SHEBOYGAN (NBC26) — The Ryder Cup is kicking off in just two weeks at the Whistling Straits golf course in Sheboygan. Preparations at Whistling Straits have been underway for the last several months, but the course had been on the PGA of America's radar long before then.
"The course here at Whistling Straits is a phenomenal course," said Nikki Marquard, the PGA marketing and promotions manager. "Previous PGA championships have fared well here and and we've had great success in the market so we knew coming back here for Ryder cup would be even better."
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PGA of America hosted PGA championships at Whistling Straits in 2010 and again in 2015. After the 2015 championship, the course was chosen to host the 2020 Ryder Cup.
Although the setup for the Ryder Cup began in June, renovations at the course actually began several years ago.
"We've made some renovations coming out of the 2015 PGA championship to the course," Marquard said. "Three years ago we started widening some paths, certain areas to make it a better spectator experience come the 2020 Ryder Cup."
From constructing new pathways to building the stands, Marquard says it's the biggest build the PGA of America has ever done.
"June 1 was when our vendors started rolling in and doing the preparation," she said. "We are almost there and we'll be working to the last minute but come Tuesday when the gates open we'll be ready to go."
The Ryder Cup was originally supposed to be held in 2020 but was postponed until this year due to the pandemic. Now with COVID cases still on the rise in Wisconsin and across the country, COVID precautions have been another large part of the preparation process.
"In any indoor structures face coverings will required and outdoors it will be strongly recommended," Marquard said.
Aside from the mask requirement, social distancing is also encouraged and all on-site transactions will be cashless. In addition, spectators will not be permitted to interact with players through handshakes or autographs.
Spectators are asked not to attend if they have tested positive for COVID-19, if they are experiencing any symptoms, or if they have been exposed to COVID in the last two weeks.
With the Ryder Cup right around the corner, Marquard says PGA of America is excited to once again be able host the competition with fans in the stands.
"We are excited to have a full spectator attendance come on site," Marquard said. "We are prepared to see everyone come through the gates Tuesday morning."