June 10, 2017
How this intoxicating patch of land came to be Erin Hills, site of golf’s prestigious U.S. Open next month, is a story filled with drama and conflict, triumph and tragedy. But it started with a small ad in the newspaper.
Part 1: ‘The most perfect site.’ How this intoxicating patch of land came to be Erin Hills, site of golf’s prestigious U.S. Open next month, is a story filled with drama and conflict, triumph and tragedy. But it started with a small ad in the newspaper.
Part 2: ‘You should really give him a call.’ Delafield businessman Bob Lang is looking for a piece of land to build a small golf course for his employees and friends. Steve Trattner is looking for a job in golf. Together, they embark on a journey that will transform hundreds of acres in the Kettle Moraine.
Part 3: ‘Best piece of golfing property I’d ever seen.’ Bob Lang passes on Jack Nicklaus and other big-name course architects to design Erin Hills. Instead, based solely on a gut feel, he hires the relatively unknown trio of Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry and Ron Whitten.
Part 4: ‘It was just craziness, is what I remember.’ Years pass without a shovel of dirt being turned and the architects have their doubts that Erin Hills will ever be built. Then Bob Lang attends the 2004 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills and everything changes.
Part 5: ‘He just kept making everything bigger.’ Erin Hills finally opens in 2006, but Bob Lang isn’t finished with the course. His passion turns into obsession as he borrows millions to make “enhancements.” Eventually, he runs out of money … and time.
Part 6: ‘I don’t know who will own it.’ Bob Lang and wealthy money manager Andy Ziegler can’t come to an agreement on terms of the sale of Erin Hills and Ziegler walks away. Then he attends an extraordinary meeting with United States Golf Association officials.
SERIES FINALE: ‘Golf is a journey.’ In a race against time, superintendent Zach Reineking prepares Erin Hills for the 2011 U.S. Amateur. The championship is a huge success – but the course has a long way to go before it can play host to the U.S. Open.