Kohler's Whistling Straits yields the spotlight to the revamped Blackwolf Run for the U.S. Women's Open
Much has changed since 1998, the last time the U.S. Women's Open came to the demanding Pete Dye design. Whistling Straits would eventually open to rave reviews and overshadow its big sister. With the Women's Open returning to Blackwolf Run this month, the vastly underrated course recaptures its former glory.
Yani Tseng, Paula Creamer and company will play nine holes each from the River and Meadow Valleys courses. All 18 holes were hewn from a parcel of glacially carved hills, and while well-wooded, the course never feels claustrophobic.
The par-3 13th and par-4 14th feature Dye's scary, sharp-edged water hazards. Even more arresting is his use of natural streams and the Sheboygan River on the three-hole finale.
To play the same course the ladies will, you'll have to tackle both River and Meadow Valleys, but that's hardly a chore. After a nip and tuck that included new grasses, new bunker sand and reshaped greens, Blackwolf Run is once again ready for its close-up.
7,404 yards, par 72 (River)
7,250 yards, par 72 (Meadow Valleys)
Green fees: $215-$280