Whistling Straits rates: What it costs to play the public Ryder Cup venue

The par-3 7th hole at Whistling Straits.

The par-3 7th hole at Whistling Straits. All four of the Straits' par-3s play along Lake Michigan.

Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

For the first time in 30 years, the Ryder Cup will be held at a public course on U.S. soil. And what’s not to love about that?

The Ryder Cup kicks off on Friday at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wis., a resort course that’s open to the public. It’s the first time the Ryder Cup has been held at a U.S. public-access course since 1991, when it was at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

So, you want to play Whistling Straits? We don’t blame you. The 1998 Pete Dye design abuts Lake Michigan and was created by moving massive amounts of dirt and bringing in 7,000 loads of sand to create the terrain, bunkering and more. After all, owner Herb Kohler famously told Dye, “I want the course to look like it’s in Ireland.” The good news? It does. Nine holes run along the shore and there are risk/reward opportunities aplenty. Besides this year’s Ryder Cup, it’s also hosted the 2004, 2010 and 2015 PGA Championships.

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GOLF’s course raters rank the Straits at the 11th-best public course in the U.S. and 49th-best course in America overall.

But how much will it cost you to play there? It’s not cheap. Prices vary based on the time of the year, but the peak rate is $485, which is only eclipsed by a few other bucket-list public options such as Pebble Beach, Pinehurst No. 2, TPC Sawgrass and Shadow Creek. You have to book online or via phone, depending on your group size or how far in advance you are scheduling your tee time. Depending on the time of year you also might be required to book a round at another Destination Kohler course and/or include lodging.

Caddies aren’t required for all tee time slots, but they are highly recommended for the Straits course. Caddie fees are $70 per person, and gratuity is recommended at $50 per bag.

There are other tee time options at Destination Kohler, too. The Irish course is right next to the Straits, and there are two courses at Blackwolf Run, the River and Meadow Valleys, just a few miles down the road. The combination of the courses at Blackwolf Run were used to host the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open. There’s also the newly opened Baths, a par-3 course that also features a two-acre putting course.

For more information about booking at the Straits course, click here.

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Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

Josh Berhow is the managing editor at GOLF.com. The Minnesota native graduated with a journalism degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.