8 Reasons to visit Kohler before the 2020 Ryder Cup

Great golf—plus, a whole lot more!

8 Reasons to visit Kohler before the 2020 Ryder Cup

Kohler: An unlikely Cup host

Next September, the eyes of the golf world will focus on Kohler, Wisconsin when the Ryder Cup comes to town. The Straits course at Whistling Straits will be the first public track to host the biennial competition in America since 1991, giving the 2020 Cup a different feel. In addition, the tiny village of Kohler, population 2,000, is situated 150 miles from Chicago. By contrast, recent and upcoming Cup sites are just 30 miles from major cosmopolitan cities—Paris (2018), Rome (2022), and New York (2024). While in Kohler, poke around the shops, experience its charming Midwestern vibe, visit an art gallery, take a tour of the factory, or swing by the Kohler Design Center.

Play at a major championship venue

The Straits course is primed for the bright lights of a global tournament. Again. It hosted the PGA Championship in 2004, 2010 and 2015, plus the 2007 U.S. Senior Open. With eight breathtaking holes stretched along Lake Michigan’s shoreline, the Straits provides a stout challenge for the U.S. and European Ryder Cup teams. Even better? The course will remain open for public play until two weeks prior to the event.  

Experience 4 highly ranked public courses 

Kohler’s a bucket-list destination for golfers. The Straits is the headliner among four wonderful daily-fee layouts—two at Whistling Straits and another pair down the road at Blackwolf Run, which hosted the U.S. Women’s Open in 1998 and 2012. The four standouts are among Golfweek’s Top 200 Resort Courses in America: Whistling Straits, Straits Course (No. 5); Blackwolf Run, River (No. 24); Whistling Straits, Irish (No. 42); and Blackwolf Run, Meadow Valleys (No. 109).

Hall-of-Fame course architect Pete Dye built these gems

In 1998, Kohler Co. Chairman and CEO Herb Kohler, Jr. hired legendary designer, Pete Dye, to construct courses with the feel and playability of seaside golf in the British Isles. Besides the Straits, beautiful dunes, fescue grass and streams make the Irish Course a can’t-miss attraction. The two courses combined feature more than 1,000 bunkers. At Blackwolf Run, the inland tracks make golfers feel like they’re in a nature preserve, with tree-lined holes, mounding, and meandering water hazards.

Fun to play

All four layouts are challenging (particularly in the breeze), visually intimidating but fair. They’re fun to play, offer beautiful scenery, and require good course-management skills. They have some idiosyncrasies as well: A pair of bridges at Blackwolf Run was originally flatbed railroad cars, while a flock of Scottish Blackface sheep roams the Straits during golf season (they spend the winter at an off-site farm). Each course has a minimum of five tee boxes. Don’t be a hero and play the tips. Instead, try a set of markers forward from what you’re accustomed. You can always move back. Players must take caddies at The Straits. Caddies and carts are available at the other courses.

World-Class hotel and spa 

There’s more to terrific golf experiences than rounds played. At Kohler, guests can stay at The American Club, a AAA five-diamond hotel, and dine on scrumptious Midwestern beef and local cheeses. Golfers can also unwind and rejuvenate at the Forbes five-star Kohler Waters Spa, located steps from the hotel. Indulgences like massages, hydrotherapy treatments and bathing experiences get you feeling your best. 

Easy to get to 

Tucked along Lake Michigan in eastern Wisconsin, Kohler is accessible from larger ports of call. The resort property is situated two-and-a-half hours from Chicago, one hour north of Milwaukee and one hour south of Green Bay. 

Great deals

Kohler offers several attractive stay-and-play packages, including “Golf Kohler” (3-days/2-nights with three 18-hole rounds per person) and “Dye-Abolical” (4-days/3-nights, four rounds). Click HERE for 2020 rates. Consider a visit during “shoulder” season. The resort might be less busy than peak times, the courses are in good shape, and guests can save a few bucks. (Kohler’s next shoulder season is May 8-June 4, 2020). 

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