August 11, 2009

A Major For Charlotte's Quail Hollow GC in 2017?

North Carolina is no stranger to hosting major championships, but so far, all but one of the half dozen hosted in the Tar Heel state in the past 25 years have been on one street -- Midland Road in Pinehurst, which has Pinehurst #2 sitting one end of Midland Road and Pine Needles sitting at the other. That may change in 2017.

Pinehurst and Pine Needles: Two Children of One Designer

Located a mere 4.5 miles apart, the Donald Ross designed courses of Pine Needles and Pinehurst #2 have hosted five US Opens in the past thirteen years...and two more US Opens are set forthe venerable Pinehurst course in 2014. Pinehurst is an easy drive for fans from all of the metropolitan areas spread across North Carolina, which is now the 9th most populous state in the country. Thanks to that convenient location, the Opens hosted there have been extremely well-attended and profitable events. Still, if one thinks that the only great courses in NC are in Pinehurst, they would be quite mistaken.

Roughly 78 miles away to the west of Pinehust is Charlotte's Quail HollowCountry Club, and it too may be hosting a major, according to the Charlotte Observer:

There are still agreements to be reached, details to be worked out and contracts to be struck. There is a courtship to be continued, though both sides – the club and the PGA of America – share an interest in bringing the PGA Championship to Charlotte in 2017 or soon after that.

Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris has never made a secret of his desire to bring a major championship to the club his father created nearly 50 years ago. It's that desire that preceded the return of the PGA Tour to Quail Hollow seven years ago.

With the overwhelming success of the Quail Hollow Championship and the glowing endorsement of the golf course from the world's best players, Quail Hollow's credentials are firmly established.

PGA of America officials do not comment publicly on potential future sites of the organization's biggest tournament nor the Ryder Cup, something Quail Hollow has also expressed an interest in hosting (though its first available open U.S. date is in 2024).

However, representatives of the PGA of America have visited Quail Hollow to evaluate how it might handle the staging of a major championship. They were pleasantly surprised by the space available to handle all that comes with a major championship.

Golf fans already know Quail Hollow well, as it has hosted the Quail Championship under various sponsorship names through the years, and the event is not only quite popular with fans, it is also a favorite stop for many of the top names in pro golf. The tournament is one of the best run of the year and the Quail Hollow golf course is also regarded as one of the best that the pros see and play on year in and year out. And now, it seems to be on the precupice of becoming a venue for a major.

Nothing firm has been announced, but Quail Hollow officials seemed quite confident in the context of the the Observer article. Given the size of the city, 35th largest MSA in the country, and an easy drive from several other top 50 MSAs, it would seem a natural fit for a course that is very well regarded. Sponsorship would not be a problem, given the corporate interests that call the area home, and North Carolina's golf fans are fairly well known for supporting their professional events -- major or non-major.


  1. Oh great - Quail Hollow finally gets a major - five years after the world ends in 2012.

    I'm not a huge fan of having a regular tour stop and a major at the same course in the same year.

  2. It seemed to work well at Torrey Pines, Court.

    And there's no guarantee that the regular stop will be there that year. The tournament could move across town or across the state pretty easily.

  3. Scioto Country Club in Columbus Ohio is bidding for 2017 PGA as well. Played there this summer after renovation. Awesome place! Boyhood course of Jack Nicklaus.


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