Haven, Wis. – Even if you visit Whistling Straits this week, you won't get to make a heel print in the "Dustin Johnson bunker." It's now covered by a hospitality area.
"This year I don't have to worry about it," Johnson said Wednesday. "Thank you, PGA. I appreciate that."
Johnson knocked himself out of a playoff in the 2010 PGA Championship by grounding his club in what he thought was just a patch of sand because it was inhabited by spectators. He failed to heed the rules sheet and warnings that all sandy areas, regardless of whether they were outside the ropes, would play as bunkers.
There are even more notices in the locker room this year.
"I haven't looked at them," Johnson said, "but I don't need to."
While fans and media continue to harp on the majors Johnson has blown with mental gaffes or poor putting, he says he's not anxious heading into the PGA Championship.
"I'm just chilling," he said.
The U.S. Open produced rancor and endless chatter about the condition of the Chambers Bay greens. That's not the case at Whistling Straits.
"They are rolling very pure," Justin Rose said.
Said Johnson, who three-putted the 72nd hole at Chambers Bay to lose by one: "Those surfaces weren't as nice as these, so it was tough to control what was going on."
Kerry Haigh, the PGA of America's course-setup guru, said the course is playing "a little softer than we would want" because of heavy rain late last week. But if that means better scoring conditions for the field — 97 of the world's top 100 are entered — so be it.
"The best players in the world are here," Haigh said. "We are here pretty much to set the golf course up for them to show their skills."
Thursday could bring isolated showers and wind gusts up to 25 mph. Friday also looks unsettled, but the weekend forecast is almost perfect.
"[Thursday] may be a tougher day to get started," Jordan Spieth said. "But the course is ready for it. The greens are as healthy as I've seen in a long time."
Asked to compare Whistling Straits and Chambers Bay, Spieth replied: "They're both beautiful courses. I like courses alongside bodies of water. Chambers was brown. This is green. This doesn't play like a links course at all. Chambers was as close to American links as I've played."