PGA Championship 2015: Hole-by-hole guide to Whistling Straits

The Scoop

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
Par: 72


1.     Outward Bound

408 yards

Par 4

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

593 yards

Par 5

Average score: 4.969

Rank: 11

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.


3.     O’Man 

181 yards

Par 3

Average Score: 3.062

Rank: 8

One of the largest greens on the front nine, but undulations make for an exciting putting service.


4.     Glory

489 yards

Par 4

Average Score: 4.471

Rank: 2

Visually intimidating off the tee, the most difficult par 4 on the course is protected by undulations and pot bunkers.


5.     Snake

603 yards

Par 5

Average Score: 4.689

Rank: 18

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

355 yards

Par 5

Average Score: 3.806

Rank: 16

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.


7.     Shipwreck

221 yards

Par 3

Average Score: 3.189

Rank: 6

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

507 yards

Par 4

Average Score: 4.194

Rank: 5

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

446 yards

Par 4

Average Score: 4.178

Rank: 7

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.



361 yards

Par 4

Average Score: 3.83

Rank: 15

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.


11.Sand Box

563 yards

Par 5

Average Score: 4.941

Rank: 12

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.


12.Pop Up

143 yards

Par 3

Average Score: 2.989

Rank: 10

The shortest of the par 3s, all the trouble here is in the form of the wickedly-undulating green.


13.Cliff Hanger

404 yards

Par 4

Average Score: 3.852

Rank: 14

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.


14.Widow’s Watch

397 yards

Par 4

Average Score: 3.938

Rank: 13

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.


15.Grand Stand

518 yards

Par 4

Average Score: 4.306

Rank: 3

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.


16.Endless Bite

569 yards

Par 5

Average Score: 4.756

Rank: 17

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.


17.Pinched Nerve

223 yards

Par 3

Average Score: 3.202

Rank: 4

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.



520 yards

Par 4

Average Score: 4.515

Rank: 1

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.

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