HARTFORD, Wis. - Some of the best amateur golfers are taking their talents to Wisconsin for the 41st U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
"It's a great event," said Todd Krieg, Mid-Am Championship General Chair. "It's kind of the marathon of golf, and a true champion always seems to emerge."
This is just the second U.S. Mid-Amateur held in Wisconsin, its first since 2008.
Erin Hills is the premiere site once again, hosting its fourth USGA Championship. The host site also partnered up again with the Blue Mound Golf & Country Club.
"Erin Hills is striving to host as many USGA Championships as they can, and it's just a great fit in the time of year with the two clubs," said Bill McCarthy, USGA Championship Director.
"Our partnership with them and the relationship between our two clubs has been very strong, and we work seamlessly with them, and so we're very happy to do this with Erin Hills," said Paul Griepentrog, President of the Blue Mound Golf & Country Club.
The popularity of this championship has drawn in a record number of over 5,300 entries that have been submitted. That number will eventually be whittled down to 264 amateur golfers.
They'll be in for some tough competition, especially since they have to play on two different golf courses.
"Erin Hills is going to play over 7,300 yards and par 71," said McCarthy. "It is a big boy golf course. You've got to play the ball off the tee long. You've got to hit a lot of variety of shots in terms of short irons, mid-irons and what a lot of players aren't used to, a lot of long irons and hybrids possibly into 4 pars."
"The course may be a bit shorter, but our green complexes not only play fast, but are challenging to the shot maker," said Griepentrog.
Six days of golf at Erin Hills and Blue Mound will feature two rounds of stroke play and six rounds of match play.
"It's a different type of event and of which it's almost like a marathon," said Krieg.
To the winner go all the spoils, which includes a trophy and much more.
"He then receives a 10-year exemption into this championship and an exemption into the following year's U.S. Amateur," said McCarthy. "The big one, an exemption into the following year's U.S. Open Championship, and then over the winter, a little piece of paper comes in the mail. Traditionally he receives an invitation to the following year's Masters Tournament. Pretty big get."
The Mid-Amateur Championship provides fans a chance to watch some of the best amateur golfers in action. There's another perk provided as well.
"There are no ropes, so if you come out as a fan, it's free, so you can come out and watch," said Krieg. "You can literally walk the fairways, and you can get an inside the ropes view of the players, how it works."
A major USGA Championship, back in Wisconsin. It doesn't get any better than that.
"It's the people," said Krieg. "It's the volunteers, it's the fans. That's why people keep coming back, so having this championship allows us to show off the culture of Wisconsin."
The Mid-Amateur Championship runs from September 10-15.