HARTFORD -- Even before hosting the 2017 U.S. Open, Erin Hills offered a unique experience for golfers. Now, the course has even more to offer.
"Our topography is striking," said Zach Reineking.
Reineking, the director of the grounds at Erin Hills, knows every inch of the course.
"Erin Hills has great undulations," said Reineking.
Now, players can experience completely different undulations, by testing their game in a new way.
"What we want to do was kind of mirror that on a smaller scale, and really provide players with something they wouldn't experience on the golf course," said Reineking.
Welcome to the daunting, exciting, and expansive Drumlin putting course.
"We've got undulations that are up and down, eight feet either way," said Reineking.
"We're seeing a couple of three, four putts out there," said Robert Leist, associate manager at Erin Hills. "The group three holes ahead of us, you couldn't see their feet."
"We're the only one in the State of Wisconsin that has such a thing," said Rich Tock, Erin Hills PGA ambassador.
Like the many contours making up Drumlin, the 63,000 square foot surface had its challenges from its concept to its reality.
"A lot of it was fly by the seat of your pants," Reineking said. "We started with several different conceptual ideas, and skinned that down to saying we wanted something that had a big spine. We wanted something that had a lot of elevation changes. We went back and forth -- is that too much? Is it not enough? There was a learning curve."
Tock recalled Mother Nature added some intrigue to the process.
"We started construction last fall, and then the rains came, and that delayed us, and delayed us, and then winter set in," said Tock. "So we continued this spring and then, as you know, it continued to rain."
In the end...
"What we finally came up with is just a really great blend of undulations and contours that allow players to experience every shot possible on a putting surface," Reineking said.
The challenge for golfers on the course is the unknown.
"There's so many unique putts out there, something I can personally say I haven't experienced on a golf course myself," said Leist.
Even as the natural light fades away, Drumlin will shine brightly.
"We've got LEDs all the way around the entire perimeter of it," said Reineking. "So it's something that -- our sunsets out here are spectacular. You can come out here at 8 or 9 o'clock and enjoy it for several hours into the evening."
"I think there's going to be a lot of competition out there," said Leist. "I think there's going to be a lot of laughs."
"Our owner loves projects," said Tock. "This is his new project. He waited until after the U.S. Open to get this started, and I don't know what his next project will be, but,I'm sure he's got something up his sleeve."
The Drumlin putting course is free to anyone who plays Erin Hills or stays at the property. They moved the first hole's tee complex about 60 yards closer to the course to be able to create the Drumlin.