If you've watched the Wells Fargo Championship or the 2017 PGA Championship, then you've no doubt heard about the Green Mile at Quail Hollow Club. And if you've been playing a drinking game, then you're reading this with a splitting headache, and you're wondering what the Green Mile is and why it got that name.
First, the easy part. The Green Mile is the closing three-hole stretch at Quail Hollow Club:
- No. 16 - A 506-yard par 4, the 16th hole was modified in 2013 to add 80 yards to the hole by moving the green closer to the edge of the water of the pond on which the 17th hole also sits. The hole is now a dogleg right, demanding an ideal draw for a second shot that could take on the penal water hazard. Missing the green to the right creates a treacherous downslope shot to a target with a green running away from the player.
- No. 17 - A 223-yard par 3 that can play under 175 yards, the tee shot plays almost entirely over water to a peninsula green with a deep green. A bunker on the right collects many bail-out tee shots, inviting disaster with a poorly executed explosion shot. The multi-tier green is difficult to negotiate, particularly after missing the green off the tee.
- No. 18 - A 494-yard par 4 to close, the downhill tee shot is framed with a nasty bunker on the right and a stream up the left side. The uphill second shot can still land in the stream on the left and plays to a large, sloping putting surface.
Alright, now that you know what the Green Mile is, now you wonder why it's called the Green Mile. According to a USA Today report, the Green Mile is named after the 1999 Stephen King book of the same name, which chronicles the story of a magical death row inmate. The Green Mile is a prison term for the final walk a death row inmate to the execution chamber.
The moniker was given to the stretch by a caller into a Charlotte sports talk golf show. The host, Reid Spencer, and PGA professional Del Ratcliffe believed the three-hole stretch needed a name, so they took calls. Eventually, a caller came in with the "Green Mile," and that was that.