Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Club will host its first-ever Major starting Thursday as the PGA Championship comes calling. Quail Hollow got its start in 1959 and the course was designed by George Cobb in 1961. There were several modifications made by Arnold Palmer in 1986, with further work done by Tom Fazio in both 1997 and 2003.
Its signature holes are No. 14 and No. 17. Below is a hole-by-hole preview of the course which will host the final Major of 2017.
#1, Par 4, 524 yards – It was lengthened during the summer of 2016 and is now a combination of the original first and second holes. There’s an elevated landing zone for those who can drill their tee shot from left to right. The green is small, undulating, and protected by three bunkers – one in front and one on each side.
#2, Par 4, 452 yards – A long dogleg left, its gone back to its original length after being shorter for a turn. The elevated green has a back-to-front slope after a 280-yard drive to hit the turn and a 170-yard second shot to the green.
#3, Par 4, 483 yards – Accuracy off the tee can make or break you here. The green is elevated and surrounded on three sides by bunkers. There’s also a small ridge that bisects the green.
#4, Par 3, 184 yards – After three big-time lengths to start the course, the new No. 4 is built from the former Par 5 fifth hole. There is a lovely copse of pine trees that should not be viewed up close; otherwise you’re way off course. The green is large and undulating and is front guarded by a trio of bunkers.
#5, Par 4, 449 yards – Formerly a Par 5, its been reformatted for the PGA. You’ll go down and then up a small valley to a green on a hillside. The fairway is surrounded by bunkers, while the green is a narrow strip.
#6, Par 3, 249 yards – This is the course’s longest Par 3 and is a downhill hole. The green slopes from the back to the front, but its straightforward look hides more contours that can send the ball far from where you meant it to go.
#7 Par 5, 546 yards – This hole can be the game changer for big hitters, who should be able to reach the green in two shots, bringing eagles into play. There’s a creek running down the right side that must be reckoned with, and the sloping green is bunker-heavy.
#8 Par 4, 346 yards – A new tee and green were built five years ago, and in 2013, a further 10 feet of elevation and two new bunkers were put in. Since then, the green has been totally rebuilt, with a larger landing area.
#9 Par 4, 505 yards – Very well could be the toughest hold on the course, at least the toughest Par 4. The bunker on the right is always in play and most second shots will be uphill. The hole placement moves around on the green. There are two front bunkers guarding the green.
#10 Par 5, 592 yards – This is the big boy. Eagles are close to unheard of unless you can drive 300 yards and then make a really tough second shot onto a green that slopes right to left and back to front. Most players will play it safe and lay up for a wedge shot to keep the ball below the hole.
#11 Par 4, 462 yards – It grew 40 yards longer in a recent course addition. There used to be a big oak tree at the dogleg but two bunkers have since replaced it, eager to gobble up corner cutters. The new green is elevated and guarded by deep bunkers on the left.
#12 Par 4, 456 yards – Left to right tee shots are never easy, and this one is even tougher with trees crowding the fairway on both sides. The green slopes severely, so a long drive is an absolute must. The most likely bogey on the course.
#13 Par 3, 208 yards – This is the first of a series of very challenging holes. The green lies straight between a pair of bunkers and is two levels. It’s easy to par, but birdies are rare.
#14 Par 4, 344 yards – Harsh and hilly, the bunkers stick into the landing area on both sides of the fairway, there are six of them in all, in addition to a water hazard.
#15 Par 5, 577 yards – The final par 5 on the course, it goes uphill after the tee shot. There is water on both sides, but most pros never get close. A ride runs down the middle of the green, which can cause some difficulty.
#16 Par 4, 506 yards – The beginning of what they call the Green Mile – the toughest three-hole finishing stretch in pro golf. In 2013, the green was moved 80 yards to the left to sit at the edge of a lake. Accuracy is pivotal here.
#17 Par 3, 223 yards – It’s not and island but you might feel that way when you see the size and surrounding of the flag. A bunker will gobble up short shots, the lake awaits everything else.
#18 Par 4, 494 yards – It is consistently the toughest finishing hole on Tour. The tee shot must avoid a bunker on the right and a creek on the left, and the second shot heads uphill with more hazards. If you’re in contention when you get to 18, hope you’ve got the lead.