Guide to Quail Hollow Club Golf Course
When a venue that hosts a regular event on the PGA Tour schedule is selected as a location for a Major Championship, you know the place is special. That is exactly the case with Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, home of the Wells Fargo Championship.
The stunning property was chosen to play host to the 2017 PGA Championship, which was won by Justin Thomas. We’ll highlight that event in a segment below, but this guide was meant to be dedicated to the golf course it was played at.
Information, details, and facts about Quail Hollow Club will be revealed in this all-inclusive catalog telling you all about the private golf club.
We’ll start with the opening and transition into a description of the golf course.
The Wells Fargo Championship in May is a huge part of Quail Hollow, so we’ll unveil some highlights and the most memorable moments that have taken place in the tournament’s history.
The plan is for you to get to the bottom of this page and feel like you’ve been to Quail Hollow several times. Hopefully, you will enjoy it so much that you’ll start scheduling a trip for the next Wells Fargo Championship.
We’ll make sure to leave tips and advice for anyone considering traveling to the absolute gem of a golf course situated just a few miles south of the heart of Charlotte.
Start with this table of key points, and then grab a drink and get comfy. It’s all Quail Hollow Club from here on out!
Quail Hollow Club – Key Facts
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Year Opened
- Owner/Operated By
- Private, Owned by the Members
- Course Designer
- George W. Cobb, Tom Fazio
- 7,600 yards
- Host To
- Wells Fargo Championship (2003-current), 2017 PGA Championship, 2021 Presidents Cup, Kemper Open (1969-1979)
- Official Website
Quail Hollow Club – The Backdrop
So where do we start? Well, we might as well just go back to the very beginning, two years before the golf course known as Quail Hollow Club was even built.
James J. Harris organized a meeting on April 13, 1959, at Morrocroft Farm to discuss the formation of a golf club. About eight months later, in December, the official 21 Founders of Quail Hollow Club went through with its Certificate of Incorporation. On January 4, 1960, Quail Hollow Club was authorized.
The first order of business was designing a golf course, and that’s when legendary golf-course architect George W. Cobb was brought in. Why Cobb? What was on his resume? How about East Lake Golf Club and the Nine Hole Par 3 Course at Augusta National – just to name a few of Cobb’s creations.
It’s important to note that although George Cobb was credited with the original design of Quail Hollow, a couple other well-known gentlemen left their marks on the track in later years.
The first was Arnold Palmer, who was called in in 1986 to modify quite a few holes.
In 1997 and again in 2003, acclaimed course designer Tom Fazio was asked to come to Charlotte and dip his feet into another redesign of the course. Fazio obliged and has been a part the consistent changes at Quail Hollow ever since.
He even came in for a quick, 90-day beautification project to renovate 4 holes in anticipation of the 2017 PGA. On the eve of hosting the 2017 PGA Championship, Fazio told the Charlotteobserver.com the following.
“I don’t think it makes it stronger, I don’t think it makes it harder. That was never our goal. Our goal was to create an environment, a setting, that is special and memorable.”
It’s safe to say that that club president of Quail Hollow, Johnny Harris, got his wish because players gave raving reviews about the layout and setup of the golf course. Speaking of the layout of the golf course, this is a perfect time to segue into that exact topic!
The Layout of the Golf Course
Now that you know a little bit about the how and who played a hand in designing Quail Hollow, it’s time to tell you more about the actual layout. If you looked closely at the table of key points at the beginning of this article, you would have noticed the back tees measure out to an eye-popping 7,600 yards.
With that being said, you would think there are some awful long holes out there, and the course must not be very easy. Allow us to explain some of the holes in more detail, and you can be the judge.
If you prefer golf courses that allow players to ease into the round from the outset, you aren’t going to like what they’ve done to the first hole at Quail Hollow. Don’t waltz up to the first tee without stretching or with no warmup.
Otherwise, you’ll be in for a rude awakening. The opening hole is 524 yards, bends sharply to the right, and the green is surrounded by three deep bunkers. Did we tell you this was a par 4?
Thankfully, the par-4 second hole is only 452 yards, and there’s only one bunker bordering the back-right portion of the putting surface.
It’s a cinch if you consider what’s at stake next because the third hole is an absolutely brutal par 4. At 483 yards, it takes two well-struck shots just to reach the green.
A pushed drive to the right is in deep rough and tall trees, unless, of course, it carries the 318 necessary yards required to clear the fairway bunker. Any ball coming in hot will run off the steeply-sloped green that falls off in the back.
You see why we said the third hole is no bargain? Getting off to a good start is no easy task at this George Cobb and Tom Fazio design, and unfortunately, it won’t get any easier at the par-3 6th hole.
We’re talking 249 yards, and players need to land it on one of the smaller greens on the property. Anytime a golfer has to remove a headcover on a fairway wood or utility club on a par 3, chances are that bogeys and doubles are in play.
Thankfully, once they escape the torments of the 6th hole, players will approach their first “easy hole” of the round. A 546-yard par 5 by today’s standards is just a driver and a long-iron for most guys on tour, and they’ll definitely want to take advantage and pick up a shot here.
The 8th is the shortest par 4 on the front side at only 346 yards, and it gives golfers another chance to rack up a birdie.
Unfortunately, the fun stops there because the final hole of the front nine hardly gives up anything.
The 9th hole represents yet another 500-plus-yard par 4, this one even playing back uphill towards the clubhouse. All in all, the scorecard says “par is 35,” but it sure as heck plays a lot harder than that.
The good news for any competitor at Quail Hollow Club is that the back nine starts with a par 5, allowing players to at least breathe some sigh of relief. At 592 yards, the longest par 5 at Quail Hollow has a few challenges players must overcome.
There’s a bunker on the left about 300 yards off the tee and another sand trap just short of the green that will swallow any balls that come chasing in from the left side.
The 11th hole is the last hole on the golf course that was remodeled ahead of the 2017 PGA Championship. A gorgeous, 462-yard dogleg-left par 4 is what the players face, 40 yards longer than it had played in previous Wells Fargo Championships.
This back nine is littered with natural beauty and stunning landscapes. However, any player who gets caught soaking up the sun is going to be in for a wake-up call by the time they hit the final stretch. The last three holes at Quail Hollow are as treacherous as it gets.
The Green Mile
Simply put, it’s one of the toughest three-hole finishing stretches you’ll ever encounter. When asked his thoughts on the 16th-18th holes at Quail Hollow club, Rickie Fowler had this to say to usatoday.com
“You just have to buckle up and survive.”
Other top players echoed similar sentiments, clearly pointing out that there is no room for error during the Green Mile.
The start of the Green Mile is daunting to even the longest hitters in the game. Not only is the par 4 506 yards long, but it curves to the right, and there’s a giant lake that lines the left side of the fairway, running all way up to the side and behind the rear of the green.
If players want to cut the corner, they’ll have to contend with a fairway bunker and large tree that bound the right portion of the fairway.
The green is literally perched at the edge of the lake, not to mention that it has a large, hazardous bunker protecting the right side of the putting surface.
The second shot at 16 is challenging even if you hit a perfect tee shot in the fairway. If golfers miss in the left or right rough, it’s time to take their medicine and hope to make 4 the hard way.
The toughest par 3 on the golf course is the 17th, and many will tell you it’s the signature hole at Quail Hollow Club. It’s 223 yards, all over water. Any approach short or left of the green will wind up in “the drink,” and players will be taking a penalty.
Bailing out to the right is a common play. However, any pin location towards the right side of the green makes getting up and down for par extraordinarily difficult.
Bottom line, you can’t fake it on 17. A well-struck shot and you may be rewarded with a look at birdie. Anything less, and you’re looking at bogey or worse. Pars on 16 and 17 are tremendous scores, especially when you take into account what lies ahead.
Have you heard the saying, “Let’s save the best for last”? The home hole at Quail Hollow Club rings true to that motto, as this is a “meaty par 4.”
There’s a massive bunker on the right side of the fairway 280 yards from the tee, and you’ll need over 300 yards in the air to carry it. Don’t miss right of the sand, or it’s just more long rough and gigantic trees.
The left side of the fairway has a meandering creek that runs up the entire length of the hole, even protruding along the front of the green and winding behind the back-left section.
Did we tell you that it is 494 yards and plays back uphill? Not to mention that the last hole is generally where a player will feel the most pressure. If you want to see for yourself how hard this hole is, check out this cool flyover of the finishing hole at Quail Hollow Club.
The Wells Fargo Championship
Now for the part of the guide that all PGA Tour fans are familiar with. The reason Quail Hollow Club is known across most “golfing households” is because the PGA Tour comes to the venue every May to play the Wells Fargo Championship.
There are a plethora of impressive performances to reminisce about. For example, it was the place that Rickie Fowler got the monkey off his back and won his first PGA Tour title in a thrilling playoff over Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points.
In order to paint the full picture of the Wells Fargo Championship from its inception, we needed to create a separate page to showcase the tournament.
That is exactly what our golf experts did, and you can see the finished product by clicking the button below.
The 2017 PGA Championship
If you watched any of the 2017 PGA Tour season, it was no surprise that Justin Thomas was able to capture his first Major Championship at the 2017 PGA Championship contested at Quail Hollow Club from August 10-13.
The Louisville, Kentucky native put on a clinic down the stretch, holding off the likes of Patrick Reed, Louis Oosthuizen, and Francesco Molinari by two shots. Stud golfers Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler finished another stroke back, tying for fifth place.
The course tipped out at 7,600 yards, more than 150 yards longer than it plays during the Wells Fargo Championship in a typical year. An already demanding golf course was made even tougher in advance of the year’s final Major.
After the former Alabama Crimson Tide product shot a disappointing opening round of +2 73, many may have thought he would have to wait until 2018 to have a crack at winning a Major Championship.
“JT” put those thoughts to bed after a sizzling 66 on Friday that vaulted him straight up the leaderboard. Rounds of 69-68 over the weekend sealed the deal, giving Thomas his fourth victory of the 2017 campaign, a total he would add to during the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
Thomas had everything rolling on Sunday, like when he drained a 40-foot bomb on 13 for birdie. And talk about feeling the adrenaline. Here’s how amped up Justin was on 17. His “all-systems-go” 7-iron to 14 feet from 221 yards set up his final birdie of the day, proving to be the difference.
Perhaps the most unforgettable moment of the day came on the 10th hole when Justin’s 8-foot-birdie putt hung on the lip for a full 12 seconds before gravity took over.
For his efforts, Thomas walked away with a first-place check of $1.89 million. Not too shabby, right? When you realize that he made more than $9.9 million in 25 events in 2017, plus the $10 million he earned for being crowned FedEx Cup champ, you could say that it was a pretty good year for a 24-year-old kid.
Visiting Charlotte, North Carolina
If you want to go to Quail Hollow Club to watch a golf tournament, you have plenty of opportunities. We already brought to light that the PGA Tour makes an annual stop in Charlotte every year.
However, if you want to spice up the action and see one of the two highly-coveted team events up close and personal, you’ll have that chance.
The Presidents Cup is coming to Quail Hollow in 2021, and boy, are we in for a treat. Even non-golf fans can get excited watching 12 of the best players from the United States battle 12 of their international counterparts. When your home country’s pride is on the line, it’s amazing the quality of golf we witness.
If you simply cannot wait until 2021 to get your golf fix at Quail Hollow, you can always check out the Wells Fargo Championship in May. If you aren’t a local, all you have to do is fly into Charlotte Douglas International Airport, and you’ll be sitting just 20-25 minutes from the golf club.
As for what else there is to do and see in the area, that’ll just depend on what you are in the mood for. NASCAR fans will surely check out the NASCAR Hall of Fame, located just 9 or 10 miles north of Quail Hollow Club.
If you are traveling with the kids, they’ll be begging to go to the Carowinds amusement park, which is even closer to the golf course.
The Discovery Place is a museum in the center of Charlotte, offering you and your family another terrific place to see things you’ll otherwise probably never get to see.
After a long day at Quail Hollow, Freedom Park is the perfect place to unwind and take in the scenery. It’s right in between the golf club and downtown Charlotte, making it the perfect place to stop by and catch your breath.
You really can’t go wrong by scheduling a trip to the private golf club in the Charlotte neighborhood of Quail Hollow. An international airport is conveniently located in the immediate vicinity, and there’s plenty else to see and do.
Whether it’s for the Wells Fargo Championship or the 2021 Presidents Cup, don’t be shy about checking out the property. You won’t be disappointed.
Rehashing Quail Hollow
When selecting a course for the PGA Championship, the committee looks for courses in immaculate condition that are challenging enough to frustrate even the best players in the world. Quail Hollow Club fits that bill to a tee, which is why it was chosen to host the 2017 PGA Championship.
The home of the Wells Fargo Championship is about as pure as they come on the PGA Tour. You won’t find a blade of grass out of place on the entire grounds during the week of the tournament.
We revealed what players face as they play the golf course, specifically during the final three-hole stretch known as the Green Mile.
Starting out with some history about how the club was opened and who is responsible for the construction allows you to get a full grasp of why this course is so esteemed.
We hope you enjoyed learning about Quail Hollow so much that you are now considering making plans to get to Charlotte for the Presidents Cup in the fall of 2021. With all there is to see in the city, why wouldn’t a golf fan want to go?
We’re going to be doing everything in our power to make sure we’re at Quail Hollow Club to see it all unfold. We hope to see you there!