While some still bemoan the loss of the Greater Milwaukee Open/U.S. Bank Championship, there is little argument that golf is stronger than ever in Wisconsin, which will play hose to some of the game's biggest tournaments over the next 10 years.
Losing the annual PGA Tour stop did hurt, more from an image standpoint than anything else, but the game is still strong in the state, which has become a MECCA for championship-caliber tournaments.
Whistling Straits has already played host to two of golf's majors, the 2004 and 2010 PGA Championships and it's scheduled to do so again in 2015. The course will also play host to the 2020 Ryder Cup. In addition, the U.S. Senior Open was played there in 2007.
Blackwolf Run, the first championship course in the state, hosted the 1998 U.S. Women's Open and that tournament is scheduled to return next year.
Up in Erin, in the shadow of Holy Hill, the best up-and-coming golfers in the nation competed for the U.S. Amateur championship at Erin Hills, a sprawling and beautiful course that was built with major championships in mind.
Erin Hills will host the 2017 U.S. Open – the first time golf's most prestigious event is contested in America's Dairyland – and has drawn such rave reviews this year during the U.S. Amateur Championship that it's reasonable to expect that the course will be "in the rotation" for many years to come."
But what happens after the 2020 Ryder Cup?
"If everything stays the way it is in this state, there's no reason the PGA wouldn't continue coming back," PGA of America President Joe Steranka said last year during the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.
All things considered, landing another regular PGA Tour stop for Milwaukee seems incredibly unlikely. The corporate sponsorship dollars just aren't available and for fans, their entertainment budgets can only be stretched so far.
Landing major tournaments like the PGA and the Open, though, are hardly consolation prizes. Wisconsin has become a destination for golf. That's a good thing. Better than being the home of an annual event which draws few, if any, top players.
Major Championships in Wisconsin:
1933 – PGA Championship, Blue Mound CC
1998 – U.S. Women's Open, Blackwolf Run
2004 – PGA Championship, Whistling Straits
2007 – U.S. Senior Open, Whistling Straits
2010 – PGA Championship, Whistling Straits
2011 – U.S. Amateur, Erin Hills
2012 – U.S. Women's Open, Blackwolf Run
2015 – PGA Championship, Whistling Straits
2017 – U.S. Open, Erin Hills
2020 – Ryder Cup, Whistling Straits
Moneyball: Some wondered if Prince Fielder's choice in walk-up music Saturday was some sort of a subliminal message. All of the songs had some sort of a money theme, leading to speculation that he was seeking an extension with the Brewers.
Fielder was less-than-accommodating to a reporter inquiring about the musical choices leaving it up to your own speculation what he was trying to accomplish.
This much, though, can be said with near-certainty: Prince Fielder's future, or lack thereof, in Milwaukee lies squarely on his shoulders. It is his choice, entirely up to him. The Brewers have made offers and Fielder, along with his agent, Scott Boras, have turned them down.
All of his talk about wanting to be in Milwaukee and hoping to stay in Milwaukee ... if he really wanted to, he could. This could have been done a long time ago.
There's little argument that the best situation for Fielder, moving forward, is here in Milwaukee. That's not up for debate. He could take a cue from Jered Weaver of the Angels who turned down plenty of money to sign long-term extension with Los Angeles ... but what are the odds two Boras clients leave money on the table in the same year?
Upgrade updates: Not long ago, Scorecard wondered if upgrading Lambeau Field was the right decision for a franchise (and a stadium) that prides itself on tradition and heritage.
After seeing the plans for the latest Lambeau changes, Scorecard tips its cap to the Packers' front office.
The 6,600-seat addition will fully enclose the stadium while also adding more concourse space, elevators, escalators and concession areas and knocking a significant chunk off the team's season-ticket waiting list.
More importantly, though, the plans appear to show that the team was sensitive to the design process. Everything appears to blend in wonderfully with the existing structure and doesn't add any kind of Soldier Field-esque spaceship qualities.
Lambeau has come along way since the days of the green sheet-metal siding and when finished (you have to assume this is the last major addition for the foreseeable future), the stadium will be among the largest (in terms of capacity) in the NFL.
Kudos to the Packers for doing it right.
No national interest: ESPN, which had broadcast the annual Wisconsin-Marquette game (or Marquette-Wisconsin, depending on your loyalty and level of sensitivity) the last several years will not do so when the teams meet again in 2012. The game will instead be broadcast by the Big Ten Network.