Fans are no stranger to opinions about the hole locations at golf's majors. This year, for the first time they can choose one before it begins.
For next month's PGA Championship, the Pick The Hole Location Challenge will allow golf fans to vote beginning today through Saturday's third round – picking the spot for the cup to be cut Sunday on the 15th green at Oak Hill, choosing from four possibilities.
The online poll is intended to teach fans about course setup and its impact on golfers' strategies as they play. The collaborative effort between the PGA of America and Jack Nicklaus, who won his last PGA Championship at Oak Hill in 1980 and is the challenge's named host, also seeks to explain the hole-location information that is given to players each day.
Voting begins today at PGA.com.
“The chance for golf fans to interact with the PGA Championship and play a role in shaping the outcome of the final round fascinates me,” Nicklaus said. “It’s like being able to call the shots during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.
"In addition to playing a key role in the outcome of the Championship, golf fans can learn many aspects of on-course strategy, as The PGA of America and I present educational videos to enhance their golf experience."
PGA president Ted Bishop echoed the sentiment.
"We are honored that the legendary Jack Nicklaus will lead fans as their host and teacher in understanding the nuances that the greatest players in golf ... think about regarding course setup and hole locations – and the effect their selection will have on the eventual outcome of the 95th PGA Championship,” Bishop said.
Sweepstakes prizes also will be tied to the challenge, as well as video vignettes from Nicklaus that will educate golfers about the ways course setup impacts a golfer’s strategy in playing a hole.
PGA Chief Championships Officer Kerry Haigh selected the four potential hole locations on the 15th green after he and Nicklaus chose the hole for the challenge.
“Now, golf fans will experience what is involved with the selection of hole locations, as well as the dramatic effect that this placement has on the game plans of the world’s best players," Haigh said.