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Herb Kohler, the owner of several top courses including Whistling Straits, has died at the age of 83.

The businessman, who spent 43 years as chief executive of Kohler Company before handing the reins over to his son David, passed away on Saturday.

Born in 1939, he spent time at Yale University before graduating in 1965.

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Having taken over his family’s business in 1972, Kohler took its annual revenue from $133million to $6billion.

However, despite his profile in the business sphere, he was best known in golf circles as the man behind a handful of world-renowned courses.

Most notable among them was Whistling Straits, which opened in 1998. The Straits course has hosted three majors, as well as last year’s Ryder Cup, while Whistling Straits Irish is also regarded as being among America’s top courses.

He also opened Blackwolf Run in 1988, with its Meadow Valley and River courses both highly regarded. The venue is a previous host of the US Women’s Open.

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And he also owned the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, as well as the Duke’s course.

“His zest for life, adventure and impact inspires all of us,” the Kohler family said in a statement released on Sunday.

“We travelled together, celebrated together, and worked together. He was all in, all the time, leaving an indelible mark on how we live our lives today and carry on his legacy.”

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