Pete Dye's Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits highlight Wisconsin's Destination Kohler golf resort

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- The Straits course at Destination Kohler is a bit of a Midwestern phenomenon. Having risen from the "dunes," by way of thousands of truck loads of dirt and sand, Pete Dye transformed an old military test site into the host of multiple major championships, including the 2015 PGA Championship. And in doing so, Dye delivered owner and fellow visionary, Herb Kohler, a key ingredient to his master strategy: "To provide a higher level of gracious living."

Life on the Straits, which includes a herd of Scottish, black-faced sheep, can be anything but gracious as you navigate some treacherous shots along the shores of Lake Michigan. But play from the appropriate set of tees, and catch it when the wind has taken a day off, and there's a good chance you'll play to your handicap. The required caddies can also be a big help with course management and club selection, especially on the dramatic collection of par 3s, which culminates with 17, one of the toughest "short" holes in golf.

On a recent trip to Kohler, I played the Straits and the River Course at Blackwolf Run, which is used to make up the Championship routing and has played host to two Women's U.S. Opens. Se Ri Pak inspired a Korean golf revolution with her dramatic win in 1998, and fittingly, it was fellow Korean Na-yeon Choi who hoisted the hardware in 2013.

Throughout my rounds, I hoisted my iPhone and posted this series of pics to my Instagram account. One observer joked, my iPhone was the best club in my bag that day. Unfortunately, it was hard to argue.

Tour 2015 PGA Championship host Whistling Straits

The 230-yard 17th—tee to green—of the Straits Course at @GolfKohler.

A photo posted by Matt Ginella (@matt_ginella) on

The Dustin Johnson bunker lives to see another @pgachampionship at @golfkohler. #ginellasjourneys #golfisgreat

A photo posted by Matt Ginella (@matt_ginella) on

Night falls on the 155-yard third at Whistling Straits. #ginellasjourneys #golfisgreat #whyilovethisgame

A photo posted by Matt Ginella (@matt_ginella) on

Grandstands are up behind the sixth green at Whistling Straits. #ginellasjourneys #golfisgreat

A photo posted by Matt Ginella (@matt_ginella) on

Matt Ginella is Golf Advisor's Editor-at-Large and host of Golf Advisor Round Trip travel series on Golf Channel. Matt serves as resident buddy trip expert and captains a collection of VIP trips called Golf Advisor Getaways.
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My buddies and I are planning a 4 day trip to play Erin Hills (site of 2017 US Open) and Whistling Straits next May.        36 holes (+ a stay @ the Lodge) @ Erin Hills and 3 days of 36 holes of Golf @ WS.  Can't wait to go and I will be posting my reviews as well.  Pretty sure the 5 courses, accommodations and staff will all receive A++ ratings.


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Pete Dye's Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits highlight Wisconsin's Destination Kohler golf resort