Two very different sides of Wisconsin golf


All the major championship luck appears to be slipping past Steve Stricker in favor of his home state. Wisconsin will be on the international golf radar plenty this decade, starting with Whistling Straits hosting the PGA Championship in August, and again in 2015 - not to mention the 2020 Ryder Cup.

We all know about Whistling Straits by now, the marquee course among four Pete Dye designs in Kohler (Blackwolf Run also hosted the U.S. Women's Open in 1998).

Now, Erin Hills Golf Course in Hartford is the newest addition to Wisconsin's collection of major-worthy golf courses after the announcement last week it will host the 2017 U.S. Open.

Just 60 miles from Whistling Straits, Erin Hills represents an entire philosophy shift. Rather than take a few thousand truckloads worth of dirt to the shores of Lake Michigan and create an Irish links-style spectacle, Erin Hills is essentially all natural golf on a huge, 650-acre palette. For accommodations, Kohler's four Dye courses have the American Club, the Midwest's finest luxury golf hotel and spa. Erin Hills has the understated Manor House, built in the spirit of on-site dormie houses overseas.

Whistling Straits asks $340 to take it on ($230 twilight), while Erin Hills isn't cheap either at $160 - in line with other public U.S. Open venues such as Chamber's Bay and Bethpage Black.

Whistling Straits and Erin Hills are ultra different from one another in philosophy, but their end game is the same: two of golf's biggest stages in the coming years, and you can play them both on one vacation.

Note: Erin Hills will re-open July 31 following renovations. For more on golf in Wisconsin, see