Blackwolf Run-River Course

This was the first of the championship layouts created by the Kohler people in this remote area of Wisconsin that have helped define this place as a major golf destination resort.  Pete Dye put the full force of his creative juices to work in creating this parkland gem that weaves among the tributaries of the Sheboygan River.  For three years (1995-97) the World Championships Match Play was played here and in 1998 the USGA held the Women’s U.S. Open on this course which was won by Si Re Pak in a memorable playoff over an unheradled amateur Jenny Chuasiriporn in a 20 hole playoff on Monday.  The Women’s U.S. Open will return here in 2012. Truth needs to be told-the course for these championships was made up of nine holes from the River Course and nine holes from the Meadows Course that shares this property.

As with all the courses at Kohler it is extremely important for each player to play at a tee length that is comfortable to them otherwise the task at hand becomes impossible.  The Blue Tee works nicely for a 6 to 14 handicap who can carry their drive over 200 yards. Par is 35-37-72-only one par 3 on the front which makes for an odd sequence rhythm.   If the wind is blowing this course will be incrementally more difficult.

5th Hole Par 4 (www.wisconsingolf.com)

In typical Pete Dye fashion lots of psychological havoc being presented-but a very playable and definable line of play on each hole if you pay attention and can ignore his attempts to intimidate you.  You will have to be on your game to score well but a reasonable score is attainable with proper restraint from trying to do more than you are capable.  Put your ego away-there are doubles and triples that will appear on your card-but the satisfaction of good scores on particular holes should be enough gratification to make this a golfing experience to remember.  As we do on links courses-play a match-that way no matter how bad your medal score you can still have success out there in beating your opponent.

9th Hole Par 4 (www.wisconsingolf.com)

The greens are very undulating and quick-you have to carefully consider where on the green to hit your approach or you will be three-putting you score away.  Driving areas are often confined by hazard on one side or by harrowing topography so it will take some articulate driving-with a bit of bravado to get the best angle of approach to some very challenging green settings.  The bunkers are deep-deep so you have to have real trust in your 60 degree and play for the putting surface not the flag out of the greenside bunkers.

There are major distances between greens and tees but they do provide shuttle service in season.  I think this is a course to walk if for no other reason to take in the full flavor of the asthetics of the course and have proper time to plot the strategy of your next shot.

Kohler, Wisconsin

Architect: Pete Dye (1993)

Tees                Par         Rating          Slope        Yardage

Black               72            74.4            148            7011

Blue                 72            72.6            139            6607

White               72            70.2            129            6110

Red                  72            70.1            124            5115

(Click to see complete River Course hole-by-hole descriptions)

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