SentryWorld in Stevens Point to host 2023 U.S. Senior Open

Expected to bring 75,000 visitors, $20 million economic impact to region

The "Flower Hole" at SentryWorld golf course. Photo credit: SentryWorld

Last updated on February 12th, 2021 at 01:38 pm

SentryWorld golf course in Stevens Point will host the 2023 U.S. Senior Open, the United States Golf Association announced Wednesday.

The major championship, slated for June 29 to July 2, 2023, is expected to attract more than 75,000 and generate $20 million in economic impact to central Wisconsin.

It will be the third USGA championship held at SentryWorld since the public course was developed by Stevens Point-based Sentry Insurance in 1982. Most recently, SentryWorld played host to the 2019 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship. It also hosted the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in 1986.

“In hosting the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship in 2019, we set out to earn the right to land other major golf championships and we’re thrilled that we could do just that,” said Mike James, general manager of SentryWorld and vice president of Sentry Services. 

SentryWorld is one of several Wisconsin courses that have attracted major golf tournaments in recent years.

Whistling Straits hosted the PGA Championship three times and will host the 43rd Ryder Cup in September, after the event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Erin Hills was the site of the 2017 U.S. Open and will host the 2025 U.S. Women’s Open, as well as the 2022 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship with Blue Mound Golf & Country Club in Wauwatosa. Blackwolf Run hosted the 1998 and 2012 U.S. Women’s Opens.

According to the USGA, the 2023 U.S. Senior Open will be the 17th USGA championship held in Wisconsin.

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., SentryWorld’s 200-acre golf course is famous for its “Flower Hole” – with 33,000 petunias, snapdragons, marigolds, geraniums and other annuals surrounding the green for the par 3 16th hole and are treated as lateral hazards.

In 2013, the course underwent a major renovation led by architects Bruce Charlton and Jay Blasi.

“Golf is part of our DNA,” said Pete McPartland, chairman of the board, president and CEO for Stevens Point-based Sentry Insurance. “The camaraderie of play helps create the perfect environment for developing and building great relationships with our customers, business partners and the community. It’s why we built SentryWorld.”

SentryWorld includes a 51,000-square-foot field house, with indoor tennis and volleyball courts, golf practice facility and meeting space. The property also includes restaurants PJ’s – SentryWorld and Muse at Sentry as well as additional space for weddings and large events. A new 60-room boutique hotel, The Inn at SentryWorld, will open this summer near the course’s 18th fairway. The property is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is expected to reopen toward the end of the first quarter of this year.

During a virtual press conference Wednesday, Mike James said the new hotel will “play a big role” in fulfilling the accommodation needs for the 2023 event. During the tournament, The Inn will house corporate hospitality partners and, potentially, some of the participants as well as USGA personnel.

“The USGA is pleased to return to SentryWorld and the state of Wisconsin to conduct the most prestigious championship in senior golf,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director, championships. “We know that the region and community will enthusiastically support the U.S. Senior Open and that SentryWorld will provide a complete test for an international field competing for the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy.”

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Maredithe Meyer
Maredithe Meyer covers restaurants, retail, tourism, and sports and entertainment. She joined BizTimes in 2015, previously as an intern reporter. She earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 2017. When she's not on the job, Maredithe coaches field hockey and loves exploring her favorite city on earth, Milwaukee.

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