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Rural beauty awaits Ryder Cup guests just outside Whistling Straits

Posted at 6:25 PM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 10:29:45-04

SHEBOYGAN COUNTY — Just west of the grounds of Whistling Straits golf course is a four-square-mile grid that's home to dairy farms, homesteads, orchards, and a little country cafe.

"It's one of my favorite meals," said Dave Rank, a repairman. He comes to Whispering Orchards and Cafe for their haystack breakfast.

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The tidy cafe and small orchard are among the many places you can visit in rural Sheboygan County, home to mostly farms but also currently one of the world's hottest sports events, the Ryder Cup.

The lights and noise on the course pose a sharp contrast to the quiet of the countryside that awaits guests once off the event grounds.

County residents, like Doris, a retiree, love this area for just that.

"It’s just the color and the quietness of it. You can go to a lot of places to get something," she said.

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According to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, in 2017 there were nearly 1,000 farms in Sheboygan County. Compare that to Milwaukee County with just 86.

So it's no surprise it's the county's farms and farm land that define most of the scenery.

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The Ryder Cup does bring heavy traffic and inconveniences to some people who live in the area. Dave Rank, the haystack lover and Plymouth resident, think it's worth the rerouting he has to do for his work commutes.

"Like I tell people that may not like it: hey, it's just like road construction for one week," said Rank.

Plus, he said, he's behind the economic benefits.

"They build the businesses for the tourists. Let people come in and use it. It helps restaurants stay in business," said Rank.

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