PGA Championship Long Drive Competition Returns During Practice Round At Quail Hollow
- Category: Inside Golf
- Published: 2017-08-08
Dustin Johnson (Photo/PGA of America)
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (PGA of America) — The 99th PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina will again host the PGA Championship Long Drive Competition, which began in 1952, and was re-launched in 2014.
During the practice round on Tuesday, August 8, all players will be offered the opportunity to hit one tee shot on Quail Hollow’s 592-yard par-5 10th hole. All tee shots that come to rest in the fairway are eligible to win the Long Drive Competition.
The Long Drive Competition’s defending champion is Republic of Korea’s Byeong Hun An, who laced a 347-yard drive last year at Baltusrol Golf Club to edge Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (345 yards) and Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts (341 yards).
Anirban Lahiri (327 yards) won in 2015 at Whistling Straits, while Louis Oosthuizen (340 yards) triumphed in the 2014 competition at Valhalla.
Awards will again be given to the top three finishers with winners receiving a money clip inspired by the one that Jack Nicklaus took home for winning the first of his two consecutive PGA Championship Driving Contest titles in 1963. That year, Nicklaus, using a persimmon driver and wound golf ball, hit a winning drive of 341 yards, 17 inches.
The longest drive in a PGA of America-sanctioned Long Drive competition – 366 yards –was recorded at Tanglewood Golf Club in Clemmons, North Carolina by Evan “Big Cat” Williams as part of the 1974 PGA Championship.
Additionally, through PGA REACH, the charitable foundation of the PGA of America, the top three finishers will be granted charitable donations of $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000, respectively, to their designated USA based 501(c)(3) charities of choice.
Harold Williams won the original PGA Championship Driving Contest in 1952 with a 329-yard drive. The competition was discontinued from 1965-73, before returning in 1974. Before its return three years ago at Valhalla, the last National Open Long Drive Championship conducted at a PGA Championship site was in 1984 at Shoal Creek Country Club in Birmingham, Alabama.
About the PGA Championship
The PGA Championship features one of the deepest international fields in golf, the fairest setup, the only all-professional field among golf’s majors, and where golf enthusiasts are embraced as part of the event. Many of golf’s greatest champions, from Walter Hagen, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, and Jack Nicklaus to Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, and defending champion Jimmy Walker have had their names inscribed on the Wanamaker Trophy. For more information, visit PGAChampionship.com.
About the PGA of America
The PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, comprised of 28,000 professionals who daily work to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. For more information about the PGA of America, visit PGA.org, follow @PGAofAmerica on Twitter, and find us on Facebook.
About Quail Hollow Club
Located in Charlotte, N.C., Quail Hollow Club is a private, member-owned club that is home to one of the finest golf courses in the southeastern United States. Originally designed by famed golf course architect George Cobb in 1961 to capture the beauty as well as challenging terrain of the Piedmont region, the course has since undergone a series of improvements, including modifications to several holes by Arnold Palmer in 1986 and redesigns by Tom Fazio in 1997 and 2016. Quail Hollow has hosted numerous high-profile events, including the PGA Tour’s annual Wells Fargo Championship since 2003, and the course will host the 2021 Presidents Cup.