“Up there with the best:” Erin Hills Golf Course prepares to host 2017 U.S. Open

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WASHINGTON COUNTY -- One year from today, the U.S. Open will officially begin at Erin Hills Golf Course in the Town of Erin. It's something that's been in the works for six years.

Erin Hills Golf Course

Erin Hills Golf Course

"This time of the year is very chaotic. There's just a lot going on," said Zach Reineking, Erin Hills superintendent.

Looking out over Erin Hills Golf Course, Superintendent Zach Reineking knows this chaotic time is actually the calm before the storm.

"There's an apprehensive excitement because it's fun to think about the U.S. Open being here. So there's a lot of excitement around that time. It's an eager anticipation for 2017," said Reineking.

Zack Reineking

Zach Reineking

The anticipation is something Eric Steimer, of the USGA, is also excited about.

"All eyes are turning to Erin Hills. Erin hills is going to be looked at as how's this golf course stack up with the best. For us, we believe it stacks right up there with the best. This is going to be the first time that Erin Hills has hosted the U.S. Open Championship. I also want to say it's the first time the state of Wisconsin has hosted the U.S. Open Championship in our history. So, there's a lot of firsts out here," said Steimer.

In June 2010, the USGA and Erin Hills, agreed on bringing our national championship of golf to this course that only opened ten years ago.

Erin Hills Golf Course

Erin Hills Golf Course

"I think one of the more fascinating parts to this golf course is just the fact that it's so brand new. You know a lot of the players that we've been talking about for the past decade, the Phil Mickelson's, the Tiger Woods of the world. They've never been out here," said Steimer.

However, as we get closer to the 2017 Open, that will change and Reineking is ready to help any player coming out to see Erin Hills for the first time.

Eric Steimer

Eric Steimer

"We'll try to do whatever we can to create an open-esque experience. That's hard to do. But, there are some things that we would make sure that we would try to present the golf course in a way that they would see it during the open," said Reineking.

"We fully expect they'll come out here to study every blade of grass on this golf course, become more familiar with it," said Steimer.

As the calendar quickly turns, Reineking and his staff feel they're right on pace as their focus now is on the course itself.

Erin Hills Golf Course

Erin Hills Golf Course

"We're just going to grow grass. We're just going to really get the golf course to a point where, by the end of this year, we want to be feeling very confident that when we start in 2017, where we leave off in 2016 is exactly where we want to be in 2017.," said Reineking.

Erin Hills Golf Course

Erin Hills Golf Course

"The golf course today, it's in tremendous shape. I dare say we could host the us open here today if we truly wanted to. Zach Reineking has done tremendous work out here to get this golf course prepared," said Steimer.

And that has the USGA ready for a brand new experience with its long-running championship.

"It's very exciting in the fact that it's a new venue for us, a new host site and the ultimate goal here is to be invited back and to host a successful championship," said Steimer.

Even with Erin Hills being on the clock and the chaos ramping up, Reineking is calm, even welcoming the pressure of being the person ultimately in charge of the next U.S. Open course.

Erin Hills Golf Course

Erin Hills Golf Course

"It's exciting. I mean it is surreal for anybody in my career to experience this. It's just an honor. It's going to be a fun event," said Reineking.