The American Club
Kohler Co is an American manufacturing company best known for it's plumbing products.
The company was founded by John Michael Kohler in 1873.
In 1900 the company set up the village of Kohler as a model company town for employees, many who came from overseas to work.
Central to the town of Kohler was The American Club which opened in 1918 as a showpiece for the immigrants to live, eat, & learn The American way.
Over time these workers assimilated into society and moved out to their own premises.
By 1978 it was time to repurpose the main building and Kohler refurbished the building extensively for 3 years before reopening it as a luxury accommodation provider.
Hence The American Club was reborn as an elegant resort...
With Herb Kohler now in charge golf was introduced to the resort.
In 1988 Blackwolf Run's River course was the first of four Pete Dye courses to open at The American Club, followed by The Meadow Valleys course in 1990.
Whistling Straits and The Irish followed in 1998 and 2000 respectively. The Baths at Blackwolf Run was added in 2021
Blackwolf Run hosted the U.S. Womens Open in 1998 and 2012, and The Andersen Consulting World Championships from 1995-1997.
The Straits course at Whistling Straits hosted the U.S.A PGA championships in 2004, 2010, and 2017 and The Ryder Cup in 2021
When Meadow Valleys was built Pete Dye added 18 holes to the Blackwolf Run project thus creating the River and Meadow Valleys courses at Blackwolf Run.
But the holes were arranged in such a way that the the new holes became holes 5-13 on the River course and holes 1-9 on the Meadow Valleys course
When tournaments are run at Blackwolf Run the original holes are used as the championship course (1-4, and 14-18 on The River Course and the back nine on Meadow Valleys).
The sister course to the River course continues very much in the same vein as The River course.
It winds through lush vegetation interacting with the Sheyboygan River at every opportunity.
And generally it is those river holes that are the highlights.
Dye still manages to throw in some unique looking holes and challenge with awkward approach angles
It is playable off the appropriate tee but is a beast off the back pegs
I thought the strong par fours at holes fourteen and eighteen were impressive, and absolutely world class!
Notable holes include:
- hole 8 (Wet and Wild), a par 3 diagonally over the river which continues along the left side of the green
- hole 9 (Deer Hunt), a tough, long par 4 with water along the right side of the green (see pic mid page)
- hole 14 (Nature's Course), a delightful par 4 with the green tucked into a bend in the river. The downhill aprroach is one of the highlights of the round
- hole 17 (Maple Syrup), a pretty, but demanding shorter par 3
- hole 18 (Salmon Trap), a demanding finishing hole with a long diagonal approach over the river to complete the round. The hole has an alternative green for the red tees that does not require a river crossing..