 Fairway on the Straits Course
Aerial view

Whistling Straits is one of two 36-hole links-style golf courses associated with The American Club, a luxury golf resort located near Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and owned by a subsidiary of the Kohler Company. The other is Blackwolf Run, south of Kohler Village. The Whistling Straits complex is located north of Sheboygan, in the unincorporated community of Haven in the Town of Mosel in Sheboygan County. Although the Whistling Straits courses are located in Haven, the promotional and postal address is Kohler, site of The American Club.

The courses at Whistling Straits (and Blackwolf Run) were designed by Pete and Alice Dye.

Straits Course[edit]

The Straits Course is the flagship course at Whistling Straits. As of 2012, it had a length of 7,790 yards (7,123 m) and a par of 72. It 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 course hosted the PGA Championship for a third time in 2015 with Jason Day winning three shots better than Jordan Spieth. The 2021 Ryder Cup will be held on the course.

The Straits Course replicates the ancient seaside links courses of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Nestled along a two-mile (3 km) stretch of Lake Michigan, the course has eight holes hugging the lake, a flock of Scottish Blackface sheep, elevation changes of approximately 80 feet (24 m), and three stone bridges. It has vast rolling greens, deep pot bunkers, grass-topped dunes and winds that sweep in off the lake. Being a coastal links-style course, there are few large trees or woods on the course. The course is open and exposed to the wind and elements.

Before the course was built, the property was an abandoned airfield called Camp Haven (1949–1959),[2] with a stream running through the middle. Wisconsin Electric purchased the property in the 1970s and attempted to build the Haven Nuclear Power Plant on the property, but its construction was opposed by local residents and Wisconsin Power & Light (Sheboygan County's major electric utility), and the company never built the plant. It then sold the property in Kohler Company in the early 1990s.

Kohler Company CEO Herbert Kohler hired Dye to be the course architect. During construction, the original landscape of the Straits Course was covered with about 800,000 cubic yards (610,000 m3) of dirt and sand.[3]

Hiroshi Iwata holds the course record for the Straits Course with a 63 in the second round of the 2015 PGA Championship.

Irish Course[edit]

The second course at Whistling Straits is the Irish Course, an inland grass-and-dune layout. It is a par-72 course that features 7,201 yards (6,585 m) of golf from the longest tees, with a course rating of 75.6 and a slope rating of 146. Also designed by Pete Dye, it opened for play in 2000.[4] The course record of 67 was shot by Mike Frechette in 2007 and then matched by Garret Buckley at the 2014 Whistling Straits Intercollegiate.

View of Lake Michigan from the Irish Course

Major tournaments hosted[edit]

Year Tournament Winner Score Margin of
Runner(s)-up Winner's
share ($)
2004 PGA Championship Fiji Vijay Singh 280 (−8) Playoff United States Justin Leonard
United States Chris DiMarco
2007 U.S. Senior Open United States Brad Bryant 282 (−6) 3 strokes United States Ben Crenshaw 470,000
2010 PGA Championship Germany Martin Kaymer 277 (−11) Playoff United States Bubba Watson 1,350,000
2015 PGA Championship Australia Jason Day 268 (−20) 3 strokes United States Jordan Spieth 1,800,000
2021 Ryder Cup TBD Not applicable

Course layout[edit]

Straits Course[edit]

Hole Name Yards Par Hole Name Yards Par
1 Outward Bound 408 4 10 Voyageur 361 4
2 Cross Country 593 5 11 Sand Box 563 5
3 O' Man 181 3 12 Pop Up 143 3
4 Glory 489 4 13 Cliff Hanger 404 4
5 Snake 603 5 14 Widow's Watch 397 4
6 Gremlin's Ear 355 4 15 Grand Strand 518 4
7 Shipwreck 221 3 16 Endless Bite 569 5
8 On the Rocks 507 4 17 Pinched Nerve 223 3
9 Down and Dirty 446 4 18 Dyeabolical 520 4
Out 3,803 36 In 3,698 36
Source:[5][6] Total 7,501 72

Previous course lengths for major championships:

Irish Course[edit]

Hole Name Yards Par Hole Name Yards Par
1 High Ground 400 4 10 Shepherd's Post 398 4
2 Giants Leap 372 4 11 Lamp Chop 208 3
3 Sleeper 147 3 12 Highland Trek 413 4
4 Sandbanks 489 4 13 Blind Man's Bluff 183 3
5 Devil's Elbow 570 5 14 Tullamore Dew 564 5
6 Mulligan's Watch 160 3 15 Frog Water 479 4
7 Troll 372 4 16 Deep Dye 474 4
8 Garden Creek 555 5 17 Irish Mist 375 4
9 Last Gaspe 484 4 18 Black and Tan 558 5
Out 3,549 36 In 3,652 36
Source:[5][6] Total 7,201 72


  1. ^ "Course Rating and Slope Database: Whistling Straits: Straits Course". USGA. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  2. ^ "Mead Library Information on Camp Haven".
  3. ^ Camp Haven history, accessed December 2019.
  4. ^ http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/188489-whistling-straits-irish-course-haven-wi/
  5. ^ a b "PGA Championship: course tour". PGA of America. 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "The Straits, hole-by-hole". Whistling Straits. Retrieved August 11, 2014.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°51′04″N 87°44′06″W / 43.851°N 87.735°W / 43.851; -87.735