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Whistling Straits - Irish Course

Getting To Know: Whistling Straits - Irish Course

An Insightful Interview With Michael O'Reilly, Head Golf Professional

By Brian Weis

Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with Michael O'Reilly who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.

Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
The Irish Course is the second of two championship courses at Whistling Straits. The Irish Course is just inland from the great lake and interspersed by four meandering streams. The grassland-and-dunes aspect of the Irish is a deceivingly tranquil landscape. Both traditional and memorable, the Irish is full of unique challenges for players of all abilities.

If Someone Was Looking To Golf In The Area, Why Should They Play Your Course?
The Irish is a unique and challenging golf course that was recently ranked by Golf Digest as the 39th best public access golf course in the United States. It would be a mistake for someone to visit our destination and just play the more well known Straits Course... The Irish is tough to beat!

What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
Like the Straits Course, the Irish is littered with mounds and bunkers. Avoiding fairway bunkers off the tee is a must. Some of them you will be able to advance the ball but many won't allow you that luxury. I recommend if you are not 100% certain you can advance the ball, pitch out and treat it like a penalty stroke.

Your best bet is to avoid them!

Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
Top 100 Public Access Golf Courses Golf Digest 1/13 Whistling Straits - Irish Course #39

Top 100 Courses You Can Play Golf Magazine 7/12 Whistling Straits - Irish Course #74

Best Summer Golf Destinations 6/12 The American Club Resort #1 in the Midwest

Best Courses in Wisconsin Golf Magazine
Whistling Straits - Irish Course #4

Top 10 Northern U.S. Golf Resorts Conde Nast Traveler 4/12 The American Club Resort #3 - Reader Score: 87.8

Platinum Award Golf Magazine 3/12
The American Club Golf Category Score: 95.60

What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
The 11th hole on the Irish is a long par 3 with a large, deep green. Two reasons this hole is memorable... 1) Two very large pot bunkers that await your ball should you miss the green left. The bunkers are roughly six feet deep so most players won't even see the target they are aiming at! 2) The sheep pen, yes, that's right, the sheep pen, where Whistling Straits' Scottish Black Faced Sheep reside is directly behind the green. Watch where you walk... You never know what you may step on!

What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
My favorite hole on the Irish Course is the par 5 14th. The green is reachable in two but the more conservative play would be to lay up short and right of the creek. This lay up will lead you with a short iron or wedge to a long and narrow green.

Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole?
It's Whistling Straits... Try the Guinness!

Who Holds Course Record and What Was Their Score?
Mike Frechette - 67 - 2007 Wisconsin Assistant Golf Professional Association Stroke Play

We hosted some of the best collegiate players in the world during the 2005 Palmer Cup (Collegiate version of the Ryder Cup) but no official scores were recorded because it was a match play event.

Back Tee Stats
Par: 72
Yardage: 7201
Slope: 146
Rating: 75.6

More Information
Whistling Straits - Irish Course
N8501 County Road LS
Sheboygan, WI, 53083

More Information »

Revised: 02/20/2013 - Article Viewed 36,194 Times - View Course Profile

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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