When the four courses at Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wis., each end their seven-month long golf seasons around the end of October, they will have played 90,000 to 100,000 rounds, with the famed Straits Course leading the way with between 25,000 and 26,000 rounds.

Most of those rounds, particularly on the Pete Dye-design Straits course that has hosted six men’s and women’s major championships and the 2021 Ryder Cup, come from the package golf business.

‘That’s how we manage this course,’’ Whistling Straits Director of Golf Operations Michael O’ Reilly told me at Golf Tourism Network’s recent Wisconsin Golf Tourism Week. “To play the Straits, you have to spend two nights in one of our hotels (The American Club, Inn on Woodlake and Kohler Cabin Collection). You can’t just call and book a tee time, so the majority of the players are on golf packages, which includes rounds on the others courses (Irish Course at Whistling Straits and River and Meadow Valleys courses at Blackwolf Run). It’s really managing what the big driver is.’’

Since 1998, the Straits Course, which plays along a two-mile stretch of Lake Michigan, has been that big driver. It’s been tweaked over the years to accommodate six men’s and women’s major championships and Ryder Cup, but now with the fairways recently widened for resort play, O’Reilly said the Straits “is back to the way Pete originally designed it.’’

Photo: The Straits at Whistling Straits