Only Pete Dye could have convinced owner Herb Kohler to rip apart an award-winning course and still come out a winner. Dye coupled the front nine of America's Best New Public Course of 1988 (now holes 1-4 and 14-18) with nine newer holes built within a vast bend of the Sheboygan River to produce the River Course. It possesses some of Dye's most exciting holes, from the triple-option reachable par-4 ninth to the boomerang-shaped par-5 11th to the monster par-4 18th, where Kohler surprised Dye by converting a long waste bunker into a temporary lagoon for tournament events. For major events, like the 2012 U.S. Women's Open, Dye's original 18 was used. But for survey purposes, Golf Digest evaluates the River 18 available for general play.
100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1993. Highest ranking: No. 31, 1993-1994. Previous ranking: No. 91
“Dye is the master of design intimidation by manipulating your mind's eye. Visually stimulating, demanding a high level of skill in shot-making.”
“There is much movement and speed, along with ridges, mounds, swells, and undulation in these greens, the player should be supplied with Dramamine prior to playing.”
“A very natural, beautiful setting for a golf course. It wraps around and through the Sheboygan River, with a few significant elevation changes through the hills surrounding the river.”
“I loved the eighth hole, a big dogleg-right par 5. You'll want to hit the perfect drive to set yourself up. And you'll be tempted, like me, to hit a couple of drives there to see how much you can bite off.”
“I really was blown away with the setting of the course, and I think the routing masterfully used the beautiful vistas and encounters with the river were spectacular.”