Whistling Straits, US

Whistling Straits has hosted several PGA championships and will host the 2020 Ryder Cup. It is a 2 hour drive from Chicago which is where I flew into during my visit to the course. I played the course during the month of september and even though it was cold I had really nice weather.

entrance sign to Whistling Straits

Due to frost the range opened just before my tee time, so I only hit a few balls before heading out.

driving range Whistling straits
Nice driving range with a few greens to hit towards
the golf course

I had the first tee time and I was out on my own with a caddie at 07:50.

1st hole Whistling straits
Hole 1, par 4

I played from the green tee 6600 yards. The opening hole is a slight dogleg right to left and 370 yards. There is bunkers on the right hand side which is where I ended up with my tee shot. Second shot came up short and an opening bogey.

Hole 2 Whistling straits
Hole 2, par 5

Second hole is a par 5 that is reachable with a good drive.

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Approach shot to 2nd hole

I managed to find the fairway and the green was within range. My second shot was in the green side bunker and resulted in a par.

nice view at hole 2 Whistling straits
2nd green

It is a beautiful setting and a good birdie opportunity if you can get the ball around the green in 2 shots.

3rd hole Whistling straits
Hole 3, par 3

The 3rd hole at Whistling straits is really well designed. Here you get a feel for the course architecture. There are small bunkers all over the course and as you can see even on this short par 3. Many of them are not really in play, but just gives a certain character to the course which is nice. I played a 9 iron and had a decent birdie opportunity which was missed.

view of 3rd green Whistling straits
Looked back up the 3rd hole
Whistling straits 4th hole
Hole 4, par 4

A 414 yard par 4 where a good drive gets rewarded. The fairway opens up around 250 yards from the tee. With it being slightly downhill it gives you a significantly shorter approach shot. My caddie was really good and gave perfect directions on holes like this. My drive was good and left me with a short approach shot to the green.

view of green 4th hole
4th green

My birdie putt just lipped out……

long par 5
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Hole 5 par 5

This a maybe one of the few holes that are a bit out of character compared to rest of the course. You go a bit inland and there is water on both sides on the fairway. Very long hitters can probably carry some of the water but for me it was just playing safe down the middle of the fairway.

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approach to 5th hole

The green was out of reach for me on the 2 second shot, but either way it is a difficult approach with all the water surrounding the green.

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Hole 6, par 4

A short par 4 and one the fairways I missed where the green is difficult to hit from the rough.

Whistling straits 6
6th green

The green is slightly elevated with run off on all most parts. I came from the rough a got a flyer that was way long. Resulted in a bogey and just showed how easy a bogey can come on the card. I was driving the ball well, but one missed fairway was enough.

Whistling straits shelter
Little shelter for bad weather conditions. There was very little wind when I played, but I am pretty sure it can be a tough challenge if the wind is strong and it rains.
Whistling straits 7
Hole 7, par 3

7th is a good looking par 3 where the wind was straight into. I took an extra club as it was still a light wind, but came up short. Didnt manage to save par.

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Hole 8, par 4

8th hole is a beautiful par 4 running along the water and with a green close to the edge.

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Hole 9, par 4

A narrow tee shot and according to my caddie the fairway has gradually been cut more narrow over time to make the hole more difficult.

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9th green with well placed bunkers around the green
the back nine
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10th hole, par 4

Uphill par 4 with probably the most generous fairway on the course.

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Small bunker in the fairway on 10th

The line from the caddie was this bunker and that gives a good angle to the green. I had 80m to the pin, but I was slightly long and a managed to 2 putt for a par.

whistling straits 11
Hole 11, par 5

A good par 5 with a huge bunker by the green that you really want to avoid – bit like hell bunker on Old Course St. Andrews. I couldn’t reach the green in 2 due to my drive being in the rough. Had a good birdie chance, but 2 putted for par.

difficult par 3
whistling straits 12
Hole 12, par 3

A short but difficult par 3. The toughest pin is on the little portion of the right hand side green. However this pin position was still difficult to get it close due to the elevation on the green. I hit 2 balls and one just right of the pin which leaves a tricky putt and one short right. Short right is preferable for the ease of putting.

whistling straits 13
Hole 13, par 4

I hit a perfect drive and had a wedge to green. Hit a really poor shot that bounced in the water right. Double bogey, which was really unnecessary when you have a short iron to a green like this.

whistling straits 14
Hole 14, par 4

A dogleg left and relatively short hole. I hit a driver and had 80m to the pin.

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14th green
whistling straits 15
Hole 15, par 4

A serious par 4 that requires a couple of good shots. I hit a poor tee shot left of the fairway that ended up way down left as it slopes away from you. Had a decent lie and only wedge to the green. Missed the green and made bogey.

whistling straits 16
Hole 16, par 5

A reachable par 5 if you hit the fairway. I missed my second shot to the green, but still got a par.

best par 3
whistling straits 17
Hole 17, par 3

A fantastic par 3 hole and visually intimidating. The lack of wind makes this hole much easier and it was a 7 iron for me.

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17th green

As you can see the miss is right and the green is bigger that it looks from the tee.

a challenging hole
whistling straits 18
Hole 18, par 4

One of my favourite finishing holes. A really tough par 4. I had 240m to the end of the fairway and unfortunately didn’t quite realize that going long is absolutely not an option.

whistling straits approach to 18th
Approach to 18th hole Whistling straits
whistling straits 19
18th green

I ended up in a little strip of sand at the end of the fairway which was lucky as it would have been a drop if it had gone any further. I managed to get up close to the green but made bogey. A difficult but great finishing hole.

my experience

Whistling Straits was a great experience. I shot a 79 which I was happy with even though the double on 13 was a big mistake. On the other hand I drove the ball really well which meant that I wasnt really in trouble. The conditions where fantastic with fast greens, perfect fairways and great weather. It is one the more expensive green fees, but well worth it.

my score

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1 thought on “Whistling Straits, US

  1. i think WS is the best course ever made and i never even been there. great job

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