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QUICK TAKE: Mail Call, Mr Bevacqua

Quail Hollow
Dustin Johnson plays into the 15th hole during the first round of the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow. (Photo Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports)

The following letter addressed to a Mr Pete Bevacqua at the PGA of America has fallen into our hands. In the interest of national security, we believe its contents should be revealed.

Here goes:

Dear Mr Bevacqua,

Forgive this intrusion by a visitor from the old country but If you’re looking for a venue for the 2028 Ryder Cup, then I have one for you. You may not be in charge of the largest professional organisation in sport at that time but you will surely have had a hand in determining the venue for this wonderful biennial event.

What do you want for a Ryder Cup course? Space and lots of it, obviously. Tick. It has plenty. You need holes that have natural vantage points for spectators. Tick. You want a good test of golf, one that pushes the world’s best players to the limit at times. Tick. A big airport nearby? Of course. Good hotels only a few miles from the course? Essential.

And you want but rarely get a run of holes that forces the pros to demonstrate their skills and, particularly in a Ryder Cup, their nerve. It is probable that when the PGA of America are the hosts, there will be water on the course, maybe over some of the closing holes. Tick. My nomination for the Ryder Cup in 11 years has had its last three holes named the Green Mile, so aptly done by an eminent golf writer whose name just happens to be Green, Mr Ronald Green Jr. You may have heard of him. I believe him to be well known in your country.

Mr Bevacqua, imagine the situation: Match after match arrives all square at the start of the Green Mile. Who has the length and accuracy to overcome the 506-yard 16th? Who has the nerve and accuracy to hit a tee shot close to the flagstick on the 17th green, 220 yards from the tee, that has water around part of it? Imagine, Rory McIlroy vs Jordan Spieth – or their successors in 11 years’ time – standing on the 18th tee all square in their match and with the Ryder Cup at stake. Which can reach the fairway without drawing their ball slightly into a creek that gurgles its way up the 18th and should both achieve this, then which of them can hit their second shot nearer the uphill, undulating 18th green? All this going on under the eyes of tens of thousands of spectators lined along both sides of the fairway and around a green that sits at the feet of the white, historic-looking clubhouse.

What a finish! What a venue!

Mr Bevacqua, you are staging the 2017 PGA Championship at the very club whose credentials for a Ryder Cup I am advocating. Have I made my case? Need I say more? Quail Hollow and Charlotte in September 2028. That would be perfect.

Yours in hope,

John Hopkins

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