The American Club Resort
By Roger Cox, Editor
Neither the Wisconsin dairylands nor a company town like Kohler, home of the eponymous bathroom and kitchen fixture manufacturer, inspires visions of an inimitable resort vacation. Yet since its inception in the early 1980s, the American Club has quietly emerged as one of the great resorts in all of the Midwest, one made all the more unusual for being a showcase for the Kohler Company that owns it.
The heart of the resort is a stately red-brick National Historic Landmark originally built in 1918 to house immigrant employees and now extensively renovated and expanded to encompass a conference center and 240 rooms and suites, all with opulent bathrooms—including whirlpool tubs—straight out of a Kohler catalog. Hand-crafted oak paneling, Oriental rugs, down comforters, and stained glass further enhance elegant comfort. Pampering is as close as the new Kohler Waters Spa, located right at the American Club. And all of this is just steps from the Kohler Design Center, which exhibits Kohler products past and present.
There is an almost eerie magnificent obsession about the entire resort, as if every brick and fixture had to reflect the Kohler Company's pursuit of polished excellence. That has, however, engendered extraordinary amenities, among them Pete Dye's 72 testing golf holes: two courses at Whistling Straits (the Straits course, which snagged prime real estate bordering Lake Michigan and is ranked No. 5 public course in the U.S. by Golf Digest, and the Irish course) and two courses at Blackwolf Run (the River course, ranked No. 11, and the Meadow Valleys course). Add to that a racquet and fitness facility called the Sports Core (which has a dozen courts, half of them indoors), miles of biking and hiking trails, and even a wilderness preserve. The resort also has nine restaurants, foremost among them the Immigrant, whose menu reflects Wisconsin's cultural heritage with choices as superb as the prices are high.
Pro Shop: 920-457-4444
Tennis Staff. Director of tennis Art Santos,
a Peter Burwash International pro, has been at the resort
since 1985. A graduate of the University of Hawaii, where
he played No. 1 singles and doubles, he ranked No. 1 in
the state for five consecutive years. He subsequently joined PBI in 1979, touring the world before settling in Kohler.
Tennis Programs. At the Sports Core, which is membership based, Santos has put in place a set of adult group clinics, each geared to a particular level of proficiency, as well as junior classes for everyone from 4- and 5-year-old Pee Wees to beginning, intermediate and advanced juniors ages 10 to 18. As a guest at the resort, you can take advantage of private, semi-private and group lessons, as well as such group events as tournaments—both adult and junior—and round robins.
Courts & Fees. Sports Core, the 100,000-square-foot recreational facility, has 12 hard courts, half of them indoors. Court fees: $16/hour outdoors, $37/hour indoors.
Golf Courses. The resort has four notable Pete Dye courses: 36 holes at Blackwolf Run and another 36 at Whistling Straits along Lake Michigan.
If you like the sound of the American Club, also take a look at:
- The Boulders, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, Arizona
- Fisher Island Club, Florida
- Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Hawaii
Rates and Reservations
Rates are subject to 5% sales tax and 5% village tax. Both rooms and suites are available.
Kohler, WI 53044
Web Link: The American Club Resort
Seasons. The indoor courts allow year-round tennis.
General Tourist Information. For general information about travel to this part of Wisconsin, visit the Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce website.