Quail Hollow Club: Major Championship Site and PGA Tour Golf Course

Quail Hollow Club is a golf club in North Carolina that was founded in the last year of the 1950s, and whose golf course opened in the second year of the 1960s. Over the years, the club's golf course has grown in stature, and it's been the site of multiple professional tournaments - including a current PGA Tour event, the Wells Fargo Championship. In 2017, Quail Hollow became a major championship course as the site of the PGA Championship, and in 2021 it is scheduled to host the Presidents Cup.

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Introducing Quail Hollow Club and Golf Course

Rory McIlroy hits to the 5th green at Quail Hollow Club
Rory McIlroy plays a shot into Quail Hollow's fifth hole during a Wells Fargo Championship tournament. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Quail Hollow golf course was designed, in the words of the club, "to capture the beauty as well as challenging terrain of the Piedmont region" of North Carolina. And today, it is a classic, beautiful parkland course: mostly routed through the trees, boasting plenty of water and sand.

The club tried at one point to switch to bentgrass greens, but the Carolina heat was just too much for them. So today the club uses bermudagrass on its putting surfaces. Some of the greens are crowned and the surfaces are very firm, so stopping balls is a challenge.

Quail Hollow Club is located south of Downtown in Charlotte, N.C., and southeast of Charlotte Douglas International Airport. It is inside of Interstate 485, the loop around the city - not one of those suburban courses far from the city center.

The club property sits over 257 acres.

The club's contact info:

  • Quail Hollow Club
  • 3700 Gleneagles Road
  • Charlotte, North Carolina 28210
  • 704-552-1800
  • quailhollowclub.com
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Can You Play Quail Hollow?

Looking to the 15th green at Quail Hollow Club
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Probably not - unless you know people in high places (such as people who are Quail Hollow members).

Quail Hollow is a private, members-only club. You can't even apply for membership; potential new members are contacted only on the recommendation of current members.

Non-members can play the Quail Hollow golf course only as the guest of a member. Short of knowing a Quail Hollow member, your best bet may be exploring reciprocal arrangements. But even that requires your belonging to another private golf club.

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Origins of and Architects for Quail Hollow

The 14th hole at Quail Hollow Club during a Wells Fargo Championship tournament.
Walking up the 14th hole at Quail Hollow Club. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The idea for Quail Hollow Club was first discussed by founders early in 1959, and the club incorporated late in the year. The opening date of the golf course was June 3, 1961.

The original course architect was George Cobb, whose best-known other works include two courses at Sea Pines Resort in Hilton Head, South Carolina, plus the par-3 course at Augusta National Golf Club. Cobb did the Augusta Par-3 Course around the same time period as Quail Hollow; the Augusta nine opened in 1959, Quail Hollow in 1961.

In 1986, Arnold Palmer modified several holes. Tom Fazio led a redesign in 1997 and made modifications in 2003.

Fazio returned to lead a refurbishing in 2013-14 in which all the greens were rebuilt. And again, in 2016, Fazio redid all the bunkers, installed new grass on the greens and rebuilt several holes.

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Par, Yardages and Ratings at Quail Hollow

The 17th green and 18th hole at Quail Hollow Club.
Looking across the 17th green at Quail Hollow to the 18th hole behind. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

At the 2017 PGA Championship, Quail Hollow played to a par of 71 and a total yardage of 7,600. These are the hole-by-hole yardages in use at that major championship:

  • Hole 1 - Par 4 - 524 yards
  • Hole 2 - Par 4 - 452 yards
  • Hole 3 - Par 4 - 483 yards
  • Hole 4 - Par 3 - 184 yards
  • Hole 5 - Par 4 - 449 yards
  • Hole 6 - Par 3 - 249 yards
  • Hole 7 - Par 5 - 546 yards
  • Hole 8 - Par 4 - 346 yards
  • Hole 9 - Par 4 - 505 yards

Out - Par 35 - 3,738 yards

  • Hole 10 - Par 5 - 592 yards
  • Hole 11 - Par 4 - 462 yards
  • Hole 12 - Par 4 - 456 yards
  • Hole 13 - Par 3 - 208 yards
  • Hole 14 - Par 4 - 344 yards
  • Hole 15 - Par 5 - 577 yards
  • Hole 16 - Par 4 - 506 yards
  • Hole 17 - Par 3 - 223 yards
  • Hole 18 - Par 4 - 494 yards

In - Par 36 - 3,862 yards
Total - Par 70 - 7,600 yards

There are five sets of members' tees at Quail Hollow, three of which are rated for women in addition to men. The USGA ratings are:

  • I Tees: Course rating 77.2; slope rating 148
  • II Tees: Course rating 74.5, slope rating 140
  • III Tees: Men - Course rating 71.7, slope rating 133. Women - Course rating 78.5, slope rating 147
  • IV Tees: Men - Course rating 69.0, slope rating 129. Women - Course rating 74.8, slope rating 139
  • V Tees: Men - Course rating 65.2, slope rating 117. Women - Course rating 70.6, slope rating 130.
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'The Green Mile' at Quail Hollow

The green on the No. 17 hole at Quail Hollow Club
The 17th green at Quail Hollow. Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The club calls its driveable, dogleg par-4 14th hole a signature hole. But probably the most famous part of the Quail Hollow golf course is the 3-hole closing stretch. Why? Because it has a cool nickname: "The Green Mile."

The combined distance of the three holes is not quite truly a mile long. But close enough for nicknames. And the nickname, by the way, is prison slang for the last walk of a condemned prisoner. Which tells you something about how tough the last three holes are. (Statistically, the 16th, 17th and 18th holes at Quail Hollow play as one of the toughest closing stretches every year on the PGA Tour.)

As John Cook once said of The Green Mile: "It's a hard finish. If there is any wind blowing, those holes are hard. If there's no wind blowing, those holes are hard."

The 16th hole is a long - 506 yards - par-4 whose green borders water. The 17th is a 223-yard par-3 that plays to a green that is mostly surrounded by water (it's not quite an island green). And the closing hole, No. 18, is another long par-4 at 494 yards. The second shot is uphill, and there's a creek down the entire left side of the narrow fairway.

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Big Events Played at Quail Hollow

Golfers on and fans around Quail Hollow's third green
Pro golfers on Quail Hollow's No. 3 hole during a Wells Fargo Championship tournament. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Quail Hollow has been the site of many tour events over the years. The 2017 PGA Championship is its first major, and the 2021 Presidents Cup will add to the club's pedigree.

The club first hosted a PGA Tour event from 1969 through 1979, the Kemper Open (a tournament that in 1980 moved to Maryland and became better known as the Booz Allen Classic). These are the golfers who won the PGA Tour Kemper Open at Quail Hollow:

  • 1969 - Dale Douglass
  • 1970 - Dick Lotz
  • 1971 - Tom Weiskopf
  • 1972 - Doug Sanders
  • 1973 - Tom Weiskopf
  • 1974 - Bob Menne
  • 1975 - Raymond Floyd
  • 1976 - Joe Inman
  • 1977 - Tom Weiskopf
  • 1978 - Andy Bean
  • 1979 - Jerry McGee

In 1983 through 1988, a Champions Tour tournament, the PaineWebber Invitational, was played at Quail Hollow. Here are those winners:

  • 1983 - Doug Sanders
  • 1984 - Peter Thomson
  • 1985 - Miller Barber
  • 1986 - Bruce Crampton
  • 1987 - Gary Player
  • 1988 - Dave Hill

Some impressive names on both lists. But Quail Hollow is also the site of a current PGA Tour tournament. The Wells Fargo Championship has been played at Quail Hollow since 2003.

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A Few Facts & Figures About Pro Tournaments at Quail Hollow

Quail Hollow Club's No. 18 hole
A creek runs up the entire left side of the 18th hole at Quail Hollow. Scott Halleran/Getty Images
  • Tom Weiskopf is the only golfer (so far) to win three tour events at Quail Hollow. Weiskopf won the PGA Tour's Kemper Open in 1971, 1973 and 1977.
  • Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler both earned their first career PGA Tour wins at Quail Hollow. For McIlroy, that first win was in 2010; for Fowler, it was in 2012.
  • McIlroy won again in 2015, and it was Fowler's victory in 2012 that prevented McIlroy from tying Weiskopf's three wins at Quail Hollow in 2015. Fowler earned his win by beating McIlroy in a playoff.
  • But in his 2015 victory, McIlroy set the Quail Hollow course record of 61. He also set the Wells Fargo tournament record of 267.
  • The PGA Tour record for largest 54-hole lead lost is six strokes. One of the golfers who shares that unfortunate record had his collapse at Quail Hollow. At the 2005 Wachovia Championship, as the tournament was then known, Sergio Garcia blew a 6-shot, 54-hole lead. Vijay Singh beat Jim Furyk and Garcia in a playoff.