Hole No. 18 is a tremendous 500-yard closing hole played to a clover-shaped green.
characterized as substantial.
Notably, the back portion of the green on the 181-yard third hole has been reshaped to create the illusion that the putting surface is suspended above Lake Michigan. Also, bentgrass green surrounds have been changed to fescue to more closely approximate true links conditions.
“Before they were bentgrass and they were a little soft,” Haigh says. “Now they’re fescue and they’re definitely more similar to what you’d find on a links course. Certainly, the course has the look, the wind and the water. So the look and feel is very links-like.”
The biggest changes involve the dramatic 500-yard par- 4 18th hole and the 355-yard par- 4 sixth.
On the former, a tremendous closing hole played to a clover-shaped green beneath the imposing Irish manor clubhouse, Dye created a risk-reward option with a ribbon-like landing area to the left of the main landing area. Golfers who can carry the ball 295 yards over an intimidating collection of waste bunkers are rewarded with a short-iron into the green.
“The stronger player has the option to try to drive the left-hand side of the fairway,” Kohler explains. “If he can drive it about 300 yards on the fly he can gain a tremendous advantage, and it will be very intriguing to see.”
And what would a Pete Dye course be without a smidgen of controversy? The
legendary golf course architect’s reshaped bunker in front of the sixth green is sure to have players talking, if not mumbling, at the 2010PGAChampionship. Dye
Vijay Singh led the way at the 2004 PGA Championship
Whistling Straits was
uncharacteristically docile the first two
days of the 2004 PGA Championship, due
to the absence of even the hint of a
breeze. Thirty-nine players
broke par in the first round,
Golfers playing Whistling Straits for the first time often try to duplicate Vijay Singh’s monstrous drive on the
53 in the second.
10th hole to start a three-hole playoff at the 2004 PGA Championship.
Occasionally, a big hitter will smash his ball up near the green, matching Singh’s drive, and puff out his chest — and then the caddie will point to the black tee some
But the course bared its fangs on the weekend and by Sunday the contenders were just trying to hang on.
Every player in the top 10 after 54 holes shot his highest score of the
50 yards behind them.
Oh, yeah. That’s where Singh teed off.
Championship in the final round.
Singh’s big drive on the 361-yard hole set up a five-foot birdie putt — his only birdie of the day — and he went on to win the playoff with Justin Leonard and Chris DiMarco.
Singh, Leonard and
DiMarco tied at 8-under
The combination of Whistling Straits and the best players in the world brought out people in record numbers in 2004, and fans sitting in the massive bleachers surrounding the ninth and 18th greens did the “wave” in a spontaneous display of enthusiasm.
280 after 72 holes.
The 2004 PGA
At age 41, Singh became the fourth-oldest to win the PGA Championship. His closing 76 was the highest final-round score by a major championship winner since Reg Whitcombe’s 78 at Royal St.
Championship ended a 71- year drought for men’s major championships in Wisconsin, one of the golf-craziest states in the nation
(ranked No. 2 in golfers per capita).
George’s in the 1938 British Open.
To put that in perspective, Arnold
Palmer was 4 years old when Gene
Sarazen won the 1933 PGA Championship at Blue Mound Golf & Country Club in suburban Milwaukee.
“I don’t think I was
ever more thrilled in
my life than to see
the gallery and the
way Wisconsin supported this
tournament,” says Pete Dye, who
designed Whistling Straits and three
other courses for the Kohler Co.
The encore is just one year away.