Whistling Straits

As the legacy and stature of the championship courses of Blackwolf Run® quickly began to grow, the demand for play continued to outstrip supply at Destination Kohler. So Herb Kohler began a quest to construct another golf venue – something very different from Blackwolf Run.

“I wanted another kind of environment. Something on Lake Michigan, and something that was true to the origins of golf,” said Herb Kohler. He saw the potential for championship courses in an unlikely spot. Located nine miles northeast of The American Club along two miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, the land he chose was pancake flat and had previously been an airport, an Army anti-aircraft training facility and the proposed site of a nuclear power plant. It wasn’t much to look at, until Herb Kohler asked Pete Dye to transform this flat piece of land into a seaside links course. “Make it look like Ireland,” he said.

With a vision of keeping it wild and unkempt, the pair set to work. Pete Dye hauled in 13,126 truckloads of sand – 800,000 cubic yards – to create dunes, hills and fescue grass fairways. What emerged is a world-class course with endless views of Lake Michigan and challenges galore. In true Irish countryside style, it even features grazing Scottish Blackface ewes.

Today, professionals and novices alike travel from far and wide to take on the heralded masterpiece carved into the Wisconsin coastline.