Herb Kohler: 1939-2022
The Ryder Cup is saddened to hear of the death of Herb Kohler, who has passed away aged 83.
Graduating from Yale University with a degree in Industrial Administration Kohler was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Kohler Company in 1972, adding the title of President two years later – he would go on to serve the Kohler Company for 61 years.
He was an avid golf fan who was determined to put the county of Sheboygan, Wisconsin on the map as an internationally-renowned golfing destination.
In partnership with golf course designer Pete Dye, Kohler oversaw the construction of two courses at Blackwolf Run, in 1988 and 1990, with a composite layout used as host site for the 1998 U.S. Women’s Open and later the development of the Whistling Straits golf resort.
Whistling Straits was transformed from an abandoned airfield site into a world-class golf resort and Kohler’s crowning achievement came last year when the flagship Straits Course hosted the Ryder Cup, with the course also the venue for three men’s Major Championships to date.
Kohler also purchased the Old Course Hotel, which runs alongside the famous Road Hole on the Old Course at St Andrews, in 2004 and built The Duke’s Course, a heathland course situated on the outskirts of St Andrews.
He received numerous awards within the golf industry, including the Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and he was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 2019 for his services to the state through his work in golf, bringing a total of six Major Championships and golf’s greatest team competition to the region.
Kohler is survived by his wife Natalie, two daughters, Laura and Rachel, son David, and ten grandchildren.