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The builders of this arresting golf advance accept accepted for added than seven years that the 2017 U.S. Accessible would appear to Erin Hills.

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And yet, a anniversary afore Wisconsin’s aboriginal U.S. Open, co-architect Dana Fry rode about the acreage with a faculty of wonder.

“I still can’t accept it’s happening,” Fry said while continuing on the No. 10 tee. “To try to call the accomplished alternation of contest is like autograph a cine that anybody would anticipate is fabricated up. But this absolutely happened.

“The best accepted denominating agency is that anybody complex all became instantly amorous about it, to the point of some bodies acceptable bedeviled about it to breadth rational decisions were not consistently made.”

The “some people” is in advertence to one in particular, Bob Lang.

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You’ll apprehend his name a lot this week. He was the accountable of an all-encompassing GolfWeek.com allotment (“Erin Hills artist Bob Lang sits in accomplishments as U.S. Accessible eyes emerges”) and the Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella interviewed him for two canicule for an eight-minute allotment that will air Monday night on “Live from the U.S. Open.”

Lang’s account is both boastful and tragic.

He caddied in Danville, Ill., as a kid and fabricated his mark mainly in absolute acreage and greeting cards. He’s not a golfer, but back Bernice Millikin put her 430-acre beasts acreage 35 afar alfresco Milwaukee up for sale, Lang met the $2.5 actor allurement price.

Many others took a attending — and again took a pass. Paul Hundley, a able columnist who approved to put calm a accumulation to buy the land, estimated that three accessible houses drew added than 200 developers from Wisconsin and arctic Illinois.

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Two-time U.S. Accessible best and Fox Sports analyst Curtis Strange calls Erin Hills, with its advanced fairways, a “bomber’s paradise.” The PGA Tour’s top adviser this year is arresting best Dustin Johnson, whose 64 registered drives accept averaged 312.1 yards. Actuality are bristles added associates of the “300 Club” to watch this week.

“Everyone admired the property,” Hundley said. “But they said a golf advance would never assignment here. It’s too remote. I’d adulation to accumulate them all calm and say, ‘See that sign?’ It says: ‘U.S. Open.'”

Lang became captivated with architectonics a golf advance to claiming the world’s best, benign a par-73 that would amplitude able-bodied accomplished 8,000 yards. He clashed with designers Fry, Michael Hurdzan and Golf Digest architectonics analyzer Ron Whitten, eventually “disinviting” Whitten from the team.

Lang dug out his own bunkers and fought to accumulate a behemothic oak timberline on the aboriginal hole. As costs coiled and conditioning of the advance sunk, affair grew that Erin Hills would lose the 2011 U.S. Amateur and any adventitious for a U.S. Open.

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Finally and reluctantly, Lang awash the acreage to Andy Ziegler, a Milwaukee investment-fund manager, in 2009 for $10.5 million.

“When Andy took over,” Fry said, “there were ruts on the aboriginal fairway. You could breach your ankles.”

Ziegler’s banking charge included a huge advance in maintenance, a new adviser and behemothic new convenance breadth that Steve Stricker, in chatting with Fry aftermost week, alleged “pure.”

Ziegler additionally agreed to booty a above banking hit by closing the advance to accessible comedy from October until afterwards Accessible week.

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Said Stricker: “There are no divots, no brawl marks on the greens. It’s in astounding shape.”

Lang active a non-disclosure acceding in 2009 that prevents him from discussing the capacity of Ziegler’s bailout. But he was at Pebble Beach in 2010 (“listening through a able in the door,” Whitten wrote in Golf Digest) back the USGA awarded the U.S. Accessible to Erin Hills, and the USGA has supplied Lang with tickets this week, alleviative him as a guest.

“Without Bob, we would not be continuing here,” Fry said. “That’s the truth. He had the vision. He’s an abundantly amorous person. That angry to obsession, and he couldn’t ascendancy himself. He had to advertise it. And I accede Bob a friend. I feel bad for him in abounding ways, but we’re all amenable for our own situations.”

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Twitter @TeddyGreenstein

Erin Hills artist Dana Fry talks about the advance and what players and admirers can apprehend during the U.S. Open. (Teddy Greenstein/Chicago Tribune)

Erin Hills artist Dana Fry talks about the advance and what players and admirers can apprehend during the U.S. Open. (Teddy Greenstein/Chicago Tribune)

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