Quail Hollow Club's New Look for the Presidents Cup
By Keith Stewart, PGA
A view from the 17th hole of Quail Hollow Club on September 30, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Gary Kellner/PGA of America)
The last time we saw Quail Hollow Club on a Major stage was at the 2017 PGA Championship — which was won by Justin Thomas. 5 years later, the now 2-time PGA Champion Justin Thomas is leading an impressive U.S. Team into the 14th Presidents Cup against a strong International contingent. Looking around Quail Hollow's property this week, one thing is for certain — this course is BIG. The Par-71 layout measures over 7,600 yards and although the overall length will vary each day, length off the tee will play a major role.
Quail Hollow Club, which sits just southeast of downtown Charlotte, is one of the players' favorites as it hosts the PGA Tour every year. And there's one 3-hole stretch on the course that grabs everyone’s attention, holes 16 - 18, better known as the Green Mile. Holes 16, 17 and 18 measure a mile in length and play every bit as long. The lengthy, challenging Par 4 16th, the lakeside Par-3 17th and the creek-crossed 18th each have their own set of carefully designed potential disaster opportunities.
Since most “Cup” matches may only last 15 or 16 holes, the PGA Tour had to think uniquely about incorporating the Green Mile. They achieved this by slightly altering Quail Hollow's routing.
The front 9 begins with hole Nos. 1 through 8 on the scorecard. The 9th hole is actually the 12th hole in the scorecard routing.
The back 9 opens with the Par-3 13th playing as the 10th hole. This 200-yard bunker-heavy green is just the beginning. No. 11 is the drivable, par-4 14th, followed by the mammoth Par-5, 15th hole playing at the 12th hole in the Presidents Cup.
And now, we enter the Green Mile, playing this week as Nos. 13, 14 and 15. By moving the treacherous three holes up to the middle of the back nine, nearly every match will be determined by Quail Hollow’s scary stretch.
The last 3 holes of the Presidents Cup return to earlier holes in the scorecard routing, as holes 10, 11 and 9 become Nos. 16, 17 and 18.
Welcome to Quail Hollow. #PGAChamp pic.twitter.com/qpiD8TDz7A— PGA of America (@PGA) August 9, 2017
Over the course of the Presidents Cup, 18 team and 12 singles matches will be contested on this elegant and evil landscape. And with the thoughtful changes, incorporating the Green Mile at a critical point in nearly every match, the Presidents Cup is sure to deliver some historic moments at iconic Quail Hollow.