Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Quail looks great, will look different next year

With a weather forecast that looks more like July than early May, Quail Hollow may play as firm and fast as ever in this Wells Fargo Championship.

 The course is in excellent shape, as good as it has been, and with the heat, sun and breeze, the greens will only firm up, adding to the difficulty of putting the heavily contoured surfaces. With the fairways running, it brings the rough more into play and there's enough thick stuff to make a difference to players who spray their tee shots.

Most interesting may be how they set up the par-3 17th hole with the switch to the left-side tees this year. It brings a front left hole location into play -- just 15 feet from the water -- but if the wind is behind the players, tour officials may opt for a more forgiving location.

Players like the change at 17 away from the brutally difficult right tee. One player was overheard saying it went from one the worst par-3s on tour to one of the best just by moving the tee markers. It's an overdue change at Quail Hollow and it won't be the last change.

After this year's event, the par-4 eighth hole will be revamped, creating a new green left of where the existing green is. There won't be many tears shed by players when the existing hole goes.

Also, the par-4 fourth hole will get a new tee, significantly left of where the tee is now and there are plans to soften the controversial 12th green.