Rory McIlroy can underline the 2017 US PGA Championship in his diary right now.
And that’s because the season’s final major has been awarded to Quail Hollow in Charlotte, where he closed with an incredible 62 to win his first PGA Tour title last May.
The world No 7, still just 21, is expected to win a major before he arrives at the North Carolina venue for the 99th staging of the US PGA in seven years’ time.
But he confessed that he loves the course, explaining: “When I drove in there for the first time, I thought it was very Augusta-like in places, which I love. You’ve got to hit all the shots at Quail Hollow.”
Darren Clarke tipped Quail Hollow to land a major two years ago when asked to name a US course that was worthy of staging a major. For the record, he picked Royal Dornoch or Nairn as “awesome” venues capable of staging the Open.
Beginning in 1969, Quail Hollow has hosted Tour events in four of the past five decades, which includes the Kemper Open (1969-79); the World Seniors Invitational (1980-89); and the Quail Hollow Championship (formerly the Wachovia Championship), which began in 2003.
In August 2017, Quail Hollow Club will join Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (1936) and Tanglewood Golf Club of Winston-Salem (1974) as the only North Carolina venues to host a PGA Championship.
Quail Hollow Club’s 7,469-yard, par-72 layout has maintained praise from Tour professionals for its unique blend of a demanding and risk-reward layout.
The final three holes “the Green Mile,” have consistently been ranked the toughest finish on the PGA Tour the past seven years. No other event, including the three U.S. major championships, has had holes 16, 17 and 18 ranked among the top three finishing holes on the Tour during that same period.
The PGA Championship, which enjoys a rich heritage dating back to 1916, will visit the following venues:
2011 - Atlanta Athletic Club (Highlands Course), Johns Creek, Ga.
2012 - Kiawah Island Golf Resort (The Ocean Course), Kiawah Island, S.C.
2013 - Oak Hill Country Club (East), Rochester, N.Y.
2014 - Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, Ky.
2015 - Whistling Straits (Straits), Kohler, Wis.
2016 - Baltusrol Golf Club (Lower), Springfield, N.J.
2017 - Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, N.C.