Surely Pete Dye knows how to count, but even he would have a hard time adding up all the bunkers at this PGA Championship venue he built on the shores of Lake Michigan. The legendary architect manufactured a layout that truly has an amazing links feel, without homes or any signs of the modern world. Every hole is spacious and well cordoned from adjacent holes, but you'll have to deal with strong winds off the water. Greens are large and contoured, making for a fair scoring opportunity, but if you miss them be prepared for a significant challenge. Every shot has an element of visual intimidation while simultaneously offering refreshingly distracting views of the shoreline. Many unique lies are possible, which most golfers can have difficulty with (rugged bunkers, mounds, fescue, etc). Golfers should not expect to play their handicap here! But enjoy a great experience, especially on the 17th, a long par 3 teetering on the Edge of the water with a bunker 25 feet below the left side of the green. It's hard to fathom that this course is in Wisconsin and not in Scotland or Ireland. It's very expensive, but worth paying to play at least once.
A landscape of dunes lines the entrance to a Pete Dye effort that transformed the flat farmland of Wisconsin into the links landscape reminiscent of Scotland (or Ireland in this case). Great attention is paid to even/detail here, including an unbelievable piece of property shared with the more high-profile Straits Course, the only distractions being the random breathtaking views of Lake Michigan. The layout winds its way in a variety of directions, absorbing every angle of the prevailing winds. It's all very intimidating visually, with excellent use of mounds and bunkers to challenge every shot. Some of the water features seem to be borderline unfair, notably when they force an extreme lay up or require an exceptional carry shot. But ultimately this is a good course that has flawlessly manicured Bent grass tees, greens, and fairways. Bunkers and mounds will add strokes to your score anytime you miss a fairway or green. This is another one of-a-kind golf experience, much like any of the Kohler properties. This very original design begs to be played again and again. A bratwurst and beer is the standard local fare, but the clubhouse restaurant did receive the 2009 Wine Spectator magazine's Award of Excellence.