Irish Course at Whistling Straits
|Green (W)||72||6366 yards||77.4||142|
|White (W)||72||5992 yards||75.2||137|
|Red (W)||72||5109 yards||72.0||126|
|Black M: 75.6/146||400||372||147||489||570||160||372||555||484||3549||398||208||413||183||564||479||474||375||558||3652||7201|
|Blue M: 73.5/141||387||360||138||443||517||149||363||542||409||3308||387||193||396||160||520||459||436||355||536||3442||6750|
|Green M: 72.0/137 W: 77.4/142||369||347||128||432||501||135||344||501||322||3079||378||177||373||152||508||416||425||335||523||3287||6366|
|White M: 70.3/133 W: 75.2/137||359||340||118||405||477||123||339||459||308||2928||361||169||349||145||469||370||383||325||493||3064||5992|
|White/Red M: 68.6/129 W: 72.8/132||301||340||118||336||477||97||339||392||308||2708||340||169||349||145||469||335||333||272||493||2905||5613|
|Red M: 65.6/121 W: 70.0/126||301||309||87||336||430||97||320||392||263||2535||340||125||290||111||380||335||333||272||388||2574||5109|
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Golf Advisor: Top Courses in Wisconsin
Whistling Straits - Irish: The cool little brother
The Straits course gets most of the hype between these two co-located courses due to its major championship pedigree, but I think that's a shame. The Irish sits just a little inland from the Straits course, but boasts many of the same incredible features and challenges while maintaining a personality all its own.
This course does allow carts, but it's cart path only. So be prepared to do some walking. I'd recommend taking a forecaddie, as it's a tough course to try and navigate on your own if you've never been before.
There are many holes that force some strategy off the tee in terms of how aggressive to be. I love when you don't just have to automatically bash a driver on every hole. Hole 2 is a great example. You can try to be more aggressive off the tee, but you've got water down the left and a bunker on the right that comes into play if you try and hit driver. How much are you willing to risk?
The greens are tricky, but slower than other courses in the usual package of Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run courses. Bunkers are used strategically in the all the best ways... to challenge you, to deceive you, and to punish you. The bunkers on this course are a little rockier than others in the area... really more waste areas than bunkers. Not many will allow your typical explosion shot.
Some holes I really liked:
#5: Very cool par 5. Big risk/reward tee shot. You can go straight and be safe or try and cut off the bunker and give yourself a look to go in two. However, if you fail to carry the bunker you likely have to just splash out to the same layup area as if you went straight. The rest of the hole is no picnic either. Good par 5!
#9: One of my favorite holes of the whole trip. Tee shot doesn't allow you to be super aggressive, but you can play to the strength of your approach game. Even though it's just a straightforward shot of 200-250 yds, there is plenty of trouble to keep you honest. The approach is another good challenge, especially with the pin on the right side of the green. Fun hole that can be a good birdie op or ruin your round.
#17: Challenging, sweeping par 4 with water all down the left. You need 2 good shots to get safely home. Definitely a good test of the nerves as you close down the round.
Overall, this course is a treat to play. The facilities are exceptional (as you'd expect). The staff is very friendly, but they are pretty aggressive about pace of play. Even if you're not really too far out of position they bug you quite often. In general, the rounds seem to be slow (5-ish hours), and it wasn't particularly pleasant to be told to speed up every 3 holes even when nobody was behind us.
Don't skip the Irish if you come to Whistling Straits
While Whistling Straits gets all ink and accolades, the Irish Course is no slouch, not by a long shot. What it misses in views of Lake Michigan, it makes up for in quality of holes. In many ways, it's more straightforward than Whistling Straits, but I'm not sure it's any easier. There are definitely quite a few bunkers you want to avoid at all costs, and if you can do that (and if you play the right set of tees), you're going to have a great time. One recommendation is to walk this course instead of taking a cart. We took a cart because of the threat of heavy rain, but there are certain holes where you wind up carrying your bag to your ball anyway because the cart path is so far from the fairway and your ball isn't even visible over the mounds. Ideally, take a caddie, but that part isn't as critical as it is at Whistling Straits, where you're going to need a little more guidance.
Great golf destination
4 of us went to Kohler this weekend and played 36 holes on Friday (Blackwolf - Meadows and River) followed by 18 on Saturday at the Irish. Hands down my favorite course was the Irish and it had nothing to do with scoring. Scored my best at the River which seems to be the toughest of the three. We were the first group out on Saturday and lucked out with some great weather. Holes 10-13 offer some of the best views on the course with 2 great Par 3s mixed in. We had lunch both days, Blackwolf and the Straits, both were excellent. Customer service is top notch from the second you arrive till you depart. Overall great golf destination that everyone should experience
A U.S. Open qualifier was held here last week, and the greens were very quick as a result. Course is in great shape for this time of year.
I liked a few of the holes a lot, but I wasn’t blown away by the course as a whole. I get the premise of an “Irish resemblance” but it didn’t play very linksy and I thought the two cape holes were a bit out of place on the course. Not sure the Irish belongs on Top 100 American Public course lists. I think it benefits from its famous neighbor. The par threes were memorable, and I liked the short par-4 seventh hole.
The par-5 closing hole is a handful. You must hit your target when laying up on your approach or trouble awaits, making going for it in two to simply clear the hazard maybe a better option for most players. Do not miss the green right, however, as a steep, closely-mown slope will carry errant shots 15-20 feet below the green surface, making for a most difficult up-and-down.
I would highly recommend walking the course, as it is always CPO, and the couple I played with had much tougher walks to their ball from the path than I ever did.
Tough but fun Pete Dye golf
The Straits Course at Whistling Straits tends to take the spotlight, but the Irish supplies its fair share of challenging, scenic golf with the typical Pete Dye flair. Severe mounding and pot bunkers abound, but if you play the right set of tees and keep the ball in the decently generous fairways, you can get around without too much harm done. Spray the ball, though, and you'll be in for a long round.
Favorite Course at Kohler
Not sure if it is because we played it first as part of our package, or because it was the least wind we had on our trip, but this course was INCREDIBLE. Perfect conditions. The only course that was more breathtaking was Straits. Our caddy, Scott Flowers, was the BEST. Best green reading caddy I have ever played with. In fact we requested to have him when we played Straits (just call Kohler concierge and they set it up). One of my top 3 favorite courses I have ever played.
Always a Treat at Kohler
I have been very fortunate to get up to play at Kohler a couple times and it never disappoints. We played the Irish course which was in very good shape considering the time of year. We had a voucher for a cheaper rate so decided to play the TIPS!!! Yikes was that a tough walk holy buckets. Par 3's and Par 5's weren't to different but most all par 4's were in the 450 to 490 range which is rough. Still alot of fun though. Back nine is so great with the views of Lake Michigan, and you cant beat 2 of the closes par 3's around on the back 9. 11 is a cool little hole with gigantic deep bunkers surrounding it. 13 is cool because you cant see the flag you just have to pick a giant mound and hope you guessed right. All in all this place is amazing and a joy to be at every now and again. Oh and the sheep were out and about which is so cool. Kohler you again have amazed me great work.
River Course is much better IMO
IMO, links golf that is not on the ocean/lake in the Midwest when its 90 degrees in the summer just isn't that appealing. This course had few really memorable holes ...not at all unique like the lake views at Whistling Straits. Mostly I find it really boring when there are no trees to frame the hole and provide a little shade and contrast.
Oh, yeah, and $200 greens fees plus cart caddies and everything else is a little excessive.
Skip it and play the River course ...that's my advice.
Under-rated Dye gem next to Lake Michigan
The first few holes don't feel too "Irish,", but after the 5th hole or so, the course really comes into its own. Starting on the back nine, you're treated with expansive views of Lake Michigan and The Straits Course. The 12th tee is the best spot. for a picture. The 10th hole is classic Dye -- lots of visual intimidation and tricks. Only problem is that even though you can ride in a cart (very comfy carts, btw), it's cartpath only, so you end up walking almost as much as if you just walked the whole way. Really can slow play if the course is busy.
The course is beautiful. Bent grass, tightly manicured fairways mean you'll never have a bad lie. Stay out of the roughs. They are long and thick. Pot bunkers may or may not have sand in them, but are tough to get out of. All 18 holes are so picturesque that they should be on postcards or a calendar. You don't feel like you're in Wisconsin.
Irish Course at Whistling Straits
Pro: I like the way the course is set up as a links style course. There are lots of bunkers on the course I was playing on as well as the Straits course. The greens were rolling fast even though it was raining there a little. Con: With the course being next to Lake Michigan it is prone to having foggy weather. This happened toward the late part of the round. It made it more difficult than it looked when the fog rolled in. I did not like playing in the fog at all. Watch for heavy winds or it can get tougher.
Irish Course at Whistling Straits
Pro: The course was an excellent condition even after they had some rain. Greens were rolling fast and it is unbelievable how many bunkers are out on each of the two courses. I like the course very much. Con: The course being located next to Lake Michigan can sometimes like I experience have foggy weather. For me it is not fun to play in the fog. I had to hit some tee shots in the fog and you do no know where it is going. They say it does not happen very often but that is the only downside I saw.