Arnold Palmer’s influence helped shape golf game at Quail Hollow Club

·1 min read

Arnold Palmer’s shadow looms over professional golf — and in few places more than Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte.

Palmer, who died in 2016 at age 87, and Quail Hollow President Johnny Harris were lifelong friends. Harris’ father, a local insurance executive, and a group of business executives founded Quail Hollow in 1959 at Palmer’s urging. Later, Palmer landed an annual PGA Tour event, the Kemper Open, for the south Charlotte country club.

Palmer, a seven-time winner of major championships and a one-man empire of endorsements and business ventures, prodded Harris to keep improving Quail Hollow — motivation that Harris took to heart.

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In 2003, Harris got the club back on the PGA Tour calendar with an annual tournament now known as the Wells Fargo Championship. Fourteen years later, Quail Hollow hosted the PGA Championship, marking the first time a Charlotte course had been home to one of the sport’s four majors. Things went pretty well: Charlotte’s PGA Championship broke all previous sales and revenue records and, before it was halfway over, the PGA of America had already promised to return.

As for that return: The PGA Championship will be back in 2025. This month the club is home of the Presidents Cup, a biennial team competition owned by the PGA Tour. The script looks familiar: Organizers have said all previous revenue records have already been surpassed.

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(WATCH BELOW: Charlotte prepares to host 2022 Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow Golf Club)