Pete Dye gets into your head as soon as you step through the gates of the Whistling Straits golf course. You see the sign with the course logo so you know you are in the right place and then right on the road to the clubhouse … sand traps?
Being a golfer in Indianapolis means knowing a lot about the work of the late Carmelite, from Maple Creek to Crooked Stick to Brickyard Crossing. Dye started his Hall of Fame golf course empire in Circle City. But five hours north of Indy in Kohler, Wisconsin, home of the bathroom and kitchen fittings company, Dye is at its best.
Amazingly, the land on Whistling Straits that was to host the Ryder Cup that month was once flat farmland that sloped to the shores of Lake Michigan. In the 1940s and 1950s it was a military base with a runway in the middle. Somehow Dye looked at the surface and saw something else. It moved 3 million cubic feet of dirt and hauled 7,000 loads of sand to shape a hilly venue with about 1,000 bunkers and visual intimidation at every turn. You know it comes from this landscape at the entrance.
At least you don’t have to go it alone. The service on the street is impeccable (a second 18-hole course, the less scary Irishman, is also on site). Make use of the cozy locker room before meeting your caddy who is carrying your bag (and your psyche) for the day. Rest assured, when your best golf swing didn’t make the trip, the caddies have seen worse and worse.
The most popular option for this golf Mecca getaway is the three-day, four-round “dye abolical” package, which includes a round on all four Kohler courses (Blackwolf Run, which winds around the Sheboygan River, has an American Women’s event organized opening). For $ 2,000 per person in high season, opt to stay at The American Club, a historic five-diamond mansion-style hotel and great basement bar where golfers remember the game of the day and get ready for the next fight Prepare Pete Dye.
Jigger Ale brewed in Scotland is only poured in the Old Course Hotel in Scotland and in the clubhouses and hotel in Kohler.
Rainy day? Play Whistling Straits virtually on the Kohler Swing Studio golf simulators.
Spend a golf-free afternoon at the Kohler Design Center checking out 19 dream kitchens and bathrooms.