KOHLER, Wis. — Whistling Straits is a golf destination, a course anyone can brag about playing. But playing the Straits Course just days after the United States team recaptured the Ryder Cup is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

What You Need To Know

  • Whistling Straits Golf Course reopened to the public three days after the U.S. defeated Europe in the Ryder Cup

  • The Straits Course was just the fourth public course in the U.S. to host the Ryder Cup

  • It will take 2-3 months to tear down dozens of grandstands and temporary infrastructure from the event

  • Whistling Straits advises booking early if you plan to play there in 2022

The course reopened to the public Wednesday, less than 72 hours after the Americans defeated Team Europe in the 43rd Ryder Cup.

“Bucket list. I’ve always wanted to come here,” said Michael Fong, a Southern California resident who teed off in Kohler Wednesday afternoon. “I don’t care what I shoot.”

It was an extremely rare opportunity because public courses don’t host the Ryder Cup very often. Whistling Straits was just the fourth in the U.S. to do so, and the first since Kiawah Island Golf Resort near Charleston, S.C. hosted the 1991 event.

“For anyone in the world to be able to book a tee time and come here and play the Straits Course so shortly after the Ryder Cup is special for us,” said Mike O’Reilly, the golf operations manager at Whistling Straits.

It took four months to build the grandstands and other Ryder Cup infrastructure like stages, pavilions and concession stands. Teardown will last through the fall, so the last players at Whistling Straits this season will be surrounded by remnants of the Ryder Cup.

Fong and his three friends played four rounds in Wisconsin this week, at West Bend Country Club, Erin Hills and Blackwolf Run before finishing at Whistling Straits. They also drove to Chicago to see the Wisconsin football team play Notre Dame last Saturday. Fong’s daughter is a student in Madison. After this trip, he’ll be packing his clubs each time he flies in to visit.

“People from California don’t understand,” he said. “Midwest golf is amazing.”

The Ryder Cup proved Wisconsin has the goods when it comes to golf. The best players in the world were blown away by Whistling Straits. Now players of any skill level can take on the world-class course.

Whistling Straits limited tee times available through the end of October. The course encourages booking well in advance if you plan to play the Straits Course in 2022.