2011 PGA Championship Event Guide
As the last major of the year, the PGA Championship offers the world's best golfers their final chance to capture a piece of history. The event has been played on some of the best courses in the United States, and the Atlanta Athletic Club is no different. The beautiful venue is slated to host the championship in 2011, providing a fitting backdrop for one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the PGA schedule.
Founded in 1898, the Atlanta Athletic Club certainly has a rich history in hosting some of golf's most prestigious tournaments. In addition to two PGA Championships (with a third slated for 2011), its Highland Course has also been the site of the 1963 Ryder Cup and the 1976 U.S. Open.
In fact, that legendary U.S. Open gave the golf world what is considered to be one of its defining moments of the last century. Jerry Pate hit the so-called "shot heard 'round the world," a pristine 194-yard five iron on the final hole to within three feet. He sank the putt and captured the title in dramatic fashion. Furthermore, David Toms earned a place in golf history in 2001 when he aced the par-3 15th hole.
For golf fans, taking a trip to this iconic venue is a must, and there are certain holes that are a must-see when catching the action. Of course, the 15th and the 18th holes will attract a large gallery, especially given the significant history associated with the two spots, but to really get a feel for the atmosphere of the course, spectators should wonder toward the gorgeous par-4 11th hole, which is a true test for even professional golfers thanks to the water hazard to the right of the green.
Though the back nine has a great deal of drama, the front nine has a few holes that can't be missed either. The fourth hole shares the pond with the 11th, which not only adds a significant hazard but also a pleasing aesthetic. Regardless of where spectators stand, the atmosphere is second to none, and thanks to a challenging renovation, it will certainly be a great test of players' skills in 2011.
Although the action on the course is certainly a large draw for golf fans from across the country, the Atlanta Athletic Association, is also situated in a great location for fans looking to take in the sights of true southern culture. Located in Johns Creek, Georgia, the course is a short distance from the state's capital of Atlanta.
As is the case with any southern capital, there is no lack of things to do and see in Atlanta. When it comes to food, visitors stopping by for the tournament would be remiss if they did not at least get a burger at The Varsity. Founded more than 80 years ago, this fast food chain has some of the best food around.
However, foodies looking to avoid fast food altogether may want to check out Mary Mac's Tea Room instead. This historic eatery is best known for using extremely fresh produce including hand-schucked bushels of corn, hand-washed greens and hand-snapped green beans.
Outside of food, Atlanta is unique because it is one of the few cities in America that has a lush abundance of trees. Perhaps most notably, it is home to beautiful Piedmont Park, which is a perfect place to enjoy a late-summer stroll. The Centennial Olympic Park is also an appealing place to spend a few hours relaxing, and it features a beautiful Fountain of Rings that gets lit up at night.
Atlanta is also home to a number of other athletic events, and if golf fans are looking for a way to unwind after a long day following the players on the course, sitting down for a Atlanta Braves game at beautiful Turner Field may be the way to go. Among the best places to watch a game in the MLB, Turner Field will certainly make even the most casual baseball fan smile.
As is the case with any trip, golf fans that make their way to Johns Creek for the PGA Championship will need to find a place to stay for the duration of the weekend. The St. Regis Atlanta is located in the heart of the city, less than 16 miles from the Atlanta Athletic Club. This luxurious hotel still put guests in the heart of the city so they can enjoy all the tournament during the day, and all the appeal of the city at night.
Whether a visitor has always wanted to see a major, or simply wants to enjoy the many charming qualities of this iconic southern state, a trip to the Atlanta Athletic Club will create memories that will last a lifetime.
Links to past event guides for the PGA Championship: