Charlotte this week is hosting its first-ever golf major: the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club.
If you’re planning on going, here’s what you’ll need to know to make the most of the historic event.
▪ The basics: The event runs Monday through Sunday at Quail Hollow Club, 3700 Gleneagles Road, with tournament play taking place Thursday through Sunday.
▪ Tickets: Starting Monday, tickets to this week’s PGA Championship will no longer be available – online or on site – from the PGA of America. There is, however, an official ticket exchange at www.primesport.com/d/pga-championship-tickets for fans looking to buy tickets on the secondary market. Other sites such as stubhub.com also have tickets.
Each ticketed adult can bring four “juniors” (ages 17 and younger) for free. The junior tickets can be picked up at the main spectator entrance.
Those with a military affiliation – active duty, retirees, reserve and national guard – can also attend for free and bring a guest. Present a military ID at the main spectator entrance. The policy applies to “career-retired” military and not all veterans.
▪ Transportation: Surrounded by neighborhoods, Quail Hollow doesn’t have any on-site parking except for golfers and their caddies. That means people who want to drive to the event have to park at off-site lots and take a shuttle.
That’s similar to the Wells Fargo Championship, also held at Quail Hollow, but some of the PGA lots will be in different locations. And you have to order a $15 pass at pgachampionship.com ahead of time for each day.
Depending on the day, the PGA lots are at Bojangles’ Coliseum, Carowinds amusement park and Ballantyne Corporate Park. Unlike the Wells Fargo tournament, there is not an uptown shuttle.
Ticket holders can also ride the Lynx Blue Line for free to the Sharon Road West stop, where shuttles will be available. The Charlotte Area Transit System will be monitoring crowds and providing extra train service on Aug. 12 and 13, said CATS spokeswoman Hillary DeLong. Go to www.ridetransit.org for more information; CATS also puts out updates on Twitter.
Another option is to take Uber. The tournament has an official pickup/dropoff location at 8801 Park Road, with shuttles taking riders the rest of the way to the course. If you live near Quail Hollow, officials also advise walking or riding a bike.
For those flying into town, Charlotte Douglas International Airport is expecting a busy week around the tournament, which is already at the height of the late-summer travel season, officials said. But airport officials aren’t expecting any impacts to travelers or to the airport’s operations.
“If needed, we will have extra staff on hand to assist with the increased activity,” a spokesperson said.
▪ What you can bring: Mobile phones are allowed with some restrictions. Fans will go through metal detectors before they enter. Backpacks and drawstring bags aren’t allowed, but bags no bigger than 10 inches by 10 inches by 10 inches are permitted. Portable folding canvas chairs are allowed; carry bags will be searched before entry.
For more information go to this shortened web link: bit.ly/2vb95y5.
▪ Weather: The average high temperature in Charlotte in August is 87.5 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. Fans are advised to dress properly for the heat, drink lots of fluids and wear sunscreen. The course will also have plenty of concessions stands, hydration stations and misting fans.
According to the PGA of America, fans at Quail Hollow should keep an eye on leader boards and thru boards, where messages will be posted if dangerous weather approaches during the tournament, which starts Thursday and is scheduled to run through Sunday.
If play is suspended by weather, an air-horn blast will signal the stoppage, as will signs reading, “Play suspended – seek shelter immediately.”
Those with passes to hospitality facilities can seek shelter there. Others can go indoors at the championship shops near the main entrance. Fans are warned, in the event of lightning, to stay away from large metal objects, large trees or telephone pole s, open fields or bodies of water.
Spectators who choose to leave Quail Hollow during a weather warning or delay of play are eligible to be re-admitted to the course, but only on that day. If any portion of a round is played, tickets for that day will only be honored that day.
Fans can bring umbrellas to Quail Hollow and use them at the course.
▪ City services: The city of Charlotte is urging residents to plan ahead for extra traffic and service changes related to the tournament. For example, Gleneagles Road will be closed to through traffic between Quail Hollow Road and Park Road from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day of the tournament. For more information, go to http://charlottenc.gov/pga/Pages/default.aspx.
▪ How it compares with the Wells Fargo: The PGA will be played on the same course as the Wells Fargo Championship, but expect lots of differences.
The crowds will be more robust, with the PGA expected to draw more than 40,000 fans on some days – compared with about 35,000 at the Wells Fargo. The course has undergone significant work, including the relocation or modification of four holes. And a green fence surrounds the perimeter of the course, making it tougher to ogle the upscale homes lining the fairways.
▪ Merchandise: The tournament will sell shirts, hats and other swag from a football field-sized shop on the grounds.
▪ The golfers: Every year the tournament boasts of having the strongest field in golf, with most of the top 100 players teeing off. Jordan Spieth will be in the spotlight this year because if he wins the PGA Championship he would become just the sixth golfer to win all four major tournaments, known as a Career Grand Slam.
Other big names expected to join Spieth include Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy. Here are the tee times for rounds 1 and 2.
▪ Television: CBS and TNT will provide 28 hours of live coverage.
Staff writer Ely Portillo contributed