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Whistling Straits to host 2004 PGA Championship

Whistling Straits, the Pete Dye-designed course where the PGA Club Professional Championship was held here last summer, was chosen today as the site for the PGA Championship in 2004.

Herbert V. Kohler Jr., chairman and president of the Kohler Co., a bathroom fixtures and small engine manufacturer, opened the course just north of Sheboygan less than two years ago.

The club professionals gave Whistling Straits rave reviews in June, even though the championship's final round was delayed six hours by fog.

The 7,208-yard course, built on bluffs along the Lake Michigan shore, features 70-foot dunes of imported sand and fescue grasses for its fairways.

The course's grand opening -- a $30,000-a-foursome fund raiser for the United States Golf Association's First Tee program -- drew former President George Bush, the heads of the PGA and LPGA and singer Amy Grant, among other celebrities.

The course harkens back to the early character of golf, Kohler said.

"There is nothing like it on this continent," he said. "I can't think of a better place in the world to celebrate the game than amongst the winds, the dunes and fescue grasses on the shores of Lake Michigan in the month of August."

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