Straits Course Architect: Pete Dye (1998)
Year Opened: 1998
Location: Haven, Wisconsin
Slope: 146. Rating: 78.1
Par: 72
Yardage: 7,362
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 405 Yds    10 - Par 4 389 Yds
                      2 - Par 5 592 Yds    11 - Par 5 619 Yds
                      3 - Par 3 183 Yds    12 - Par 3 166 Yds
                      4 - Par 4 455 Yds    13 - Par 4 403 Yds
                      5 - Par 5 584 Yds    14 - Par 4 372 Yds
                      6 - Par 4 391 Yds    15 - Par 4 465 Yds
                      7 - Par 3 214 Yds    16 - Par 5 535 Yds
                      8 - Par 4 462 Yds    17 - Par 3 223 Yds
                      9 - Par 4 415 Yds    18 - Par 4 489 Yds
                      Par 36  3,701 Yds     Par 36  3,661 Yds

Key Events Held: PGA Club Professional Championship (1999),
                 PGA Championship (2004, 2010, 2015),
                 U.S. Senior Open Championship (2007),
                 Ryder Cup (2020).

Awards Won: Ranked #3 by Golf Magazine - Top 100 You Can Play (2008),
            Ranked #1 by Golf Magazine - Best Courses Near You (2008),
            Ranked #1 by Golf Digest - Best in State (WI) (2005-08),
            Ranked #24 by Golf Digest - Top 100 in America (2007-08),
            Ranked #1 by Travel + Leisure - Best Resort Course (2006-08),
            Ranked #1 by Golf Week - Best Public Access Courses (2006-08),
            America's Top Golf Courses - Zagat Survey (2006-08),
            Rated 5 Stars by Golf Digest - Best Places to Play (2002-08),
            Best Course in Midwest by Travel + Leisure Golf (2008),
            #3 by Golf Magazine - Top-50 Greatest Courses last 50 years (2009)

Irish Course Architect: Pete Dye (2000)
Year Opened: 2000
Location: Haven, Wisconsin
Slope: 142. Rating: 77.4
Par: 72
Yardage: 7,201
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 400 Yds    10 - Par 4 398 Yds
                      2 - Par 4 372 Yds    11 - Par 3 208 Yds
                      3 - Par 3 147 Yds    12 - Par 4 413 Yds
                      4 - Par 4 489 Yds    13 - Par 3 183 Yds
                      5 - Par 5 570 Yds    14 - Par 5 564 Yds
                      6 - Par 3 160 Yds    15 - Par 4 479 Yds
                      7 - Par 4 372 Yds    16 - Par 4 474 Yds
                      8 - Par 5 555 Yds    17 - Par 4 375 Yds
                      9 - Par 4 484 Yds    18 - Par 5 558 Yds
                      Par 36  3,549 Yds     Par 36  3,652 Yds

Key Events Held: Palmer Cup (2005).

Awards Won: Ranked #68 by Golf Magazine - Top 100 You Can Play (2008),
            Ranked #4 by Golf Magazine - Best Courses Near You (2008),
            Ranked #4 by Golf Digest - Best in State (WI) (2007-08),
            Ranked #1 by Travel + Leisure - Most Underrated Course (2006-08).
            Ranked #5 by Golf Week - Best Public Access Courses (2006-08).

Website: www.destinationKohler.com, www.akohlerexperience.com

HISTORY:  "I should  say this with some  degree of modesty. But in my lifetime
I've  never seen  anything like this. Anyplace. Period," commented Pete Dye in
the Spring of 1998, just prior to the opening of the Straits Course.

Dye  was given 560 acres of flat wasteland adjacent to one of the Great Lakes,
and  told  to design  the  impossible.  Wanting  to create  the  unimaginable,
visionary  and plumbing  magnate  Herbert V.  Kohler  enlisted legendary  golf
architect  Dye to  transform an old airfield into a golfing destination in the
middle of nowhere.

"Pete Dye has always made the most of the glorious possibilities that the land
affords.  He is nature's best collaborator and this time, he has truly outdone
himself," said Kohler on the completion of the course.

Located  on  the western  shore  of  Lake  Michigan,  Whistling Straits  is  a
technological  marvel. This  is what can happen when you're given two miles of
coastline and an unlimited budget, not to mention bulldozers and truckloads of
sand  and  plenty of imagination.  Think about  it, 13,126 truckloads of sand,
that's 800,000 cubic yards!

Lake  Michigan  actually comes into  play on eight holes,  and the water is in
full  view on the  entire course. In fact, it's like playing on the ocean. Dye
did  not hold back. He formed bluffs and massive sand dunes, in fact, the 15th
hole  has an  elevation change of 80 feet. Natural fescue adorns the fairways,
in-place  of  the usual  Bentgrass, and  the courses are  framed by over 1,000

To  create this  masterpiece into  a traditional,  links-style venue,  Dye and
Kohler  even added  stone bridges  and sheep.  That's right...sheep.  When the
course  opened, six Scottish Blackface sheep were brought in to meander freely
around  the courses, just  as they would have back in time, during the origins
of  the game. Currently,  well over 40 roam the courses throughout the day. In
fact, don't be surprised to see them walking the fairways with you during your

Offered  Kohler,  "The recreational result  is what you see here today...sandy
wastes which Pete and the winds have fashioned into magnificent dunes, knolls,
hollows,  and  gullies.  There  are glorious  elevated  tees;  broad  fairways
blanketed  with a  thick, close-growing  mixture of  fescue grasses.  Solitary
wind-warped trees and tumbling sandy cliffs add a severe, almost desolate kind
of  beauty.  The course  offers a  succession of  spectacular views, each more
remarkable  than the  last. The design of Whistling Straits pays homage to the
origins of the game." It seems Mr. Kohler was pleased with the result.

Just  one  year  after  opening,  the  Straits  Course  hosted  the  PGA  Club
Professional  Championship.  Jeff Freeman shot  rounds of 70-70-72-75 for a 1-
under-par  total of  287, as he defeated  three players by two shots. The real
winner  was  the golf  course, as the  Straits played to  a scoring average of
75.14.  For  the week, only six  players broke 70,  with the low round a five-
under-par  67 in  round two  by Terry  Mauney. Upon  completion of  the event,
Freeman  commented,  "This is a  great golf course that  Pete Dye has built. I
guess he doesn't want anyone to shoot low scores on it."

In  2004, Vijay Singh won his third career major, as he defeated Chris DiMarco
and  Justin Leonard in a playoff, as the Straits Course hosted its first major
championship,  the PGA  Championship. "What a great monster you created here,"
commented  Singh  after winning. "I  can't wait to  come back and play another
tournament here."

Two  shots back after  day one, Singh moved into first with a second-round 68,
tying  Leonard at  nine-under par. A third-round 69 gave Singh a one-shot lead
heading  into  the final day.  Paired with Leonard, Singh struggled throughout
the  round going out in three-over, as Leonard took the lead. With three holes
remaining,  the  1997 British Open  champ was two  ahead of Singh and DiMarco.
Leonard,  however, missed a  five-foot par putt on 16 and a 12-footer on 18 to
finish his round at 75 and regulation at 280.

DiMarco,  who was  the only player in  the field to post all four rounds under
par,  had a  chance for birdie and the  win on the last, but missed short from
12-feet.  DiMarco closed  with back-to-back 71s on the weekend to tie Leonard.
DiMarco  had moved into a tie with Leonard on the back-nine, however bogeys on
15  and 16  pushed him back. After  a string of eight consecutive pars, Singh,
who  had  34 putts the  final day, bogeyed  15, but was  able to par the final
three holes to join the playoff.

The  three-hole aggregate-score  playoff started on the 10th, and Singh wasted
no  time in  getting started,  nearly driving  the green  and making  his only
birdie of the day from six-feet. Both DiMarco and Leonard made par and trailed
by  gone.  On the par-three 17th,  Singh's three-iron finished five feet away,
however  the  Fijian was  unable to  convert and  his competitors remained one
behind  with respectable  pars. On the closing hole, Singh knocked his utility
wood  45 feet from  the hole, while both Leonard and DiMarco missed the green.
Singh completed the victory with a two-putt, as he tapped in from one foot for
his first major championship since the 2000 Masters.

The  Irish Course hosted the Palmer Cup in 2005, as the American squad knocked
off  the European  team,  18-6. The  event is  a  Ryder-Cup style  competition
between  collegiate  golfers from the United  States and Europe. The U.S. team
was  captained by  Buddy Alexander and featured current PGA Tour players, J.B.
Holmes  and Jeff  Overtone  and  Nationwide Tour  player  Spencer Levin.  Tied
heading  into the  eight singles matches, the Americans captured the first six
en route to victory.

The  United States  Golf Association  made its  first foray  into the  Straits
course  with the  2007  U.S. Senior  Open  Championship. In  one  of the  most
exciting  and  frustrating championships in  history, Brad Bryant completed an
improbable comeback to win by three shots over Ben Crenshaw.

Trailing  Tom Watson by five shots heading into the final round, Bryant carded
a  four-under 68, the low round of the day to overtake a struggling Watson and
win his first USGA Championship.

After opening with rounds of 70-66, Watson seemed in control, and even after a
third-round  73, Watson  still held a three stroke lead over Loren Roberts. In
Sunday's  final  round, Watson  reached nine  under par and  was four clear of
Bryant  and  five ahead of  Roberts with  just eight holes remaining. Watson's
game  began to  fall apart, as he double-bogeyed 11 and back-to-back bogeys on
12  and  13 saw his  lead disappear. Another double-bogey  on 15 and a closing
double  on 18  finished Watson, as he finished  with 43 on the back nine for a
six-over-par 78 to place fourth.

Crenshaw  started the final  day six shots back in 12th, but managed a closing
70  to  finish alone in second.  With winds gusting throughout the day, Bryant
was  one of only  two players to break 70, and the only player in the field to
post  all four rounds of par or better. It wasn't until the par-five 16th that
Bryant  took  the lead  with a two-foot  birdie. Bryant, who  led the field in
greens  in regulation all  week, knocked his tee shot to six feet at the 17th.
He  missed  the birdie try,  but tapped  in for par.  At the 18th, Bryant two-
putted from about 30 feet to close out the win.

Once again the course proved to be very difficult, especially the closing 18th
that  played to a  scoring average of 4.589 with just 23 birdies. Overall, the
Straits  course  scoring average was 75.828,  with 16 of 18 holes playing over
par for the championship.

It  comes  as no surprise  that the  PGA of America  will make return trips to
Whistling  Straits in  2010 and 2015 for  the PGA Championship and in 2020 for
the Ryder Cup. The world will be watching.

REVIEW:  STRAITS COURSE -  Bending from right to left, the opening hole on the
Straits Course gives the player his first glimpse of mighty Lake Michigan, not
to  mention the myriad bunkers strewn across the course. Hitting to the right-
center  fairway, avoiding  the dunes and bunkers, will leave the best angle of
approach  to a  well-guarded green. The 31-yard-long putting surface is fairly
benign,  but missing  right and long will leave a difficult up-and-down from a
shaved  chipping  area. Oh, and by  the way, the  hole can be stretched to 491

The  second longest  hole on the course,  the par-five second is a robust 592-
yard monster, nicknamed Cross Country. By now, the player has figured out that
missing  fairways  on the  Straits Course  will prove to  be hazardous to your
score. With bunkers running up and down both sides of the landing area, you'll
need  to be spot on with your tee ball. This three-shot hole requires an adept
layup,  especially the  closer you  get to  the hole,  as the  fairway narrows
dramatically.  Your third  will be slightly uphill to a narrow green with deep
bunkers below the hole to the left and a runoff swale to the right.

The first of four outstanding par threes that run alongside Lake Michigan, the
third  is all  carry  over sand  and  dunes to  one of  the  longest and  most
undulating greens on the course. Miss left and you'll end up swimming with the
fishes. When the wind is up and the pin is back-left, watch out.

Rated  as  the hardest hole on  the course, the fourth  is a par four that can
play  as short as 348 yards and as long as 500. Hanging above the lake, you'll
need  to bust  a drive down the right-center, avoiding the disaster that looms
below.  A  long iron  or fairway  metal will  be required  to reach a slightly
elevated  green that  stands perched above the water. Make par here and you're
better than most.

Aptly  called the Snake, the fifth, which moves inland, wraps around water and
dunes as it plays west towards Kohler, then north to Green Bay and west again.
A  big  tee shot  can set up  a possible chance  to get  home in two, but very
risky, as water fronts the putting surface. Laying up is no bargain either, as
the  landing  area is  quite  narrow,  with water  left  and  dunes right.  If
successful,  just a  wedge will  remain  to the  long and  narrow green.  Very
tempting, but use your head.

One  of only three par fours under 400 yards, the sixth is a dogleg right that
requires  pinpoint  accuracy. Three-metal is  a nice play  off the tee, but be
wary of the pot bunker on the left side of the fairway. Any shot missed to the
right  off the tee  will result in a difficult lie in either sand or scrub and
trust  me, the  scrub is horrible. Your second  will be just a wedge to a very
undulating and narrow green that runs left to right. Miss short and you'll end
up in one of several deep pot bunkers.

Back along the shoreline of Lake Michigan, the seventh is a beautifully framed
par  three  that reaches 214  yards. There's no crime  in bailing out left, as
playing  from the  beach is no picnic.  A dozen or so bunkers protect the left
side of the green, which is 42 paces in length. A back-right pin with the wind
howling makes this one of the most feared holes on the course.

With  the waves  crashing along the shoreline, you'll have a hard time staying
focused  on the  task at hand, carrying  a couple of hundred yards of sand and
waste  area  to reach the  landing area on  the 462-yard eighth. Several dozen
bunkers dot the landscape on this par four, not to mention the severe drop-off
towards the water on the right. Playing slightly downhill towards the green, a
mid-iron  should  suffice, depending  of course  on the  pin placement of this
whopping  47-yard-long  putting surface.  The tiered green  runs from front to
back and may be difficult to hold when the pin is back.

The  closing hole  on the  front  nine heads  back towards  the clubhouse  and
requires  a tee  ball struck towards the  left side of the fairway, as it will
kick  towards the  right. Too far down  the right might leave a blocked second
shot  due to a tall tree at the 100-yard mark. Just a short iron should remain
for  your downhill  approach to  another  well-guarded green.  Sand dunes  and
bunkers  on  the  left, and  Seven  Mile  Creek  on  the right,  make  for  an
intimidating target.

Playing uphill from tee to green, an aggressive play with driver should be the
club of choice on the short, par-four 10th. A deep fairway bunker looms larger
than  life  in the center  of the  landing area, but  with driver in hand, you
should  be able  to clear disaster. The  club to the green is quite severe and
might  require  a little  extra zest  to reach  the plateau.  Only 28 paces in
length,  the  putting surface is  quite slick from back  to front and any shot
short of the green will run back down the fairway.

From short to long, the 11th is the Grande Dame at the Straits and garners the
name  "Sand  Box." Try adding up  the bunkers up  and around this par five and
you'll  lose count. The drop-off to the right can spell doom, so play down the
left  side  and make this a  true three-shot hole. Although it narrows towards
the  green,  a layup down  the right will leave  around 100 yards in. Slightly
uphill  to  an elevated putting surface,  you'll need to be quite accurate, as
the  green is just 23 paces and surrounded by a shaved swale. As if the length
of the hole wasn't hard enough.

Back along the water, the par-three 12th is the shortest and probably the most
difficult  to  attack, despite  the length  of the green.  Just 166 yards, the
greenskeeper  can make  mice out  of men  on this  gem. With  the multi-tiered
putting surface perched above the water, the man in charge can be really cruel
with  a back-right pin, where there's just a few yards of space. A drop-off of
40 feet to Lake Michigan will snare plenty of balls that are just off line, so
play to the fat of the green and trust your putter.

One  of  the few modest  holes on the  course, the 13th  is just 403 yards and
bends to the right towards the green. Plenty of fairway and rough to the left,
so  if you must  bail out that's the play, as another severe drop to the right
will  end up  in the sandy dunes or  worse, "The Lake." A short iron should be
the  club  of choice to  the downhill green that  sits incredibly close to the
water. The narrow putting surface features several humps and bumps as it cants
to the right. At second glance, not that easy, is it?

The sharp, dogleg-left 14th requires brain not brawn in an attempt to conquer.
Fairway  metal or  long iron  off the  tee  should set  up a  very short  iron
approach to the slightly elevated green. Miss left off the tee and you'll have
a  sandy, blind  approach, while a right  mistake can leave an awkward lie off
the  dunes. The putting  surface is long and undulating as it slopes from back
to front. This hole can be had, but you need to be precise.

The  15th starts  a final stretch to the clubhouse of spectacular proportions.
Maxing  out at 518 yards, this par four -- yes, par four -- is very awkward to
the  eye,  as you must  adjust your  line of sight  to the fairway towards the
left.  Even with a mammoth blast, you'll need a fairway metal or more to reach
the green. Sand surrounds most of the S-shaped landing area, so pick your line
and  go with...you  know. There's nothing to  be ashamed of making a bogey, at
least  that's  what I keep telling  myself. When Vijay Singh captured the 2004
PGA  Championship, he  made two pars and  two bogeys, as the hole proved to be
the most difficult for the week, averaging 4.35 shots.

The  final par  five with  a real  chance to  yield a  birdie, the  16th is  a
reachable 535-yarder that finishes overlooking Lake Michigan. An ample fairway
for  mere mortals,  the landing  area tightens  for the  big hitters  in their
attempt  to get home in two. With sand dunes and the dropoff towards the water
lurking  left,  you would be  wise to hit the  fairway. Your second shot plays
slightly  uphill  to the  green or  if you're laying  up, a  tight finger of a
fairway.  The putting  surface  is  long and  elevated,  making your  approach
difficult to get close.

Difficult,  demanding,  intimidating and downright beautiful, that's what's in
store  as you stand  on the tee of the 17th. The longest and most difficult of
the  par  threes, this  sensational one-shotter  requires cojones! Hugging the
Lake  Michigan coastline,  you'll need to bust  anywhere from a long iron to a
driver  depending  upon the  conditions. The  30-40 foot  dropoff is enough to
shake  any player's  confidence. The putting surface is large enough where you
can  bail to the  right, but a back-left pin can be daunting. How tough is the
17th?  During the  2004 PGA Championship, the hole played to a scoring average
of  3.1438  with just  20 birdies in  four rounds. Although  he tied for 68th,
Robert Gamez aced the hole they call "Pinched Nerve" in round two with a five-

What's  in  a name?  How about  the closing  hole on  the Straits Course being
called  "Dyeabolical." At  500 yards from the  back tee, your only hope is for
the  wind  to be at your  back. Another big drive  is needed just to reach the
fairway  to have any shot at getting home in regulation. Sandy brush and dunes
are  in full  view down the left  side, so play out toward the right, elevated
fairway.  If you  fail to accomplish this  task, you have an option of playing
left  to a  new landing area or right  to an adjacent fairway (I went left). A
long  iron or fairway metal will remain to a humongous green that sits down in
a  bowl fronting the clubhouse. With a forced carry over sand, scrub and Seven
Mile Creek, you might want to take an extra stick to better your chances. Both
DiMarco  and  Leonard had chances to  win in 2004  on the final hole, but both
missed putts, while Singh parred the last in regulation and in the playoff for
the title.

IRISH  COURSE - If  you think playing the Irish Course is a step down from the
Straits,  you're sorely  mistaken. You'll certainly find this out on the first
tee,  as the opening hole plays 400 yards long and uphill through the green. A
generous fairway gets you started on the right track, but you'll need an extra
club  or two  to reach the angled  left green. A half-dozen deep bunkers guard
the  left side of the putting surface, which stretches 34 paces. Watch out for
a  back-left  pin. If  that's the case,  play towards the  right and trust the
short game.

A  beautiful, dogleg-left par four, the second requires smarts, not brawn, off
the  tee. Wrapped around a lake and just 372 yards long, this gem needs just a
fairway  metal or hybrid off the tee to set up an easy approach to a wide, but
narrow,  green. The undulating putting surface is protected in front by a pair
of  bunkers,  while one deep trap  lurks in the  rear. When the weather is up,
this hole can be a real test.

Although the third is rated as the easiest on the course, don't be lulled into
a  false-sense of  security. The  green is  wide and  fronted by  water and  a
railroad-tie  bunker  made famous by the  designer that stretches of 35 yards.
Despite  its short  distance, you need to  be spot-on or you'll find plenty of

Easily  one of  the most  difficult holes  on the  course, the  fourth is  the
longest  par four  on the Irish, a  whopping 489 yards. Doglegging hard to the
left,  the key  is a tee shot that  must draw from right to left, avoiding the
huge  waste-area  trap that runs  down the entire left  side of the fairway. A
mid-to-long  iron will  remain to a very small target, protected by sand dunes
left  and an enormous trap right. The putting surface is slick, two-tiered and
runs from back to front. This monster is aptly named "Sandbanks."

Temptation  could  certainly replace "Devil's Elbow"  as the name for the par-
five  fifth. From the  back tees on this dogleg right, the big hitters will be
chomping  at the bit to cut the corner in efforts to reach in two. The problem
is  two-fold, as  a huge,  waste-area-styled bunker  guards the  dogleg, while
further  right are  thick brush and deep  trees. The smart player will go down
the  left side  of the  fairway and  then  layup short  of the  creek bed  and
crossing  bunker. The  split landing area can be reached, but its narrow strip
makes  for a difficult target. The green is very long and undulating with sand
covering the entire left side. Watch out, this might be a day at the beach you
didn't want.

One  of my favorite par threes on the course, the sixth reminds me of the 10th
at Prairie Dunes in Kansas. This stellar hole is completely surrounded by sand
and  dunes, making it  an island green. The putting surface is quiet and could
produce a possible deuce, that is of course if you hit the green.

The  short,  dogleg right seventh  can be a  birdie or double-bogey waiting to
happen,  depending  upon your tee  shot. Just 372 yards  in length, the key is
hitting  the  rolling, wide fairway. For  the big hitters, three-metal or less
works  best, but for us mortals, a driver can suffice. Your approach shot with
a short iron is slightly uphill to a kidney-shaped green. Avoid the right side
of  the hole,  as a creek and  trees will swallow up anything close. Of course
the deep pot bunker, short-left is no bargain either.

The  eighth  is more of  a three-shotter than most  par fives, as this monster
requires  strategy and finesse. Your tee shot must carry almost 200 yards just
to  reach  the landing  area and  needs to be  placed down  the left side. Two
humongous  bunkers down  the right  sit  well below  the fairway  and must  be
avoided.  Your second  shot, playing  slightly  uphill, must  clear the  ever-
present  creek to  reach the layup zone. Two fairway traps around the 100-yard
mark  will dictate the approach. Your third shot is straight uphill to a slim,
slick  green that runs  hard to the front and is guarded by sand short. Making
birdie won't be easy, neither will par.

Another  double-carry hole, the ninth is another monster par four of 484 yards
in  length.  From the back  tees you'll need a  howitzer to carry the crossing
creek  to the upper fairway! The lower landing area is accessible, but it will
leave  a  longer second  to a  long and  difficult target.  Not only will your
approach  be  over 200 yards,  but you'll have to  splice your shot in between
trees and over the creek once again. A rarity on the Irish, this hole features
the least amount of sand on the course, but plenty of trouble.

Playing  straight uphill, the 10th swings slightly to the left and plays every
bit  of its modest 398 yards. Use driver and play down the right, avoiding the
severe  drop-off  on the left,  not to mention sand  and thick rough. A medium
iron  should  remain to  an elevated green  that allows only  a glimpse of the
flag.  Remember, take an  extra stick to get home or you'll roll back down the
fairway.  The putting  surface is  long  and slick,  so be  careful. The  best
offense is a good defense.

Another  sensational  par three, the  11th can reach  208 yards from the black
buttons.  Sand covers the entire right side of the monstrous green, the second
longest  on the course  at 49 paces. So you would figure with all this trouble
right,  that  missing left  would be  an OK bailout.  Wrong. Two deep bunkers,
hidden  by  mounding, lurk  in the distance.  The traps are  so deep that even
Shaquille O'Neal couldn't see out of them. Even hitting the putting surface is
no guarantee of par. Take what you can get and move on.

The  only  hole on  the course  without sand coming  into play,  the 12th is a
modest,  straightaway par  four. The fairway is very generous and sloping from
right  to left. Try to stay on the right side for the best angle to the green.
The putting surface is long and lean and guarded on the left by a deep, grassy

The final par three on the course is the 183-yard 13th. This beaute features a
50-yard-long  green  that's partially  hidden on the  right. Tall mounding and
bunkers  in  the rear provide  an excellent target,  but are hazardous to your
score.  It's  all carry  to the  green, so  get the  correct yardage from your
caddie  and  let it  rip. At  14,000 square  feet, you'll  see plenty of three

From  the back  tees, you'll need to  carry your drive over 200 yards to reach
the  fairway,  otherwise, a huge  waste-area bunker,  which also runs down the
left,  will snare your errant shot. It's risky and highly unlikely that you'll
reach  this  par five in two,  as the hole  plays uphill from the fairway. The
prudent play would be down the right side, which will leave a 100-yard shot to
the  green.  Be mindful of the  creek that runs  along the left and splits the
landing  area. Your third will be to an elevated green fronted by numerous pot
bunkers.  The  blind putting surface  features a  great backdrop. Rumor has it
that Dye buried a bus and train cars underneath mounds and mounds of dirt.

Again,  Dye has  saved the best -- or  what some would say, the hardest -- for
last.  Starting with  the rugged,  dogleg-right  15th, this  stretch of  holes
rivals  the Straits  Course. At 479 yards, this par four requires another long
carry over grassland just to reach the fairway. Playing left is the safe move,
however  this  will leave  a very long  approach to a  lengthy green. From the
right,  you'll  need to carry more  dense rough and several bunkers that front
the  angled green.  A  back-right  pin can  be  dastardly,  especially with  a
freshened wind.

Playing uphill to the fairway, the 16th is another long par four that features
water  lining the left side, not in view from the tee. The right is no walk in
the  park  either, as rough  and scrub brush make  for a difficult second. The
fairway  falls  off hard to the  right as you  near the green into a cavernous
bunker,  and a deep pot bunker guards the putting surface on the left, so your
choices  are  minimal. The  green is quite  slick from left  to right, so stay
below the hole for your best chance at par.

Although  the 17th is one of the shorter par fours on the course, it certainly
will  test your  mettle. With a lake to  the left and sand dunes to the right,
you'll  have to be  spot on with your tee shot or double-bogey is brought into
the  equation. Fairway  metal or hybrid off  the tee might the best play, even
though the landing area is generous. Your approach from the fairway must cross
the corner of the water to reach the narrow green. It makes for a pretty site,
but six on the scorecard never looks good.

Heading  for home, the 18th is another tough test -- this time, a 558-yard par
five.  The tee  shot is a long carry  over water to a big fairway with sand on
the  right.  Left side of the  fairway will give  you the best option for your
second.  You'll have to  decide wether to layup short of the crossing creek or
try to clear with a 200-yard-plus approach. The smart choice is an iron to the
bottom of the fairway, leaving an uphill shot at the elevated green. Trying to
clear  the hazard  will leave  a  difficult and  blind approach  to the  large
putting surface. Careful not to miss left of the short grass, as a deep bunker
awaits  well below the  green. Any shot short and right will run back down the
fairway, as the incline is steep.

FINAL  WORD: I  look back at my  experience at Whistling Straits and get goose
bumps.  Playing two of  the best courses in the country, on Lake Michigan with
spectacular  views, being  treated like a movie star and walking where some of
the greats of the game have crossed, is a once-in-a-lifetime encounter.

First  of all,  we have to start  with The American Club, a three-story, three
wing  resort  with guest  rooms and  suites totaling 237  and more than 21,000
square  feet of  conference  space.  The brilliant  red  brick throughout  the
buildings  and  the slate roofs  give this Tudor-style structure its wonderful
character.  The  dining is first-cabin,  including the Immigrant Restaurant, a
AAA Four Diamond Award establishment for 17 straight years.

But  the  real jewels  of Kohler  are the two  phenomenal courses at Whistling
Straits.  Some have called the Straits Course as "Ireland on steroids." I have
yet  to travel to  The Emerald Isle, but if it's anything like the Straits and
Irish courses, than I'm in for a real treat.

Most  people talk about  the final holes at a course being some of the best on
the  layout, but with the Straits, the entire venue is as good as it gets. The
walking-only  course  on  the  shore  of  Lake  Michigan  is,  in  a  word,  a

Framed  by  massive sand dunes and  bluffs, the Straits Course offers views of
the  lake on all  18 holes, with eight holes snug up against the great body of
water.  The  greens are  massive at 7,500  square feet and  with more than 500
bunkers and even more sand dunes, you're in for the ride of your life.

Caddies  are  required on  the  Straits  and  with  the course  stretching  to
almost  7,700  yards,  you'll  walk  approximately  5  miles.  Now  don't  get
discouraged,  there  are five sets of  tees starting at 5,400 yards, so choose
the correct color and you'll have the time of your life.

The  Irish Course is a wonderful complement to the Straits. Not as long as its
partner,  the Irish also boasts five sets of tees, ranging from 5,100 to 7,200
yards  and yes, plenty of sand. Almost 2,000 trees were planted on the course,
and although Lake Michigan is in view on five holes, it never comes into play.
The  Irish  does feature plenty of  water hazards, in fact, four streams snake
through the course, not to mention a 10 1/2 acre lake on 16 and 17.

"The  challenge for  me was  to create  a second  18-hole course  at Whistling
Straits  that  would be comparable to  the first course, not just a complement
but of equal stature," said Dye.

Walking  is preferred  on the Irish, however carts are available for those who
like  cart-path only. Golf is a traditional game, so trust me when I tell you,
take  a caddie on  both courses, you'll be glad you did. The greens are not as
large  as  the Straits  at 7,000 square  feet, however the  13th hole boasts a
whopping 14,500 square foot putting surface.

The  caddie program at Whistling Straits is something special. Each incredibly
knowledgeable  about the courses, yardage, greens and after a couple of holes,
your  game.  What I really enjoyed  was the fact  that our caddie was right on
with  the  reading of the  greens, the history of  the courses and his genuine
honesty  and kindness. Just ask for Brian Everatz the next time you venture to
Kohler, trust me, he'll only add to the experience.

Most  clubhouses nowadays  are these massive 21st-century structures that look
out  of place,  but not at Whistling Straits. Modestly designed, the clubhouse
fits  the landscape to a "T". A farmhouse if you will, stationed above the 9th
and 18th holes of the Straits Course, with remarkable views of Lake Michigan.

The  two-story  structure features  a full-stocked  pro shop  for both men and
women, a dining facility with sumptuous fare (the Kobe Sliders are amazing), a
second  floor bar and  lounge and a complete locker room. Let's not forget the
five  fireplaces strewn about and the rich dark, inviting colors that give the
clubhouse its wonderful charm.

Although  not as  expensive as  Pebble Beach,  Whistling Straits  is a  pricey
ticket.  At $330  for greens fees, another  $60 for the caddie, not to mention
tip  and a few sundries in the pro shop, you're looking at $500 for a round of
golf. So what? It's worth every penny and then some.

Bring  your friends, bring the wives, heck, go by yourself, you'll be glad you
did. This one is a must destination for all parties concerned.

I  will always  remember walking  36 holes  with my  buddy Dave  one glorious,
August day at Whistling Straits. One of my finest days on a golf course, ever!