WHISTLING STRAITS — The countdown is on to the Ryder Cup.
In a few days, golf fans will arrive at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan County and feel like they are in golf heaven.
After a one-year delay because of the pandemic, it's almost time to play golf.
"Certainly a lot of work going on as we hear in the background," said 2020 Ryder Cup Director Jason Mengel. "But we will be ready."
The rolling hills, green fairways under bright blue skies with a Lake Michigan backdrop look spectacular.
But it's not just about the views - it's also about getting the venue ready and safe for the sold-out event.
There are huge tents everywhere.
TMJ4 toured the recently constructed viewing stands and massive tents with Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services Secretary, Dawn Crim.
The planning process started in 2019, with the state's safety team involved along the way.
"Codes are set up for either a permanent structure or temporary, so there are different aspects of the code that apply to more temporary structures like tents and platforms and things," said Crim.
There are nearly 500 tents on location, including massive double-decker tents for corporate suites with amazing views of the course.
Each suite holds up to 30 people and sold out at $195,000 per suite.
But the other public viewing areas, like the one at the first tee, are just as spectacular and include ADA access for wheelchairs.
All temporary structures are built just for this event.
"When you're looking at temporary structures, the first thing you're thinking about is stability," said Secretary Crim. "And the loads do as you look at this grandstand, it's magnificent, but it takes a lot of scaffolding underneath to ensure that it is solid and stable."
Secretary Crim says the high-profile event required a team effort.
"Our safety team has done many events, and many outdoor events. This is one of a magnificent scale, so it's one of the largest outdoor events."
When tournament play begins next Friday, it won't be just about watching the greatest players.
Ryder Cup Director Mengel says pride and patriotism will be also on the line.
"So with that atmosphere that it creates when you're playing for the flag on your chest, it really resonates through the crowd and frankly with viewers from around the globe."
The Ryder Cup is a first for Whistling Straits, but this same course has hosted the PGA Championship three times, the most recent in 2015.