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just back from erin hills and kohler


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#1 Mikolar

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Posted 13 September 2016 - 08:34 PM

Trying to escape the Texas heat, my wife and I just returned from a week in Wisconsin -- our first time for golf in the state.   Stayed in Milwaukee for two days and then headed up to Erin Hills and Kohler -- other than a small bit of rain, everything was great -- even the MOMA in Milwaukee with the flying wings.  

We played the first six holes at Erin Hills in a light rain but the next 12 in 70-degree sunshine.  Played the blue tees and it was a long 7000.   I thought the course was just great...the routing, the fact that the hole was always right in front of you and perhaps because of the wet ground, the premium placed on second shots into greens.  Four par 5's and I was told the USGA will keep them as par 5's so par will be 72 for the Open.    We played the 18th at 630 yards and there was another tee 40 yards in back of us.  

The course was in great shape and our caddies were super.  They said that the course will close at the end of the month and won't open for anyone other than tour practice rounds, until after the tournament next year.  
I can't say how much I liked the course and could easily play it every day.   The par 3, 9th was really hard our day -- 154 distance but a club and a half of wind right to left.   #10 was an uphill 470 par 4.   #14 was the shortest par 5, but uphill into the wind with a false front on the right that took my ball 50 yards back off the green.    
Just hoping the USGA doesn't screw things up next summer.  I'm told there are a bunch of other good courses in the area and with Kohler and Sand Valley now, I might really start liking cheese curds.  

The Straits at Kohler was everything everyone has ever said about it.   It seemed that almost every shot was hard.  Only complaint was that I couldn't seem to keep my ball in front of me.  I had eight or nine fairway and greenside sand shots and only once had a lie where my feet and the ball were close to the same plane.  

And finally at Blackwolf Run River, I had read many other posts on the holes there.   The course was also great -- pretty, but a little wet.   From the blue tees, the par 3's were long and two or three tee shots asked you to trust there was a fairway out there -- you really couldn't see much of one.  

I'd read the criticisms on #13 and #17 but found those holes to be really special and fun.  As our caddie said, #13 was just a little dogleg par 3.   Played 225 into the wind and from the back two tees, you had to hit a bit of a draw over the river to go between and around the trees fronting the green.  From the front and ladies tees, a slight fade needed to be hit.  I thought it was cool, but then again, I started liking cheese curds by the end of our trip.


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#2 exgolfpro

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 02:29 PM

My wife and I first made this same trip 4 years ago, and we have gone back every summer....usually around July 4th weekend.  

Erin Hills is my favorite golf course on the planet.  Fair and hard, but not penalizing.  You use every club in the bag and they have a variety of long and short par 3's and 4's.  Just a great day of golf.

My second favorite course is a toss up between The Straits and Blackwolf Run-River.  I grew up on tree lined courses, so BWR fits my eye.  The Straits is such a scenic course with the lake off of almost every hole.

If you go back, try The Bull at Pinehurst Farms.  It is just 3-4 miles from Blackwolf Run.  And the cheese curds at The Horse and Plow are awesome.

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#3 BLIZZAKE7

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 03:17 PM

cheese curds are great

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#4 is76550

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 03:34 PM

I'm jealous! I tried to schedule the same trip but there were no tee times at Erin Hills before the end of the season when I could get up there. Hoping to go next year after the open.
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#5 Mikolar

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 08:13 PM

The H&P's cheese curds were by far the best we found.    And thanks for the note on the Bull.  I'm already talking about a guys trip there next summer and we would need three or four course options.


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#6 ode1

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 08:42 PM

Lol.....cheese curds, gotta love deep fried cheese.

If you add the bull into the mix of erin hills, straights, and river.....you are playing 4 tough courses!

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#7 TK3

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 02:11 PM

Played all the Kohler Courses and Erin Hills in late May.  Had great weather except for 30 of rain on the Meadows' course.  All the Kohler courses were great, if not awesome.  Great caddies, fantastic conditions and we got the Spring package deal.

Erin Hills was amazing.  I can't wait to see how the pros will tackle this behemoth.  Course plays VERY LONG.  We played the Blues as well and the 7000 yards seemed like 8000+.

The PGA players better be in walking shape...
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#8 Pinhy

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 07:09 PM

To those that are thinking of going back this summer, see my thread "http://www.golfwrx.c...f#entry15574816 .

Let me know if you are planning to be up there in July.  I'm thinking 4th of July week.

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#9 tiderider

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 08:14 PM

i played it last year at the end of may ... i had not seen this thread, but disagree that #13 is "fun" ... ---- pete dye ... did enjoy erin hills thoroughly ... straits is very good, just gets to be annoying with all the faux irish feel and the endless sea of bunkers that have no bearing on a hole ...

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#10 zer0

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 03:50 PM

nice, but next time you come to Wisconsin you gotta check out the best course in the state, Lawsonia which is located in Green Lake, about 1.5 hours NW of Milwaukee.  Goflweek ranks it as the 2nd best public course in the state behind on Whistling Straits, but IMO its a much better course than WS unless you judge a course solely by how pretty the lake looks.

And here is the best part....Lawsonia only costs $95 at peak.

Mike Davis, head of USGA, played it 2 weeks ago and said Lawsonia had some of the best greens he'd ever seen.


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#11 40Creeks

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 04:32 PM

 tiderider, on 27 May 2017 - 08:14 PM, said:

i played it last year at the end of may ... i had not seen this thread, but disagree that #13 is "fun" ... ---- pete dye ... did enjoy erin hills thoroughly ... straits is very good, just gets to be annoying with all the faux irish feel and the endless sea of bunkers that have no bearing on a hole ...

C'mon Rider. A dogleg par 3 that forces golfers to actually play a shot, rather than point A to point B is brilliant. It's kind of like building a course on Kiawah Island with Atlantic gusts and having greens where you can't run the ball up. Pete Dye is a ----in' genius.

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#12 tiderider

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 07:45 PM

Posted Image

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#13 OverdoseofSatisfaction

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 03:19 PM

I played Kohler in early May 2017. Despite challenging conditions, I enjoyed all 4 courses. I would rank my favorites as Straits-River-Meadows-Irish. Definitely the best golf I've had the opportunity to play. I'd return in a heartbeat.
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#14 exgolfpro

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 04:13 PM

 OverdoseofSatisfaction, on 31 May 2017 - 03:19 PM, said:

I played Kohler in early May 2017. Despite challenging conditions, I enjoyed all 4 courses. I would rank my favorites as Straits-River-Meadows-Irish. Definitely the best golf I've had the opportunity to play. I'd return in a heartbeat.

Love it up there.  In about 4 weeks, we are returning for our fifth straight summer vacation up there.  I've played all the courses multiple times.  The only change to your order, for me would be River-Straits-Meadows-Irish.  For some reason, the woodsy look of The River course just fits my eye.

FWIW, I have never played Lawsonia, but thanks to guys on this board always bragging about it, I am stopping there first on our trip north.

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#15 gotaholen1

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 08:20 AM

 zer0, on 30 May 2017 - 03:50 PM, said:

nice, but next time you come to Wisconsin you gotta check out the best course in the state, Lawsonia which is located in Green Lake, about 1.5 hours NW of Milwaukee.  Goflweek ranks it as the 2nd best public course in the state behind on Whistling Straits, but IMO its a much better course than WS unless you judge a course solely by how pretty the lake looks.

And here is the best part....Lawsonia only costs $95 at peak.

Mike Davis, head of USGA, played it 2 weeks ago and said Lawsonia had some of the best greens he'd ever seen.

Thanks for this.  Going to play Lawsonia on my way to Door County.


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#16 Mikolar

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 10:43 AM

I just saw this thread again after several months and its funny -- the other night we were talking about special golf holes and 13 at BWR was first on my mind.  Texas BBQ was a close second.

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#17 PuttCurseRepeat

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 10:57 AM

 zer0, on 30 May 2017 - 03:50 PM, said:

nice, but next time you come to Wisconsin you gotta check out the best course in the state, Lawsonia which is located in Green Lake, about 1.5 hours NW of Milwaukee.  Goflweek ranks it as the 2nd best public course in the state behind on Whistling Straits, but IMO its a much better course than WS unless you judge a course solely by how pretty the lake looks.

And here is the best part....Lawsonia only costs $95 at peak.

Mike Davis, head of USGA, played it 2 weeks ago and said Lawsonia had some of the best greens he'd ever seen.

I texted this post to the friends I'm going up there with in a week. I've got the hype game going on!

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#18 Stinger26

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 01:37 PM

 Mikolar, on 13 September 2016 - 08:34 PM, said:

Trying to escape the Texas heat, my wife and I just returned from a week in Wisconsin -- our first time for golf in the state.   Stayed in Milwaukee for two days and then headed up to Erin Hills and Kohler -- other than a small bit of rain, everything was great -- even the MOMA in Milwaukee with the flying wings.  

We played the first six holes at Erin Hills in a light rain but the next 12 in 70-degree sunshine.  Played the blue tees and it was a long 7000.   I thought the course was just great...the routing, the fact that the hole was always right in front of you and perhaps because of the wet ground, the premium placed on second shots into greens.  Four par 5's and I was told the USGA will keep them as par 5's so par will be 72 for the Open. We played the 18th at 630 yards and there was another tee 40 yards in back of us.  

The course was in great shape and our caddies were super.  They said that the course will close at the end of the month and won't open for anyone other than tour practice rounds, until after the tournament next year.  
I can't say how much I liked the course and could easily play it every day.   The par 3, 9th was really hard our day -- 154 distance but a club and a half of wind right to left.   #10 was an uphill 470 par 4.   #14 was the shortest par 5, but uphill into the wind with a false front on the right that took my ball 50 yards back off the green.
Just hoping the USGA doesn't screw things up next summer.  I'm told there are a bunch of other good courses in the area and with Kohler and Sand Valley now, I might really start liking cheese curds.  

The Straits at Kohler was everything everyone has ever said about it.   It seemed that almost every shot was hard.  Only complaint was that I couldn't seem to keep my ball in front of me.  I had eight or nine fairway and greenside sand shots and only once had a lie where my feet and the ball were close to the same plane.  

And finally at Blackwolf Run River, I had read many other posts on the holes there.   The course was also great -- pretty, but a little wet.   From the blue tees, the par 3's were long and two or three tee shots asked you to trust there was a fairway out there -- you really couldn't see much of one.  

I'd read the criticisms on #13 and #17 but found those holes to be really special and fun.  As our caddie said, #13 was just a little dogleg par 3.   Played 225 into the wind and from the back two tees, you had to hit a bit of a draw over the river to go between and around the trees fronting the green.  From the front and ladies tees, a slight fade needed to be hit.  I thought it was cool, but then again, I started liking cheese curds by the end of our trip.
What did you pay last year? I'm playing there in July and will be forking up over 300 with a caddie.
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#19 Mikolar

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 04:21 PM

I was a bit surprised by prices at Erin Hills -- seems like it was $275/person and the caddie carried two bags.  

At WS, it seems like we paid 275 or so and $175 at BWR.

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#20 Pinhy

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 09:43 PM

 Stinger26, on 01 June 2017 - 01:37 PM, said:

]What did you pay last year? I'm playing there in July and will be forking up over 300 with a caddie.

I will be at Straits on Friday 7th and River the 8th.   Erin Hills either 5th or 6th.


You guys make these courses sound a bit scary!  I am capable of shooting 82 once every 6 or 8 rounds, and normally am in the mid/high 80's.  Is Straits going to be too much for me?  I really suck out of greenside bunkers, not bad in fairway ones.  

Ive played PH #2 (4, 7 & 8), Greenbriar, Chambers, TPC Sawgrass, Doral, Copperhead, BayHill, PGA National, Kiawah Ocean, Harbour Town......but my game was a little more consistent back a few years ago.  I feel like I may be about to make a fool of myself

Edited by Pinhy, 14 June 2017 - 09:49 PM.


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#21 Dr.Frankenputz

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 10:02 PM

Pinhy: I haven't played Erin hills(but went to practice round today), but as far as straits & river I think as long as you play the right tee boxes & go out to have fun you'll be just fine.

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#22 zer0

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 01:12 PM

 Pinhy, on 14 June 2017 - 09:43 PM, said:

 Stinger26, on 01 June 2017 - 01:37 PM, said:

]What did you pay last year? I'm playing there in July and will be forking up over 300 with a caddie.

I will be at Straits on Friday 7th and River the 8th.   Erin Hills either 5th or 6th.


You guys make these courses sound a bit scary!  I am capable of shooting 82 once every 6 or 8 rounds, and normally am in the mid/high 80's.  Is Straits going to be too much for me?  I really suck out of greenside bunkers, not bad in fairway ones.  

Ive played PH #2 (4, 7 & 8), Greenbriar, Chambers, TPC Sawgrass, Doral, Copperhead, BayHill, PGA National, Kiawah Ocean, Harbour Town......but my game was a little more consistent back a few years ago.  I feel like I may be about to make a fool of myself

I post similar scores.  Last time I played WS there was no sand in most of the greenside bunkers.  So yes, you (or anyone else including the pros) would have a tough time with the greenside bunkers at WS.

Personally, I think most of the greenside bunkers at WS should be treated as GUR and allow for a free drop.

Biggest $$$ ripoff of any course I've ever played.

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#23 Pinhy

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 03:49 PM

HA!  I was JUST telling my friends I would love to just drop out of bunkers at WS and Erin Hills, so I dont ruin my enjoyment of the round.  I've done it when playing a speed round at the local muni after work, but this would be a little different

I am teeing off right at twilight time both Kohler courses.  A:  Cheaper!  B: Can use pull cart at Straits, and golf cart at River, so I save on the caddie fee if I decide to go that way.  

I am actually looking at my schedule and it would make my scheduling a lot easier if I skip one Kohler course.  Blackwolf would make sense as it is not a PGA course, Straits would make sense as it is harder and I might enjoy River better.  

Too many decisions!!  lol

Edited by Pinhy, 17 June 2017 - 03:52 PM.


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#24 PooN

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    poor little ball...

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 02:40 PM

I am going to suggest that you need a caddie at The Straits, at least for your first visit.  There is no "I'm just gonna hit it up the fairway" look to this course... it's all aim and shoot with proper distance control from tee to fairway, fairway to fairway, and fairway to green...  and if you don't know where to cut the corner or which bunkers are in play you will be playing your approach shots from very severe sidehill lies or crusty grassy/sandy bunkers.  Same thing with a caddie at with Erin Hills... there are so many blind shots that if you just try to go out on your own you will be hitting over the crest of a fairway and put your ball 50 yards deep in fescue on many of the holes, and it's not like you can just easily walk up and take a look at where you need to go and frolic your way back to your ball.... it's long and hilly (read: hard course to walk).  Your Floridian legs haven't walked on grounds like this before, trust me.

That said, even if you're playing poorly at WS you can generally salvage a decent score if you are a 12 handicap or better (and playing from the correct tees).  1st visit may put you in the 90's since you will have a couple blow-up holes, but the ones that you play to perfection will be top-10 in your memory bank for a long time to come.

Posted Image
An example of where you would need to aim a drive as opposed to just following the fairway (where in this case you would run it through and be left with a 200+ yard shot to the green).

Edited by PooN, 21 June 2017 - 02:49 PM.


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