News & ToursAugust 16, 2015

The coolest place to hang out at Whistling Straits is a barn in a parking lot

HAVEN, Wis. -- If you pour it, they will come.

In the heart of the Haven, Wis., fields that surround this week's PGA Championship resides Zig's Hostel and Social Hall. If you can't find it on Google or Yelp, that's because it's only open whenever Whistling Straits hosts a major event. The 2015 tournament is only the fourth such occasion since the course opened in 1998.

But if you walked outside the gates of the golf course this week, the loud sounds of music and good vibes were enough to draw you in.

Zig's is owned by Robert Ziegelbauer, who goes by "Ziggy." He's a stone mason by trade who manages all the rock and boulders at Whistling Straits for 51 weeks of the year. Get him going on stories of Herb Kohler and how he likes his stone work on his course, and you're in for a treat.

But this week, Ziggy owns one of the coolest hangs in the area.

Tall with a generous grin, Ziggy has a handlebar mustache that would make Sam Elliot blush. A caricature of his likeliness is incorporated into a sign at the top of the barn/bar/hostel.

The barn has a makeshift bar in the midst of hay stalls. A big-screen TV from 1995 and a couch that looks like it came from your parents' basement sit close by. In the next room are picnic tables and a small stage.

But the real scene at Zigs is outside the barn. Encircled by RVs and campers from fans and caddies, a horde of patrons, media and Sheboygan citizens are congregated, sharing spirits, stories and smiles.

Ziggy employs Whistling Straits cart girls for bartenders. The band that's playing in the corner is comprised of local caddies.

"What else would they be doing this week?" Ziggy says. His liquor license is renewed only to use for one week of the year, although local town laws require him to get his license for six months at a time.

Better yet, after he pays his temporary employees and bills, Ziggy puts his money from the week to the local Boys and Girls Club.

"I don't want to profit off this, man. It's just having a bunch of fun with people who want to be here," he says.

But don't take our word for it. Here are some of the scenes from Saturday night at Zigs:

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Sadly, the caddie-comprised band did not have a looper-pun name. They rocked the hell out of "867-5309," though.

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"The people here tip better than the golfers that play Whistling Straits."

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If there's a better way to end a night than sharing stories by a fire, we don't know it.

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