Long and Straight at Whistling Straits
The venue for this year's PGA Championship, Whistling Straits, has received a lot of attention the entire season. It is a different style of golf course than most major championships played in America, and is more similar in style to the links courses in the United Kingdom used for the British Open.
The course is also garnering attention because of its expected difficulty. The course is designed by Pete Dye, well known for his difficult designs, and will be set up at over 7,500 yards, with several par-4's over 500 yards. Staying true to the links-style, the course is relatively flat and adjacent to a large body of water (in this case Lake Michigan) which is often a recipe for high velocity wind, which is the best defense for any golf course.
However, the course may not end up to be the monster that most expect. Blogger Vance, who has had the good fortune of playing Whistling Straits, offers up some past results of professional tournaments in his review of the course:
Despite its length, Whistling Straits is not as difficult as some players are making it out to be. It provides a challenge fit for a major championship. But unless the weather turns really ugly, the winning score will be under par. Keep in mind that a winning score of 1-under won the PGA Club Professional Championship when it was played at Whistling Straits in 1999. The course was set up at only 7,208 yards for the club pros (about 300 yards shorter than for this year's PGA Championship), but PGA Tour players are considerably better than club pros. Plus, technology has added 5-10 yards to drives over the past five years and the fairways are running fast.