How has Whistling Straits been preparing the golf course conditions for the Ryder Cup?

Beyond The Forecast

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (WFRV) – The Ryder Cup is one of the biggest events golf has. Whistling Straits in Sheboygan county is getting ready to host the event from September 24 to September 26. Preparing the golf course against the harsh weather of Wisconsin can be a different animal.

Chris Zugel, the Director of Golf Course Maintenance at Destination Kohler, says, “We work with the PGA of America and in this case Steve Stricker to establish the green speeds and rough length to ensure what they are looking for the entire week.”

Zugel and his team at Whistling Straits have had one of the wettest summers on record. And that has had a big effect on how they take care of the golf course.

“We haven’t watered since the end of July; we had a fairly wet summer we haven’t really needed to apply water. If we are, it’s with a small hose and water can. But it makes the golf course play a little firmer this time of year when kind of the drier months set in.”

Whistling Straits has hosted 3 PGA championships in the month of August (2004, 2010, 2015). However, this tournament will be different in late September.

Matt Zehms is the Golf Course Superintendent on the Irish Course. He says, “Technically…really the weather has been pretty similar in September now that we would have normally in August. Maybe a little cooler, but we had a lot more rain in August that’s normally our dry time.”

Mother nature cannot be controlled. However, it doesn’t stop those who maintain the golf course from rooting for conditions they can control long term.

“So ideally, if we are looking at the long-range, it’s cool nights…temps like today in the 70s with a breeze and no rain. That just lets us control the amount of water we put out.” – Chris Zugel

Zugel says people may notice more stands and structures. But rest assured the course for the Ryder Cup will look just as perfect as the other major tournaments they have held.

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