Golfers’ Paradise: Wisconsin to host 2015 PGA Championship

    The best golfers in the world will return to Wisconsin in 2015 when the state hosts the PGA Championship, August 13-16 at Whistling Straits.

    It will be the third time that Whistling Straits, owned by the Kohler Company and located along Lake Michigan north of Sheboygan, will host the event. The PGA Championship was also held at Whistling Straits in 2004 and 2010. The course hosted the U.S. Senior Open in 2007 and will host the Ryder Cup in 2020.

    Whistling Straits is regularly rated one of the best golf courses in the world. The Straits Course at Whistling Straits is ranked #2 on Golf Digest’s latest list of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses.” The Irish Course at Whistling Straits ranks #39.

    Despite the state’s cold winter weather, Wisconsin has some of the best golf courses in the nation. In addition to Whistling Straits, several others make the Golf Digest “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses” list.

    Erin Hills ranks #10. Located on the undulating landscape of southwest Washington County, Erin Hills will host the 2017 U.S. Open. The course was also the site of the 2011 U.S. Amateur.

    The River Course at Blackwolf Run in Kohler ranks #14. The Meadow Valleys Course at Blackwolf Run ranks #62. Also owned by the Kohler Company, Blackwolf Run was the site of the 1998 and 2012 U.S. Women’s Open.

    The Bull in Sheboygan Falls, designed by Jack Nicklaus, ranks #77.

    Other top-notch golf courses in Wisconsin include: Milwaukee Country Club in River Hills, Blue Mound Golf & Country Club in Wauwatosa, Pine Hills Country Club in Sheboygan and the recently renovated SentryWorld Golf Course in Stevens Point, well-known for its “flower hole.”

    Excitement is building for yet another high-end golf development in Wisconsin. Mike Keiser, who developed the renowned Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon, is building a multi-course resort near Wisconsin Rapids. Sand Valley Golf Resort is being built on a 1,400-acre sand barren site, and could eventually have up to five courses. The first, which already is under construction and expected to open in spring 2017, will have 18 holes. Keiser has hired some of the best golf course architects in the world for Sand Valley. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw are designing the first one and David McLay Kidd the second.

    If the Sand Valley project is ultimately of similar quality to Bandon Dunes, Wisconsin’s status as a destination for first-rate golf will only grow.

    Not to be outdone by Keiser, Kohler Company is working on plans for another golf course, for a site along Lake Michigan south of Sheboygan.

    While all of the high-end championship caliber courses in the state grab so much attention, less-skilled golfers need not fret. There are more than 600 golf courses in the state, many owned by local public parks systems, providing suitable challenges for players of all skill levels.

    Whistling Straits with clubhouse.

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