Sept. 21-26, 2021 Whistling Straits, Kohler, WI
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Whistling Straits

Biography

Architect: Pete and Alice Dye
Open, rugged and windswept terrain defines the walking-only, links-style Straits course sculpted along two miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. A masterpiece in the world of golf created by Pete Dye, The Straits at Whistling Straits® was ranked #3 in Golf Digest’s 2019/2020 America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses, #5 in GolfWeek’s 2018 Best Resort Courses, and #21 in Golf Digest’s 2019/2020 America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses.
71
Par
7,390
Yardage
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Whistling Straits Pics
Hole 1
4
Par
364
Yardage
1.png
"Outward Bound"

The first tee shot of a Ryder Cup will be nerve-wracking for every player. Most players will hit a fairway metal down the center of the fairway, leaving a short-iron approach. A tee shot down the left side flirts with a series of bunkers and dunes, while going right creates a longer approach from the rough. Players should favor the right center of the green to avoid deep bunkers short left and long. As players and spectators near the green, they’ll be treated with the first panoramic views of Lake Michigan.
Whistling Straits Pics
Hole 2
5
Par
593
Yardage
2.png
"Cross Country"

Long and slender, this hole requires two very long and very accurate shots to have a chance at eagle. But some players are sure to give it a try in an attempt to take an early lead in the match. No matter their strategy, the tee shot must be down the left side of the fairway to avoid a blind second shot. A deep pot bunker 35 yards short of the green presents a real obstacle for players going for it in two. Played as a three-shot hole, the approach is slightly uphill to a narrow green guarded by deep bunkers to the left and a large run-off swale to the right.
Whistling Straits Pics
Hole 3
3
Par
181
Yardage
3.png
"O' Man"

Players will want to favor the right side of this huge undulating green to avoid Lake Michigan, dunes and a series of deep bunkers to the left. Any shot landing on the right half of this green will move quickly left. The hole location will dramatically change club selection, even when winds are calm.

Whistling Straits Pics
Hole 4
4
Par
489
Yardage
4.png
"Glory"

A long, visually intimidating hole, with large mounding down the right side of the fairway makes the golfer think the smart play is to the left; however, most shots tend to bounce left toward bunkers and dunes that drop off quickly toward Lake Michigan. Approach shots require a middle to long iron into a slightly elevated green that hangs on the edge of lake bluffs. The right-center portion of the green is the smart target, with par not only a good score, but may often be good enough to win the hole in these matches.
Whistling Straits Pics
Hole 5
5
Par
603
Yardage
5.png
"Snake"

This will likely be a three-shot hole for most players. With a sharp S-shaped fairway, water runs along both the left and right sides. Anyone brave enough to try hitting their second shot to the green will be challenged by a long carry over water to a shallow green with no room for error short or left. The more conservative approach is to lay up down the fairway with a mid to long iron, leaving a more straight-on approach with a short iron.
Whistling Straits Pics
Hole 6
4
Par
355
Yardage
6.png
"Gremlin's Ear"

Tee placement and hole location will have a significant impact on how players play this short, yet sharp, dogleg-right par 4. If the tees are up and the hole location is on the left half of the putting surface, players will try driving the green with a cut shot that will follow a slope to the right. If the tees are back or the hole location is right, the smart play is a long iron for position and a short iron for accuracy. Either way, missing the green short or right leaves a difficult up-and-down from deep pot bunkers and fescue rough. Even though this hole comes early in the match, what happens here could have a significant impact on the outcome and will certainly be an exciting hole to view.
Whistling Straits Pics
Hole 7
3
Par
221
Yardage
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"Shipwreck"

This striking par 3 hugs Lake Michigan all the way along its right side, with a sharp drop-off to the shore line below. Besides the lake, this green is protected by bunkers all around the green, below the hole on the right and on a hillside to the left. The green is long, making club selection critical, and filled with subtle movement that will test both team’s putting skills.
Whistling Straits Pics
Hole 8
4
Par
507
Yardage
8.png
"On The Rocks"

Yards From the tee, the landing area is hidden, challenging players to keep their tee shots left to avoid a severe drop-off, dunes, bunkers and Lake Michigan on the right. The second shot is played with the water as a backdrop: A long iron may be required to reach a green guarded on the left by dunes and bunkers, and on the right by deep bunkers with a fall off to the lake. The green is long and deep, putting extra pressure on club selection to ensure finding the correct portion of the putting surface.
Whistling Straits Pics
Hole 9
4
Par
446
Yardage
9.png
"Down And Dirty"

A tee shot down the left side will tend to kick right. And if the ball finishes too far right, three large trees (the lone trees that come into play on the entire course) about 100 yards off the green may block the approach. Swirling winds will influence club selection from short to mid irons approaching a slightly hump-backed green. Seven Mile Creek and a series of narrow bunkers wind along the green’s right side, while the left is protected by dunes and bunkers.
Whistling Straits Pics
Hole 10
4
Par
361
Yardage
10.png
"Voyageur"

The aggressive play off the tee is a driver as close to the left edge of the fairway as possible, but not too far left or the ball will drop off into rough and bunkers. Playing to the right requires carrying a deep bunker about 240 yards out, followed by a wedge into the elevated green. Some players may try to drive the green, but they will have to avoid small, deep bunkers short-left and carry the steep hillside in front. Once on the green, players will likely be fooled by its many subtle breaks.
Whistling Straits Pics
Hole 11
4
Par
519
Yardage
11.png
"Sand Box"

Driver might seem to be the obvious choice off the tee, but players will have to be careful to favor the left side of the fairway because anything straying right will be swallowed by sand dunes, bunkers and a drop-off. The second shot must avoid a huge bunker on the left that extends about 100 yards from the green: This is the “sand box” for which the hole is named, more than 16 feet deep and presenting any player in it with a blind shot to the green.
Whistling Straits Pics
Hole 12
3
Par
143
Yardage
12.png
"Pop Up"

The shortest hole on the course features what’s probably the most difficult green to manage. Playing downhill to a very large, undulating green, a hole location to the back-right will prove especially daunting. But even a shot that hits the middle of the green could bounce or roll into deep bunkers. Short or right isn’t any better, with 40-foot drops into dunes and Lake Michigan. Players will be sweating every shot and this is a great hole to view for spectators and viewers alike.
Whistling Straits Pics
Hole 13
4
Par
404
Yardage
13.png
"Cliff Hanger"

This is another hole where tee and hole locations will have a significant effect on how players choose to play. If a player or team is in need of a birdie, they may hit driver and hope that it follows the slope, left to right, down to the front of the green. The more conservative play would be a fairway metal or a long iron favoring the left side of the fairway, followed by a short approach downhill to a narrow green hanging on a cliff above Lake Michigan. Any shot too far right will be lost to the steep bluffs above the lake.
Whistling Straits Pics
Hole 14
4
Par
396
Yardage
14.png
"Widow's Watch"

This is the last of the “short” par 4s on the course. Most players will hit a long-iron or fairway-metal off the tee looking for the right side of the fairway, which is guarded by an uninviting hillside thick with long fescue rough. Tee shots left could find a sizable bunker and force a blind approach. As on the previous hole, a player who wants—or needs—to be aggressive might try to hit driver over the bunker and fescue-grass mounds on the left side in hopes of hitting the large, undulating green. Anything other than on the green will leave a difficult attempt at saving par.
Whistling Straits Pics
Hole 15
4
Par
518
Yardage
15.png
"Grand Strand"

This hole begins what could arguably be the most difficult four-hole finishing stretch in golf. That said, this is a beautiful par 4 requiring power off the tee followed by an accurate long-iron approach. The tee shot should aim for the left side of the fairway to avoid sunken sand dunes to the right. The long approach has to carry over bunkers and dunes and find a large, undulating green heavily protected by bunkers to the left. A par here could easily win the hole, and don’t be surprised if many a match ends here.
Whistling Straits Pics
Hole 16
5
Par
552
Yardage
16.png
"Endless Bite"

The shortest of the par 5s will tempt most players to hit driver off the tee in hopes of giving them a chance to hit the green in two. But the fairway is hemmed in by bunkers on the right and a drop-off to Lake Michigan on the left. The long, uphill approach features a forced carry over dunes and bunkers that will cause many players to bail out right. From there, it’s a short wedge into an elevated green with nothing but the sky and Lake Michigan as the backdrop.
Whistling Straits Pics
Hole 17
3
Par
223
Yardage
17.png
"Pinched Nerve"

A par 3 that could only come from Pete Dye, even the best players in the world are sure to be intimidated. With a match or perhaps the Ryder Cup itself on the line, players must be careful not to miss left, where monstrous sand dunes and bunkers lurk 20 feet below. Not that the right is any more comforting, since a large, elevated dune starts 40 yards short of the green. Actually, playing over this bunker may well be the safest play, but straying just a little bit right will find a steep hillside loaded with bunkers.
Whistling Straits Pics
Hole 18
4
Par
515
Yardage
18.png
"Dyeabolical"

This is a challenging finishing hole where par is always a good score and very likely to win the hole. A well-struck tee shot down the right side will find the fairway and leave a mid- to long-iron approach. The more aggressive line down the left leaves a shorter approach but demands a carry of at least 300 yards over dunes and bunkers, and if it goes too far will leave a downhill lie. Seven Mile Creek guards the front of this huge green, which sits in a natural amphitheater sure to be filled with thousands of spectators awaiting every shot.
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