Why the range at this week’s Tour event would give weekend hackers anxiety
WILMINGTON, Del. — As if playing a Wednesday pro-am with a Tour pro isn’t intimidating enough for your average weekend warrior, try adding a 90-yard forced carry… on the driving range!
At this week’s BMW Championship, the pros — and amateurs lucky enough to score a pro-am tee time — are utilizing the 18th hole at Wilmington Country Club’s North Course as a driving range, while the competition takes place on the adjacent South Course.
The 18th hole on the North is mid-length par-5 with a carry over water before the green. But the practice tee is on the approach to the green and players are hitting back up the fairway.
Of course, that is if they can make the 90-yard carry to the fairway first.
According to Google Earth, the member’s range at Wilmington Country Club is 325 yards from the back of the teeing area to where balls would start to interfere with the 16th fairway of the South Course. While no pro has ever averaged 325 yards off the tee for an entire PGA Tour season, there’s plenty of guys could probably hit it into the 16th fairway from the practice tee, especially downwind.
And with the length of the South Course a popular talking point this week, plenty of pros are going to be gearing up to grip-it-and-rip-it on the range this week. So best to play it safe and move the range to an unused hole on the property, which is fairly common when a site has multiple courses.
For this week, the merchandise tent is utilizing the member’s practice tee. And might I add, this might be the best-placed merch tent I’ve ever seen, situated right between the 9th, 10th, 1st and 18th holes. There’s a range open to ticket holders further up the practice area.