Last updated on September 22nd, 2021 at 02:48 pm
The 43rd Ryder Cup is finally here, and the stage has been set at Kohler Co.’s Whistling Straits in Sheboygan County.
The biennial men’s pro golf competition officially kicks off Friday, with practice rounds starting today. On-site planning and preparation has now been underway for more than two years. The event was originally scheduled for Sept. 22 to 27, 2020, but the PGA was forced to push it back a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ryder Cup pits the 12 best golfers from the U.S. against the 12 best from Europe in three days of match play competition, featuring foursomes, fourball and singles matches. As one of the biggest spectacles in sports, the Ryder Cup is known for lively crowds that are far more enthusiastic than typical golf tournaments.
Despite the lingering threat of the COVID-19 delta variant, organizers are expecting full attendance, or 45,000 people at the course each day. That’s not to mention nearly 350 members of the U.S. and European media on site, with an additional 300 media covering the event remotely. The event will have an estimated economic impact of $135 million on the region and 27 hours of television coverage reaching 160 countries.
Over the past few weeks, Whistling Straits has been transformed into somewhat of a miniature city, with more than 1 million square feet of hospitality tents, corporate chalets and spectator platforms constructed throughout the 560-acre property.
Activity at the course has been building gradually leading up to the event. The U.S. team, led by Wisconsin’s own Steve Stricker arrived at Whistling Straits on Sept. 13 and the European team arrived yesterday. The 60,0000-square-foot Ryder Cup Shops opened its doors last Friday and were open to the public through Monday.