Happy Ryder Cup week, fellow golfers! The three-year wait is finally over. This week we will see the United States’ best golfers battle it out against the top European players at The Straits – Whistling Straits’ flagship course nestled along the Wisconsin shoreline of Lake Michigan.
The decades-long rivalry, the heckling fans, the aging European team with Westwood making his 11th Ryder Cup appearance and Garcia his 10th, the much younger American team with six rookies, and a beast of a links course – the style playing to the advantage of the Europeans, the length to that of the Americans.
Unless you’re Brooks Koepka, who seemingly doesn’t get excited about anything other than Major Championships, what’s there not to get excited about?!
Since we’re all links course aficionados, a bit more on the golf course. Referred to as “an imitation Ballybunion” by Golf Digest, Whistling Straits is heavily inspired by traditional Irish links courses. The Pete Dye masterpiece boasts over 1,000 bunkers, but zero rakes. Not always easily identifiable – recall the 2010 PGA Championship drama when Dustin Johnson forfeited a one-shot lead on the 72nd hole after grounding his club in what he missed to see as a sand trap – bunkers range in size from just a few square feet to a 300-yard beach-like stretch along the par-5 fifth. Playing just under 7,400 yards, with relatively small greens, intimidating tee shots and lots of high rough, Whistling Straits will undoubtedly be a tough test of the game.
Although we mostly organize trips to the origins of links golf, occasionally we will put together a domestic package, and when we do, it almost always includes Whistling Straits. Wisconsin is the perfect summer golf destination where within relatively short driving distances you will find an abundance of great golf to fill an itinerary. For a short trip, we suggest flying into Milwaukee, playing 2017 U.S. Open host course Erin Hills on arrival day, then making your way over to Kohler for Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run. If you have more than just a few days to escape, consider heading to Nekoose next, to play Sand Valley and Mammoth Dunes. In addition to top-notch 18-hole courses, both Blackwolf Run and Sand Valley have a par-3 course – no better way to settle any unresolved bets.
If a golf trip to Wisconsin sounds like a great idea for next year, I hate to disappoint but availability at Sand Valley and Kohler has been running low for weeks, and with the excitement surrounding the Ryder Cup, we expect tee sheets and resort availability to be completely sold out in no-time. But if you’re thinking 2023, now’s a good time to reach out to one of our Golf Travel Advisors.
Born and raised in Europe myself, I am happy to call the U.S. my home but will always cheer on the European team during the Ryder Cup. As such, I can’t leave you without sharing my very biased prediction. I am convinced that “The Postman will deliver,” and we will see a runaway victory from the European team. But don’t fret, with three days of great links golf on TV we all win at least a little bit!
For advice on 2022 trips – visit our suggestions page here.
If you are thinking about a 2023 trip, now is the time to reach out! Due to 2022 availability challenges, many groups have pushed their travel plans back a year. Because of this, we expect the 2023 season to sell out much earlier than anticipated.
For more information on 2022 or 2023 golf trips, email us at [email protected].
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