Irish Course at Whistling Straits - hole 3
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Irish Course at Whistling Straits - hole 3
It's tough to hit the narrow third green on the Irish Course at Whistling Straits. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Irish Course at Whistling Straits - hole 4
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Irish Course at Whistling Straits - hole 4
The fourth hole on the Irish Course at Whistling Straits is called "Sandbank" for a reason. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Irish Course at Whistling Straits - railroad ties
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Irish Course at Whistling Straits - railroad ties
Pete Dye's signature railroad ties make several appearances on the Irish Course at Whistling Straits. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Irish Course at Whistling Straits - dunes
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Irish Course at Whistling Straits - dunes
Dunes made by Pete Dye's crew make frame holes on the Irish Course at Whistling Straits. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfPass
Irish Course at Whistling Straits - silos
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Irish Course at Whistling Straits - silos
The Irish Course at Whistling Straits also gives players a taste of Wisconsin: A view of a barn and silos. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Irish Course at Whistling Straits - hole 13
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Irish Course at Whistling Straits - hole 13
The par-3 13th hole on the Irish Course at Whistling Straits is a great "Dell Hole" featuring a blind tee shot to a hidden green. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Irish Course at Whistling Straits - sheep
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Irish Course at Whistling Straits - sheep
Sometimes, four-legged friends play through on the Irish Course at Whistling Straits. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Irish Course at Whistling Straits - hole 17
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Irish Course at Whistling Straits - hole 17
Water comes into play on the par-3 17th hole of the Irish Course at Whistling Straits. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Irish Course at Whistling Straits - hole 11
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Irish Course at Whistling Straits - hole 11
Sheep graze behind the 11th green of the Irish Course at Whistling Straits. Courtesy of The American Club
Irish Course at Whistling Straits - hole 13
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Irish Course at Whistling Straits - hole 13
The biggest dunes on the Irish Course at Whistling Straits surround the 13th green. Courtesy of The American Club
10 Images

Ireland's dunes meet Wisconsin farmland on the Irish golf course at Whistling Straits

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- What's that? A barn and a silo? It might seem a bit odd to be staring at a 60-foot-high dune one moment, then seeing a farm the next, but that's the reality of playing the Irish Course at Whistling Straits.

The Irish -- ranked No. 35 by Golf Digest among America's top 100 public courses -- sits just inland from the more heralded Straits Course, home of the 2004, 2010 and 2015 PGA Championships and the 2020 Ryder Cup. This setting creates more of a links hybrid, where man-made dunes by Pete Dye are as much part of the equation as four streams, several ponds, trees and views of a cornfield.

Dye turned down the volume on this layout, using fewer bunkers and dunes than the Straits. Streams cut the fairway on five holes, creating tough forced carries. Two par 3s stand out. Sand surrounds an island green at No. 6. The sunken 13th green sits in the belly of the dunes, forcing a blind tee shot a la the "Dell Hole" at Lahinch in Ireland.

Carts are available on the Irish. Riding makes a round here feel even less like a links, but for those who don't have the legs (or the game) to handle the Straits, this is a great alternative.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Ireland's dunes meet Wisconsin farmland on the Irish golf course at Whistling Straits