A life that honoured golf – a tribute to Herb Kohler
Herb Kohler lived and breathed golf. He had a lifelong love affair with St Andrews and was passionate about its unique history. He contributed enormously over the years to the fabric and vitality of the Home of Golf and his memory will be forever cherished.
Following his loss at the age of 83, he will be mourned not just in the ‘Auld Grey Toon’, but by golf and golfers around the world, particularly by his friends at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. He played many times as an amateur, and his long-time support of the event contributed to the growth and success of the tournament.
For him every visit to St Andrews, and the Old Course, was an unforgettable moment and his love for the place became even more real when he acquired the famous Old Course Hotel adjacent to the 17th hole in 2004.
Five years later he purchased one of the most recognised buildings in the town, Hamilton Hall, the striking maroon edifice to the south of the Royal & Ancient clubhouse, then a student residence, and turned it into the Hamilton Grand luxury apartments.
“His zest for life, adventure and impact inspires all of us,” his family said on his passing and it is a sentiment which everyone in golf will share.
Herb was an influence around the world, way beyond St Andrews. He commissioned architect Pete Dye to create four outstanding courses in Wisconsin: two at Blackwolf Run and two at Whistling Straits, which has to date staged three US PGA Championships, one US Senior Open and the 2021 Ryder Cup. These great courses will pass the test of time and forever be a testament to his passion and his imagination.
He was one of the few people in history to have a mountain named for him; the 1,570 ft (480 metres) Mount Kohler in Antarctica, after his father had financed the expedition which discovered it. He will be missed and remembered.