PGA Championship 2015: Hole-by-hole guide to Whistling StraitsAugust, 2015
A tour of the venue for the final Major of 2015
Once an anti-aircraft training base and a stretch of waste dumps, the PGA Championship is coming to Whistling Straits for the third time in the course’s 12-year history.
Open, rugged and windswept, the 1998 Pete Dye design brings links-style golf to the shores of Lake Michigan and features more than 1,000 bunkers.
The Wisconsin course is also preparing to stage the 2020 Ryder Cup, but in the meantime, there’s the small matter of the year’s final Major.
‘It’s a big boy golf course’ Justin Rose
Course length: 7,501 yards
1. Outward Bound
2010 Field average score: 4.031
2010 Rank in relation to par: 9
A dogleg left, where any attempt to cut the corner will flirt with a series of bunkers and dunes. The approach should facour the right of the green to avoid bunkers short left and long.
2. Cross Country
Average score: 4.969
The shortest of the two par 5s, with a deep pot bunker 35 yards short of the green and making any two shot approaches more difficult.
Average Score: 3.062
One of the largest greens on the front nine, but undulations make for an exciting putting service.
Average Score: 4.471
Visually intimidating off the tee, the most difficult par 4 on the course is protected by undulations and pot bunkers.
Average Score: 4.689
The longer of the two par 5s, water runs along either side of the fairway, while the double dogleg ensures a three-shot approach is required by most. Players who take on the green with the second shot will face a long carry over water to a narrow green.
6. Gremlin’s Ear
Average Score: 3.806
The shortest par 4 on the course, a deep sod wall bunker guards the middle half of the green and must be avoided at all costs.
Average Score: 3.189
Walking down the path to the shoreline, the par 3 hugs the shores of Lake Michigan and is surrounded by sand bunkers on all sides.
8. On the Rocks
Average Score: 4.194
With over 100 bunkers and a blind landing area off the tee, the whole is intimidating. For those avoiding danger, the second shot is played with the Great Lakes as a backdrop.
9. Down and Dirty
Average Score: 4.178
Seven Mile Creek and a series of narrow sand bunkers wind along the right side of the humpbacked green, while the left is protected by dunes and bunkers.
Average Score: 3.83
A driveable par 4 in the right conditions, but with a ravine, deep bunkers and a steep hillside to traverse, the more sensible option may be to lay up and take a wedge on the elevated green.
Average Score: 4.941
The longest hole on the course, the dogleg right Sand Box gets its name from the long sand bunker that will catch any drives that overshoot the fairway.
Average Score: 2.989
The shortest of the par 3s, all the trouble here is in the form of the wickedly-undulating green.
Average Score: 3.852
The name tells you all you need to know, with the green sitting on the cliff edge meaning any wayward shots to the right will be swallowed by Lake Michigan.
Average Score: 3.938
A dogleg left, cutting the corner is made more treacherous by a large bunker, while wayward approach shots to the right will also be punished by sand.
Average Score: 4.306
A long drive which favours the left side of the fairway will avoid the sunken bunkers to the right, but a long approach needs also to be accurate to avoid even more sand. Starts off a tough closing stretch, where the last four holes feature the three of the course’s toughest.
Average Score: 4.756
The shortest of the par 5s, the most likely place to find eagles when the pros arrive, although a drop off to the left of the green could cause difficulties for the wayward.
Average Score: 3.202
One of the world’s most intimidating par 3, the green is guarded by sand dunes that fall 20 feet below green level. There’s very little margin for error on this hole.
Average Score: 4.515
The final hole is also the hardest, with seemingly-countless small pot bunkers and a forced carry over Seven Mile Creek. The aggressive line is to the left, but demands a 27-yard carry over dunes and bunkers.