It’s Official! Erin Hills to Host 2017 US Open
Thursday, 17 June 2010 07:01

We talked about this possibility on our site earlier in the year but now it’s official: Erin Hills will host the 2017 US Open.

Hacker’s Guide will be visiting and reviewing Erin Hills in early September so we’ll be giving you the “hacker” view of the course.

Hacker’s Central has covered the “race to the 2017 U.S. Open” over the last six month like everyone else.  We’ve looked at the upgrades that are in process “ Erin Hill Getting Major Upgrade Since Recent Purchase ” and added some insight on the course’s new owner “ A Moment with Andy Ziegler New Owner of Erin Hills .”

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Now we’ll have a lot more to talk about because new owner Andrew Ziegler, who appears to have pulled Erin Hills out of the abyss of the golf course graveyard and into the golf world’s spotlight, will have a lot to talk about.  Granted it won’t happen for seven years, but a golf course can make a lot of marketing hay in that time.

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The big vision of the previous owner Bob Lang was to snag a major tournament.  That’s why he built what he did in the middle of nowhere and only two hours from heavyweight courses around Kohler, Wisconsin, namely Whistling Straits.  Unfortunately, it usually isn’t the visionary that gets to bask in the glow of achieving his dream.  It’s the second owner. In this case Andrew Ziegler, major league rich guy and hedge fund manager.

Erin Hills, when it first opened in 2006, was designed with a major USGA tournament in mind.

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An article by Gary D’Amato from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and probably the most connected writer who covers Wisconsin golf quoted Mike Davis, the USGA’s senior director of rules and competitions:

"It probably has the best infrastructure - the space between holes, the space around holes - of any course we go to for the U.S. Open," Davis said. "It will be a spectacular test of golf. It will give us so much flexibility in how we set up the course. And our operations people are as excited as I am."

Even before the sale to deep-pocketed Andy Ziegler, the course already has some feathers in its cap. It hosted the 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, and has the 2011 U.S. Amateur on its schedule.  Adding a U.S. Open really isn’t any surprise.

In the world of U.S. Open course awarding, one of the issues with Erin Hills is its remote location. It’s about 40-minutes from Milwaukee so housing the throngs of spectators could be a challenge.  Also, the two-lane highway that connects Erin Hills to the rest of the world might get a bit tricky.  It doesn’t have an abundance of hotel space, but heck, they’ve got seven years to figure that out.

Erin Hills is built to be a prestige course.  A destination.  A place to tell you grandkids that you paid the hefty greens fees and trod the same hallowed ground as PGA players.

In 2010, Erin Hills has been closed all year concentrating on renovations and changes requested by the USGA.  It is schedule to re-open July 31 st and will be walking-only with greens fees of $160.

We want fellow hacker's to weigh in about what they think about Erin Hills as a U.S. Open site in 2017.

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