Top Five Memories of the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits

Featured Columnist Andy Reistetter was on site last week at the 92nd PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.

Here are his Top 5 memories of a fascinating week:

1. The golf course won!

The par-3 7th hole at Whistling Straits.

The par-3 7th hole at Whistling Straits.

I thought the golf course was an excellent choice to host a major championship. It deserves to be up there with the elite golf courses of the world including the hosts of the other three majors this year: Augusta National, Pebble Beach, and the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland.

To me it seemed like a tilted Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass where THE PLAYERS is conducted each year. The landscape was tilted about 20 degrees to the east by design. All the water drains off to form Lake Michigan, except Howard’s Creek on the 18th hole and the lake on the par-5 fifth hole.

True to its designer all the holes on this golf course are “Dye-abolical” to the n’th degree of Herb Kohler’s vision and financing. The only hole called “Dye-abolical,” the 18th, was pivotal as it was designed same as the 17th on the Stadium Course.

2. The golf course was not the story, only the means by which a true champion of golf was determined.

Tom Lehman, the oldest player in the field used a 4-iron from 217 yards to ace the 17th hole. Photo Credit: Google Images

Tom Lehman, the oldest player in the field used a 4-iron from 217 yards to ace the 17th hole. Photo Credit: Google Images

Although “the young and the long” Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, and Nick Watney were in the mix at the end, other golfing constituencies were well represented.
“Shorter, older and wiser players” such as Jim Furyk and Steve Elkington were able to make a run for the “Glory’s Last Shot” title on Sunday afternoon as well as Zach Johnson.

Senior PGA champion Tom Lehman recorded the only ace of the week at the 17th in the third round.

The robust competition is a true indication of the fairness and the value of shot-making on the Straits Course in Kohler’s Golf World.

3. Golf is a game that challenges people as much mentally as physically yet is open to the comeback nature of the human spirit.

Dustin Johnson's ill-fated bunker shot on the last on Sunday. Photo Credit: Google Images

Dustin Johnson’s ill-fated bunker shot on the last on Sunday. Photo Credit: Google Images

Still, to come back from behind, one has to have the skill, the commitment of endless hard work, and the determination to do so.

Dustin Johnson is the game of golf and the game of golf is Dustin Johnson.

Ironic though true, the prelude to the final round at Whistling Straits was a complete reversal of the final round at Pebble Beach.

Instead of being the hunted with a three stroke lead, DJ was in the hunt performing as needed down the stretch to erase the three stroke deficit in his face at the start of the day.

Sad but true, he did not get it done when he had another good opportunity to do so.
A triumphant ending in a major is in store for the taller of the two Johnsons with more hard work and determination to not let what happened in a bunker on the home hole on Sunday be the final chapter in this young man’s golfing career.

4. Billionaire patron of golf Herb Kohler and one of the best golf course architects of all time Pete Dye are indeed a “dynamic duo.”

Kohler's last shot at glory is not the 2010 PGA Championship...

Kohler’s last shot at glory is not the 2010 PGA Championship…

Kohler made three great business decisions on his way to hosting three PGA Championships and one Ryder Cup.

The first was to venture into the hospitality business with the genesis of the American Club, a five-star resort in the hometown named for his immigrant ancestry.

The second was to listen to and act upon the desires of the guests at the American Club.

“We want golf courses to play upon,” so Herb Kohler gave them golf courses to play upon.

The third historical decision was to hire Pete Dye to design all four of the golf courses in the Kohler golfing empire.

As Kohler and Dye hobbled across the 18th green to the PGA of America’s ceremony awarding Martin Kaymer the Wannamaker Trophy, it seemed historic that they did so together.
Somehow the “Dynamic Duo” saved Golf City and the 2010 Season one more time to the delight of golf patrons worldwide.

5. The ending was clear and simple.

Martin Kaymer, deservingly so, took home the Wannamaker Trophy...

Martin Kaymer, deservingly so, took home the Wannamaker Trophy…

Only the golfer Dustin Johnson and his caddie Bobby Brown are responsible for not complying with the rules of golf.

Whether it happened on the first of 72 holes of competition or the last, the penalty incurred is no different than the penalty for hitting a golf ball out of bounds or into a water hazard.

Bubba Watson did not win his first major because he was outperformed and out-strategized by his playing partner for three pivotal playoff holes.

Both Watson and Kaymer missed the fairway on what was then a match play competition transformed from an aggregate three hole competition.

Watson missed an opportunity to gather information, make a competitive decision and then perform.

To not have seen or assessed Kaymer’s lie in the rough was simply foolish.

To say having fun and being in the Ryder Cup was the target and reward for competing in the 92nd PGA Championship is fine but silly in light of what could have been for the whiz kid.
The drama of the finish should have extended to both players being dry with a chip shot near the 18th green.

Martin Kaymer was flawless in his strategy and performance during the playoff.

He accepted Watson making threes on the first two holes which he regarded as par-3s for the long hitting pink panther from Milton, Florida.

Then the competitor made his move with a deuce on No. 17 and an easy bogey to win after Watson folded and threw in his cards after his second shot on the 18th.

Indeed, a memorable week, at Whistling Straits for the 2010 PGA Championship...

Indeed, a memorable week, at Whistling Straits for the 2010 PGA Championship…

It was indeed a memorable week at Whistling Straits.

Germany’s Martin Kaymer is now a major champion along with the United States’ Phil Mickelson, Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen in the year of 2010.

Rory McIlroy, Nick Watney, Bubba Watson, and Dustin Johnson will have to wait until at least the 2011 Masters to become a major champion.

Can anyone not see that golf is a game of the whole wide world?

Why wait for golf in the Olympics in the year of 2016?

Catch the fascination, excitement and thrill now.

Good living and better golfing my friends!


Andy Reistetter is a freelance golf writer. He follows the PGA TOUR volunteering and working part time for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, and The Golf Channel.

He resides near the PGA TOUR headquarters and home of The PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Reistetter enjoys pursuing his passion for the game of golf and everything associated with it. He can be reached through his website Andy’s Golf & Travel Diary or by e-mailing him to