Me and the guys just got back from an awesome trip to Kohler, WI. We played a lot of golf. We ate some great food. We drank some cold beer. And it was all surprisingly affordable.
We booked the “To Dye Fore” package through Golf Kohler – 4 nights, and 1 round on each of the four Pete Dye designs: The River and Meadow Valleys at Blackwolf Run and the Irish and Straits courses at Whistling Straits. We got to play the Baths, a 10-hole Short course (with some of the best greens I have ever seen), got a 1-hour group lesson, and access to the 18 hole putting course.
We drove between the courses, mainly because I’m a control freak, but also because it was easy – the two locations are only about 10 miles apart. We used a walking caddie at Whistling Straits and forecaddie on each of the other rounds. This proved advantageous – we would have been lost without their help.
I would also HIGHLY recommend that you add a stop to The Bull at Pinehurst Farms to the agenda if you’re headed up there. Believe me when I say that it is every bit the golf course that the others are. A Jack Nicklaus Signature design, 1 exit south of the Blackwolf Run/Kohler exit, it is a spectacular golf course – one of my favorites.
Bring your golf game with you – with 3 of the 5 courses in America’s 100 Toughest, and 2 in the Top 15 (Whistling Straits Ranked #9 & The Bull #14). It is my opinion that all of the courses are very playable if you play the right tees and can keep your tee shots in play. That’s definitely not to say they are easy, believe me.
You can eat all of your meals on property – with a restaurant at Whistling Straits, and several others connected to the each of the two hotel options, The Blackwolf Run clubhouse, and a couple of others on property, as well.
We ventured out for a couple of meals during the week. We ate at The Black Pig, Farm to Fork, and Rupp’s Downtown in Sheboygan (all within 3 blocks of one another). We also ate at The Whistling Straits Restaurant and the Blackwolf Run Restaurant. Lastly, we went off site in Kohler to check out The Blind Horse Restaurant and Winery. We ate well that week. We like to eat.
The golf is out of this world. The views on The Straits, the quality of all the Pete Dye designs, and the conditions were impeccable. The weather, second week of September, was FLAWLESS. Brandon shot 76 at the Straits with a relative tap-in birdie on 18, almost unheard of. My highlight was parring 16, 17, 18 on The Straits course (I played them at +8 last time I was there years ago) to tie up a sloppy 84.
I was rolling the rock that week, for sure. I had rounds of 25, 29, 31, & 30 putts. Thank Bob Bettinardi! I told the guys never to let me even think about buying another putter!
I’m sure that this trip sounds ridiculously expensive but I thought it was incredibly affordable for what you get. Roughly $2,500 a person for the room, golf, & golf extras (lesson, The Baths, Putting Course). We certainly spent more in the pro shops and restaurants, but the baseline price is rather respectable, in my opinion.
World Class golf, great food, perfect weather – and amazing showers – the hotels are owned by Kohler, after all. The trip was such a success that the guys want to come back here again before we plan a trip elsewhere. I’m willing to oblige!