KOHLER - In 1998, the U.S. Women's Open came to Kohler, starting a string of majors coming to Wisconsin.
This July, the tournament returns to the Original Championship course at Blackwolf Run.
U.S. Golf Association officials were in Kohler Thursday checking out the course ahead of the event.
They say they're on course to finalize plans for the 2012 U.S. Women's Open.
"It's just making final tweaks, final adjustments as to the conditions at play, which tees we're going to use, and all those kinds of things," said U.S. Women's Open senior director Tim Flaherty.
After about four years of planning, the event is now just a few months away. USGA officials say they're excited.
"These are the best women players in the world, and they're going to be playing a world class golf course in a world class environment," Flaherty said.
This Open will be the second USGA Championship staged at Blackwolf Run. The first took place in 1998. 115,000 fans turned out for the U.S. Women's Open. Se Ri Pak won the championship in a sudden death playoff.
"That's fantastic. It was really the first championship that Kohler hosted along with the USGA so there's a lot of history for us," said Kohler Company director of golf Jim Richerson.
Kohler Company officials said just like in 1998, golf fans can expect plenty of family friendly activities, including a movie night, live music, and more.
"It's over the Fourth of July week, so there's a lot of activities that will be happening in and around the village of Kohler along with the event," Richerson said.
Richerson hopes to see attendance levels on par with the last event. He said right now he's seeing a trend toward championship levels.
With major players and tens of thousands of fans expected, Sheboygan County tourism officials say the event will bring at least $20 million into the area.
"$20 million would probably be like adding another whole summer period to the area," said Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce tourism director Amy Wilson.
Wilson said there are encouraging signs the Open will be a huge success.
"My office takes calls just about every day now from people wanting to come in from all over the country, and really from other countries as well, so it's really exciting," Wilson said.
USGA officials have similar expectations for the event.
"Our expectations are very high, and anything that we've done here, or the PGA has done here, those high expectations have been met," said Flaherty.
Several of the players have not seen the course before. So some will come to Kohler in the next couple of months to get some practice rounds in.
Also - because of improvements in equipment, the course will be longer than it was in 1998.
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