Whistling Straits (Straits)
Whistling Straits is one of two 36-hole links-style golf courses associated with The American Club, a luxury golf resort located near Kohler, Wisconsin, and owned by a subsidiary of the Kohler Company. The other is Blackwolf Run, west of the city of Sheboygan. 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 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. In 2020 the 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), with a stream running through the middle. Kohler Company CEO Herbert Kohler signed up Dye as 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.
Hiroshi Iwata holds the course record for the Straits Course with a 63 in the second round of the 2015 PGA Championship.