Prominent golf course developer Herb Kohler Jnr dies aged 83

Herb Kohler Jnr was an American businessman, part of the Kohler family in Wisconsin, who helped to design some iconic venues in the sport.

Prominent golf course developer Herb Kohler Jnr dies aged 83
Prominent golf course developer Herb Kohler Jnr dies aged 83

American businessman and prominent golf course developer Herb Kohler Jnr has died at the age of 83.

He was a member of the Kohler family of Wisconsin and he was the executive chairman of the Kohler Company, best known for manufacturing plumbing products.

In his younger years, he worked as a labourer at the Kohler Company and in 1965, he was awarded a bachelor's degree in industrial administration at Yale.

As Kohler grew older, he became a huge fan of golf. The Kohler Company operates four courses designed by Pete Dye, the first of which was Blackwolf Run constructed in 1988.

A second course was added to the site and in 1998, Blackwolf Run hosted the US Women's Open which was won by South Korean Pak Se-Ri.

In 1998, Kohler constructed 36 holes at Whistling Straits which has since hosted the PGA Championship in 2004, 2010 and 2015. It also hosted the Ryder Cup in 2021 which was emphatically won by America.

11 years later, Kohler bought Hamilton Hall, now Hamilton Grand, which is a collection of 26 luxury apartments. He also owned the Old Course Hotel at St Andrews, host of the 150th Open Championship back in July.

"His zest for life, adventure and impact inspires all of us. We travelled together, celebrated together, and worked together. He was all in, all the time, leaving an indelible mark on how we live our lives today and carry on his legacy," his family released in a statement on Sunday.

Kohler eventually became a course designer, building the Baths of Blackwolf par-3 course in June 2021. He also planned to design an 18-hole public golf course on Kohler Company property alongside Lake Michigan.

Kohler leaves behind his wife Natalie, two daughters and a son. He has 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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