Hole 17 at the Ally Challenge is known as one the loudest and rowdiest holes in PGA history.
Usually grandstands circle the green in the back with thousands of fans but this year no fans and no crowd noise.
Is Hole 17, Hole 17 without fans? We asked a player and an organizer their take.
“No! Not even close,” defending champion Jerry Kelly said.
“With no fans it is going to be weird,” said Senior Director of Marketing Jeff Cumberworth. “This event has become such a great event and part of the community. We all want the party at the 17th Hole. We want the party at the 17th hole. So, it is going to be really weird to see a quite 17th hole this year.”
From the players standpoint not having the infrastructure around Warwick Hills is going to be strange. No grandstands, no luxury boxes and no concessions tents will make the course play different says Kelly.
“We can really gauge distances and get feel for where that pin is when there is a backdrop,” he said. “Yet when there is no back drop it is clear space it is much harder to see the distance or feel the distance.”
And while the players will not feel the fans, Kelly says the fans will feel the players.
“17 one of the original hotspots on the PGA tour,” he said. “And we will miss it this year, but you can count on me to give them a shout out.”