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Whistling Straits Early Spring Review - Early May :)


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If I had 1 round to take a client, date, etc and wanted to impress them then my number 1 choice would be Whistling Straits.  I have played Sand Valley,  Arcadia Bluffs, Erin Hills, Streamsong, Oakland Hills South, Dunes Club, Kingsley Club, Bay Harbor, Greywalls and to many more to list and Whistling Straits is by far the most scenic and stunning course I have ever played.  I am a scenery guy and love golf courses on water so its a easy win.  With that being said I dont think its the best public course I have played (Mammouth Dunes) but if I wanted to impress someone then I would head to Whistling Straits.

 

I was able to get in a round at Whistling Straits in early May and the course continues to be one of the best public course that I have played.  If you ever have the ability to go and play the course make sure you do it but be prepared because its one tough golf course.  I would encourage everyone to consider moving up at least 1 tee box from what they usually play as the green complexes are pretty small which makes things challenging.

 

Highlights

-  I paid $220 and did not have to take a caddie ( I love caddies but could not afford one this time)

- All of the par 3's are world class....something about those 4 holes make the course in my opinion

-Pace of play.....our group of 4 finished in 4 hours

-The Staff - you can tell they are well trained and go out of their way to make you feel welcome

- The views....There are about 9 holes that are just so scenic...I will post some pics below but they just dont do any justice

-Additional Tees - They added some forward tees which are about 5600 yards which are perfect for my game and some older or younger players which keeps pace of play moving

-Caddies - I did not get one but the two in our group were great

-Pretty easy walk

 

Dissapointments (Really none but I have to knit pick a few things 🙂

 

-Course Conditions - by no means was it a goat pasture....but for Whistling Straits it was a bit of a letdown....the greens were painfully slow......lots of divot marks in fairways and the bunkers were flat out awful.  I played Arcadia Bluffs 2 times in late April this year and Arcadia blew this course out of the water in conditioning.  

 

-No Sun - If you notice in the pics that the water looks a little brown because of the wind and lack of sunlight.  Having sunlight would change the entire look of the course because last time we played their was sun and the place looked like you were golfing in the Carribean.  

 

 

Feel free to post any questions you have and here are a few holes that I really like

 

Ping K15 Driver - 10.5*
Ping K15 3 Wood 16* & 5 Wood 19*
Ping Karsten Hybrids 19* 22* 25*
Ping Karsten Irons 6-PW
Ping Karsten Wedges 51* 55*
Ping Scottsdale Greyhawk TR Putter
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Closing thoughts.....It was a shame the sun did not come out because if it had then that water would of been so blue the hole dynamic of these pictures would of changed.  The course is visually stunni

Me and my son played the Irish course today playing the Straits tomorrow!!!

You will have a blast.....greens were pretty stinking slow....slow like my local muni but who knows maybe that will change by the time you get there.  They did get a lot of rain the night before I pla

Posted Images

Hole # 3 - Par 3 (I stuck one within 5 feet and missed a birdie putt 🙂 The par 's are world class on this course....AMAZING

 

 

IMG_6283.jpg

Ping K15 Driver - 10.5*
Ping K15 3 Wood 16* & 5 Wood 19*
Ping Karsten Hybrids 19* 22* 25*
Ping Karsten Irons 6-PW
Ping Karsten Wedges 51* 55*
Ping Scottsdale Greyhawk TR Putter
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I’m playing this Sunday/Monday and cannot wait. When you say greens were slow, how slow is slow? Did the pro shop have a stimp reading for the day?

 

Im looking on the weather app and it shows pretty much high 40s low 50s for when I’m there. Im coming in from Arizona where right now it’s 80s and 90s. I have plenty of winter gear but want to make sure I’m prepared, so what was the wind/rain scene like?

Bag as of June 2020 Driver - Mizuno ST190 w/ Fuji Speeder 661 Evo 2 3w - Mizuno ST190 w/ Fuji Speeder 757 Evo 2 Hybrid - Cobra F7 w/ Fuji VTS Silver Stiff Irons - Mizuno MP-5 4-PW w/ KBS Tour 120 FLT Wedges Titleist SM7 w/ AMT S300 Tour White 50/54/60 Putter - L.A.B. Directed Force 2.1

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Posted (edited)

Hole # 9 - Par 4  (Approach shot  on # 9 and you can see hole 18 green in background)

 

 

 

 

IMG_6291.jpg

Edited by BG5

Ping K15 Driver - 10.5*
Ping K15 3 Wood 16* & 5 Wood 19*
Ping Karsten Hybrids 19* 22* 25*
Ping Karsten Irons 6-PW
Ping Karsten Wedges 51* 55*
Ping Scottsdale Greyhawk TR Putter
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Closing thoughts.....It was a shame the sun did not come out because if it had then that water would of been so blue the hole dynamic of these pictures would of changed.  The course is visually stunning and is second to none that I have ever played.  I get to play Bandon this summer so we shall see how WS stacks up the the Northwest.

 

The course is really tough....but its still fun and as long as you know going into it that your in for a tough round you will be fine.  I was amazed at some of the pro tees and to see in person the shots that the pros have to make out there is unreal.

 

There are not to many courses that I would pay $200-$300 to play golf but Whistling Straits is one that if you have the means to play then you should.  

 

Lastly, holes 1-4 usually have the wind behind you.  Holes 5-13 typically have the wind in your face and then 14-18 again have the wind at your back.  The finishing stretch is great but hole 18 just doesnt do it for me.  I also felt that holes 5 and 10 just didnt fit in with the course.  But an amazing track and one I will gladly pay $220 to play it in the early spring.

 

If you like Whistling Straits go check out Arcadia Bluffs in Michigan.  Its just a hair behind WS...Pure Michigan!

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Ping K15 Driver - 10.5*
Ping K15 3 Wood 16* & 5 Wood 19*
Ping Karsten Hybrids 19* 22* 25*
Ping Karsten Irons 6-PW
Ping Karsten Wedges 51* 55*
Ping Scottsdale Greyhawk TR Putter
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23 minutes ago, Shipwreck said:

I’m playing this Sunday/Monday and cannot wait. When you say greens were slow, how slow is slow? Did the pro shop have a stimp reading for the day?

 

Im looking on the weather app and it shows pretty much high 40s low 50s for when I’m there. Im coming in from Arizona where right now it’s 80s and 90s. I have plenty of winter gear but want to make sure I’m prepared, so what was the wind/rain scene like?

 

You will have a blast.....greens were pretty stinking slow....slow like my local muni but who knows maybe that will change by the time you get there.  They did get a lot of rain the night before I played so maybe that was it.  I did not see a stimp reading but I did not ask for one.  The wind was 15 mph when I played and it was fine.  When I teed off it was 48 and 15 mph wind....I had 3 layers of pants, and 5 layers up top....after 3 holes I went to two layers of pants and 2 layers up top.....The terrain and walk will get you hot but always bring more and then you can adjust.  Nothing worse than being cold on an amazing course....enjoy brother and let us know how your trip goes if possible.

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Ping K15 Driver - 10.5*
Ping K15 3 Wood 16* & 5 Wood 19*
Ping Karsten Hybrids 19* 22* 25*
Ping Karsten Irons 6-PW
Ping Karsten Wedges 51* 55*
Ping Scottsdale Greyhawk TR Putter
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Thanks for posting those pics. Looks ominous and somewhat repetitive, but spectacular, still.

 

Arcadia Bluffs is my favorite course. Where does WS have the edge? It looks like you are really connected to Lake Michigan at WS, where at AB you're a little disconnected from the lake as the course sits on a plateau, above the lake... 

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1 hour ago, Timbo Slice said:

Me and my son played the Irish course today playing the Straits tomorrow!!!

 

 

Nice...I have never played the Irish.....was gonna do it today and play 36 but I must be getting old 🙂  How is the Irish???  I heard it was tough

Ping K15 Driver - 10.5*
Ping K15 3 Wood 16* & 5 Wood 19*
Ping Karsten Hybrids 19* 22* 25*
Ping Karsten Irons 6-PW
Ping Karsten Wedges 51* 55*
Ping Scottsdale Greyhawk TR Putter
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3 minutes ago, PuttCurseRepeat said:

Thanks for posting those pics. Looks ominous and somewhat repetitive, but spectacular, still.

 

Arcadia Bluffs is my favorite course. Where does WS have the edge? It looks like you are really connected to Lake Michigan at WS, where at AB you're a little disconnected from the lake as the course sits on a plateau, above the lake... 

 

 

I think the two areas WS has the edge is on the par 3s because they are so good.  Arcadia has some great par 3 as well but just not on the same level.  The fact that WS has hosted a major, ryder cup etc gives it a cool factor because you are playing the same holes as the pros.  Lastly you nailed it where WS plays along the lake and there are like 9 holes or so that make you feel like you are right on the lake.  Arcadia has about 3 holes and plays above the lake.

 

I think its really close......I actually like AB better and its more enjoyable than WS because WS is so tough....bottom line its like saying which super model is the hottest.....both courses are top 15 publics and are must plays if you have a chance.

Ping K15 Driver - 10.5*
Ping K15 3 Wood 16* & 5 Wood 19*
Ping Karsten Hybrids 19* 22* 25*
Ping Karsten Irons 6-PW
Ping Karsten Wedges 51* 55*
Ping Scottsdale Greyhawk TR Putter
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30 minutes ago, BG5 said:

 

 

Nice...I have never played the Irish.....was gonna do it today and play 36 but I must be getting old 🙂  How is the Irish???  I heard it was tough

Irish was a lot better than I expected, the course exceeded expectations but should have gotten a cart knowing that we will be walking the Straits tomorrow as I am very sore.  The bugs were out of control for about four to five holes.  Hole 13 is so fun par 3, a complete blind shot.

IMG_20210504_145954175.jpg

IMG_20210504_110156799_HDR.jpg

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Great write-up and awesome pics.  To me it's weird seeing Whistling with the bright blue skies and lake.  It looks so much more at home with the gloomy skies and feeling of impending doom.  This is the first time I've ever read about the conditions at any of the Kohler courses being anything but superb (outside of some bunker conversations, but won't go there).  My guess is there is very good reason for the course to be in the condition it was in for you.  Whether it's due to how they came out of winter, the spring weather, or a combination of both, those guys know what they're doing.  Fescue is notoriously slow to green up and establish itself out of winter, so there is probably some precaution with mowing heights and how they're managing the turf.  The upside of fescue is once it's in season again, it's very hardy with a variety of weather conditions including heat and drought.

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