LIVING LIFE LARGE: Practice Makes Perfect

LIVING LIFE LARGE: Practice Makes Perfect
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By David Rogers. August 9, 2017. CHARLOTTE, NC — Wednesday was “business casual” day at Quail Hollow Country Club as the top golf professionals in the world slugged and putted their respective ways through one of North Carolina’s top (and most picturesque) 18 holes in tuning up for Thursday’s first round of the PGA Championship.

Blowing Rock News coverage of the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow was made possible by a generous sponsorship from Allen Tate Realtors.

All photographic images by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News.

On this day and on this hole, Sergio Garcia found himself going right, twice.

You only had to study for a little bit of how the likes of Jordan Spieth, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Padraig Harrington, Charley Hoffman and others attacked their practice rounds to understand why they are the best in the world at their game. In short pants and Polo shirts, they may have looked like us mere mortals, but they were all business when it came to studying the course. How they evaluated alternative shots from the same lie at various spots around the course spoke volumes. When it comes to golf at least, these are not regular earthlings.

First built in 1959, Quail Hollow has played host to professional golf tournaments before, including the Tour-regular Wells Fargo Championship from 2003 to 2016 (previously known as the Wachovia Championship), but 2017 brings the first time the course is the venue for one of professional golf’s “major” tournaments: the Masters, the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open and The Open Championship in the United Kingdom.

Justin Rose surveys the path of his impending putt.

All totaled, the private, member-owned Quail Hollow Club covers a little more than 257 acres of real estate within the southern bounds of Charlotte. Formerly on property known as the Morrocroft Farm, the club got its start by the efforts of 21 founders with familiar names among them, including Belk, Spangler, Barnhardt, Crist, Cannon, Hemby, Robinson, and others.  The first 90 members were known as Charter Members.

Pointing, Jordan Spieth wonders about hitting over a tree to the green from his lie on the edge of the second cut, off the fairway.

The golf course was originally designed by golf course architect George Cobb, “…to capture the beauty as well as the challenging terrain of the Piedmont region.” Legendary golf icon Arnold Palmer made improvements to several holes in 1986, while golf architect Tom Fazio executed a redesign of the course in 1997.

This is the 99th running of the PGA Championship, whose hero of the weekend is awarded the 27 lb. “Wanamaker Trophy,” the heaviest in professional golf.

The 7600-yard course plays to a par-71.

Crowds — the size of them — often make major championship golf events. If the size of Wednesday’s practice round is any indication, this year’s PGA Championship at Quail Hollow could be a record breaker.

SLIDESHOW by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News

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