Kent Knapp with Milwaukee Blacksmith shakes the hand of
John Morrissett of Erin Hills as he and his fellow artist
and daughter, Zoey, stand near the sculpture they created
for the U.S. Open Championship Thursday morning at Erin
Ehlke/ Conley News Service
TOWN OF ERIN — For Kent Knapp, there is a soul and a
lively energy that goes into creating something with his
hands. After all, his love for blues music is what
brought him to the 117th U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
“For most of my life, blues and blacksmithing have gone
together,” said Knapp, owner of Milwaukee Blacksmith.
latest work is a sculpture that weighs about 2,500
pounds, is about 10 feet tall and 10 feet wide, and is
sitting in fan central at Erin Hills. It’s a shamrock
replica of this year’s championship logo, made of mild
Knapp family business was approached by the USGA about
the project in early May. The family made a name for
themselves with a season of their own show on the
History Channel, also named “Milwaukee Blacksmith.”
Knapp has passed down the skill to his four eldest
children, all of whom, along with his wife, helped make
“All of my kids have picked up a hammer at one point or
another,” Knapp said.
When asked what a project like this takes, Knapp’s
oldest daughter, Zoey, 24, said patience.
Jean Breuer of West Bend brought her grandson to the
opening of the merchandise tent Thursday morning to pick
out a souvenir. But first, they stopped to take a
picture in front of the Knapps’ creation.
hopes the U.S. Open isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime event,
but either way it’s historic, and said this is the
perfect symbol of that.
“It’s a good way to represent the town of Erin and the
state of Wisconsin,” Breuer said.
Diane Mansavage lives just 2 miles away from the course
and said the piece is very fitting for the Erin
“It’s not too fancy,” Mansavage said. “It’s just ...
Janeen Driscoll, the USGA’s public relations director,
said sculptures like the steel shamrock are a modern
concept for the USGA. For the last five years, they have
tried to get a local artisan to design something unique.
want to create an iconic place in fan central where you
can have that one moment in time at the U.S. Open,”
sits in a spot that overlooks the entire course.
According to employees, the sculpture is already a hit,
and Driscoll predicts it will likely be a popular photo
spot this year.
There has not yet been a decision about the fate of the
statue after the final round June 18. It could stay at
Erin Hills, but the Knapp family says they’d be happy to