The Irish course at Whistling Straits: more player-friendly and you can play for free
Golfers hear the name “Whistling Straits” and immediately recall the 2004 PGA Championship and the upcoming Senior U.S. Open this July. But the Straits course is only half the fun here. There’s it’s near-equal little brother, the Irish course, which gives mid-handicappers a fighting chance.
I was in Kohler all of last week. I didn’t get a chance to blog much because I was spending the majority of my nights soaking in my jacuzzi at the American Club. There’s nary a bad shower head or jet to be found anywhere near Kohler for obvious reasons.
I must say, while the Straits course is jaw-dropping at every turn, I had more fun on the Irish course.
Don’t get me wrong, the Straits is special. But I like making pars. And I didn’t par a single hole after the 8th. That isn’t to say the course is impossible, but I just completely lost confidence after a few blown shots and big numbers. Then the last five holes on the back nine were into a moderately stiff wind. I wrote a blog about Royal Portrush possessing the ultimate Slicer’s nightmare. Well, I’m a hooker, and I met my match on the par-3 17th, and took probably five shots to get out of the deep abyss left of the green. It wasn’t a huge deal because I stopped keeping score after about 13. The group I paired up with on the back side seemed to run out of gas as well - but it didn’t stop them from going out to the Irish that afternoon.
The similarly Pete Dye-designed Irish course has wider landing zones and plenty of exciting holes in its own right. What’s even friendlier, it’s less than half the cost ($150) and those who book packages through the American Club, as fellow blogger Shanks pointed out, can get free replays on the Irish after playing the Straits (the same goes for the two courses at Blackwolf Run).
The Straits is a sight to behold in its own right, but the Irish is a true steal in Kohler. It’s far more than an overflow course.
Full reviews and features of Kohler will be coming over the next few weeks to WorldGolf.com
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I am some kind of psyched to get to Kohler in less than 2 weeks. All of my boys are getting antsy now too, calling me to check on last minute details. Nice info on the Irish. Great pic too!
Went right rough and bogeyed the 17th on Irish. As far as your comments on the 18th, I did find the second shot pretty tough (hit it too short and right), although I think repeat players benefit mightily on this hole.