There are a number of different ways to play Whistling Straits, and none of them are cheap. Playing it during the early Spring and late Fall, though, will save money.
Normal folks like myself have a hard time dishing out $600 for a round at the Straits, so one of the most common questions I get asked is how and when to play it.
The answer: Whenever you can afford it and have a good group to go with. The more economical answer, though, depends on the year. Kohler’s current promotion has early-season deals through Friday, May 9, which include:
- Whistling Straits, Straits course: $190
- Whistling Straits, Irish course: $80
- Blackwolf Run: River course: $130
- Blackwolf Run: Meadow Valleys course: $80
The next round of deals goes up significantly, making this week the perfect time to play it. Golf Kohler rates from May 10 to June 3:
- Whistling Straits, Straits course: $300
- Whistling Straits, Irish course: $130
- Blackwolf Run, River course: $210
- Blackwolf Run, Meadow Valleys course: $130
Now here’s where early-season rates get tricky…
There’s a fine line between taking advantage of early-season rates on one of the top five courses in the country and playing it on soupy, brown terrain. I won’t pretend to know everything about fescue grass, but a combination of the Straits course’s turf type and its proximity to the lake can mean a less than beautiful setting during some early Spring seasons.
The trick is to get as close to the final day of the early-season rates as possible, and to consult the course ahead of time if you’re concerned about how it’ll look and play.
For example, here is the second fairway on the Straits course during the final week of the initial early-season rates during two very different years:
In stark contrast, the course greened up very quickly this year, and in fact the conditions right now are legendarily good. In other words, if you can get a tee time on the Straits course this week (by May 9, 2019), book it. If you can’t and are on a budget, book it before June 3.
As you can see, the big difference between what the course looks like right now versus what it looks like during peak season is in the fescue off the fairways – it just hasn’t grown in yet.
Additional photos from Sunday’s round on the Straits course:
It should be mentioned that the Blackwolf Run and Irish courses are much less volatile than the Straits, so if you’re looking for a world-class round of golf on one of them, feel confident in booking it that the conditions will be worth the investment.
Just like your game probably won’t be in mid-season form yet, though, don’t expect perfection quite yet – that’s why they’re offering early-season deals. The greens will probably still be a little choppy and on the slower side, the native grasses won’t be grown out yet, and tee shots probably won’t get as much run as they will in July… But chances are you’re still going to love the round.
WiscoGolfAddict review of Whistling Straits: Straits course (2014)
WiscoGolfAddict review of Whistling Straits, Irish course (2011)
WiscoGolfAddict review of Blackwolf Run, River course (2012)
WiscoGolfAddict review of Blackwolf Run, Meadow Valleys course (2014)