Quail Hollow Club, host of the PGA Championship, is perhaps best known for its three-hole finishing stretch, known as the Green Mile. To be sure, holes 16-18 will be pivotal in determining the PGA winner. But here are five holes at Quail Hollow that deserve watching, as well.
No. 1, par 4, 524 yards: The PGA Championship gets off to a brutal start with the first hole, which is a brand new hole and a par 5 for the Quail Hollow members. If players hit the fairway, it’s likely a long iron second shot. But if they find the thick Bermuda rough, getting to the green in two will be a real problem. Making a bogey – or worse – is a tough way to start your round, especially in the last few groups on Sunday.
No. 7, par 5, 546 yards: This will likely be the easiest hole on the course. Just about everyone in the field should be able to get to this par-5 in two shots from the fairway. However, there’s a creek on the right of the fairway and a pond on the right that needs to be dealt with. And missing the fairway will necessitate a layup. But it’s an exciting hole to watch.
No. 11, par 4, 462 yards: About 40 yards was added to this hole in the recent course renovations. And the changes make this a much tougher hole. Not only is the tee shot more difficult but the sloping green makes it imperative that you leave your second shot below the hole. After a birdie on the par-5 11th, you need a par at the 11th to keep the momentum going.
No. 13, par 3, 208 yards: The green complex at the 13th is one of the most difficult on the course. Players will come into this green with a mid-iron to a long iron and most players will be happy to get their tee shot into the middle of this green. If not, you will pay a penalty. If you want to watch players practice their short games, park at this hole for a while.
No. 14, par 4, 344 yards: This short par 4 will entice the player to do something he might not normally attempt. It’s downhill and right to left and most certainly, this hole will be set up at least one day to encourage players to drive the green. But with firm greens and water on the left, a tough decision will have to be made, particularly among those who chase the leaders on Sunday.