Friday, April 24, 2009

Quail Hollow close to perfect this year

Quail Hollow may never have been in better condition than it will be for the PGA Tour's visit next week.

It's nearly perfect.

Tee to green with a thick but manageable crop of rough, the golf course is in superb condition. The decision to more than triple the amount of rye grass overseed applied last fall has paid off beautifully.

The rough will be about two inches high, not deep enough to force pitch-out golf for players that miss the fairway but significant enough to make approach shots into greens more difficult to control.

If the weather cooperates, the course will play firm and fast the way club and tournament officials want it to play. The greens got a heavy dose of water on Wednesday night but won't get much more as the tournament approaches.

Tour officials are likely to go for a more difficult set-up on Thursday and Friday then back off a bit on the weekend to encourage more aggresive scoring. As always, they'll move the tees up on the short par-4 eight and 14th holes a few times but never play both holes up on the same day.

They're also likely to play a shorter tee on the par-3 17th hole once or twice during the tournament. It's still a tough shot with the green running slightly away from the players but the difference in hitting a 4-iron and a 6 or 7-iron into the green is substantial.