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7 years a long wait for the PGA

What will you be doing in 2017?

That's a question none of us can answer with any certainty.

We do know now, though, that the PGA Championship will be hosted by Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte in 2017 - seven long years from now.

The announcement was made with all sorts of pomp and circumstance at Quail Hollow Club Tuesday. If you had hit a 4-iron inside the news conference, the ricochet would have bounced off a dozen politicians.

Gov. Bev Perdue was the heaviest hitter there and proclaimed that the state's capture of this golf major made her "as proud of this as I am of anything I've done as governor."

It is a very cool thing for Charlotte and for our state to earn a spot on the PGA rotation. This will be Charlotte's first major golf championship. And it will give all golf fans something big to look forward to when and if the Wells Fargo Championship ends its run at Quail Hollow after the 2014 tournament.

(That's far from official, but the excellent tournament we've grown used to seeing every May sounds very iffy from 2015 onward.)

We know this for sure: For one week in August 2017, a temporary city of around 50,000 people will spring up in south Charlotte. All of them will want to park next to the 18th green at Quail Hollow.

So dealing with the infrastructure will be a challenge. But still - seven years?!

That is the ultra-marathon of run-ups.

It makes it a little harder to get goose bumps about the event because it's so darn far away. I'm used to thinking a week or maybe a month in advance, so seven years sounds like an eternity.

You could break a mirror today and your streak of bad luck would have barely run out by the time a 41-year-old Tiger Woods tees off here in 2017. My 12-year-old just started seventh grade. He will be in college in 2017.

The International Olympic Committee also awards its events with a seven-year lead time. The difference is that an Olympic city must build billions of dollars worth of state-of-the-art venues.

The Super Bowl? It has only announced its host sites through the 2014 season.

But golf is different. We already know the Ryder Cup will be played in Wisconsin in 2020, for instance. Golfers have a lot of time to ponder the future.

Joe Steranka, the PGA of America CEO, said Quail Hollow was such a great place that it could actually host the PGA championship in 2011 if extreme circumstances warranted that.

But, of course, they don't warrant it. In our fast-twitch world, golf remains our most languid game. Get behind a foursome that insists on lining up every putt three times if you doubt it.

Johnny Harris, the Quail Hollow Club president, said a regular PGA tour event at Quail Hollow probably couldn't be held in 2016 or 2017 to prepare for the PGA Championship. That makes me think there won't be a PGA tour event there in 2015 as well. And the greens sound like they will get rebuilt again, which (you guessed it) takes years.

Still, I don't mean to rain on the PGA-in-Charlotte parade. Far from it.

Any announcement that can draw such a variety of bigwigs to one place has some serious juice. Besides the innumerable politicians, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and Charlotte Bobcats President Fred Whitfield also attended.

This is a big deal - both monetarily and emotionally. It will help a lot of people financially and it will help Charlotte feel good about itself.

I just hope that you - and I - are around in seven years to see it.

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