When it opened in 1998, Whistling Straits represented the culmination of an ambitious era in golf course design. Architect Pete Dye had moved massive amounts of earth in order to transform a flat lakeside property into a rolling, bunker-strewn imitation of Irish linksland. The result may not have looked anything like Ballybunion, but the Straits Course is still a world unto itself: eccentric, somewhat silly, occasionally brilliant, and unforgettable.
This week, Whistling Straits hosts the belated 2020 Ryder Cup, so Andy Johnson and I figured it was a good time to dive into the course’s design. First, check out our video, which covers Dye’s routing, par-3 concepts, shaping, and more:
If you’d like to go deeper, listen to our podcast, which elaborates on the strengths and weaknesses of Whistling Straits as a Ryder Cup venue and a popular resort course: