Friday, April 25, 2008

Expect firm, fast Quail Hollow

When the PGA Tour arrives at the Quail Hollow Club next week, players may find a slightly different course set-up for the Wachovia Championship.

The intent is to trim the rough but make the greens firmer and faster than they have been in previous years. With shorter rough, players who miss fairways will still be able to reach greens but will have more of a challenge when they get there.

Tour officials have actually slowed the green speeds down at Quail Hollow from what the members sometimes play. This year, however, they’re expected to add speed and firmness to the putting surfaces.

To get the course where they want it, tour officials will need some help from the weather. It looks now as if any rain that comes will be gone by late Monday, which should allow for the course to dry out by Thursday. It helps that Quail Hollow has a Sub-Air system which pulls excess moisture out of its greens.

There was some concern in recent weeks that Quail Hollow’s conditioning had been slow to come around. It’s made a dramatic improvement over the past two weeks and will be in very good shape for the Wachovia Championship.

There are some spotty places in the rough where the rye grass overseed was impacted by the drought but, otherwise, Quail Hollow looks great.