In a BMW PGA Championship first, fans of The European Tour around the world will be offered the unique opportunity to have a direct impact on the course set-up for the final round of the flagship event, to be held at Wentworth Club from May 22-25.
Fans of My European Tour will choose one of four challenging pin positions for the par three 14th hole in Sunday’s final round, as some of the world’s finest golfers head down the stretch on Wentworth’s iconic West Course.
One lucky winner, drawn from those who selected the pin position with the most votes, will receive the 14th hole pin flag signed by the 2014 BMW PGA Champion.
The winner will also be offered two season tickets for the 2015 BMW PGA Championship, with the option to join the Wentworth green-keeping team on their hole-cutting setup during one of the competition days.
Voting will close on Wednesday May 21 at 1700 BST.
The 179 yard 14th is one of the West’s signature holes, the last of the quartet of par threes and the most dramatic from a topographic viewpoint. There is a 30ft elevation from the tee to green, with the bottom of any pin position not visible from the teeing ground.
The infamous Wentworth wind can swirl around the treetops on either side of the green and the hole, in general, plays longer than its yardage due to the uphill nature of the challenge, usually requiring one club more than conventional for a hole of that length.
There is a two-tier green, with a distinct ‘nose’ jutting from the middle of the tiers which adds to the examination. The green is protected by four large, deep bunkers on the front and sides with a steep, grassy slope behind the putting surface.
THE FOUR OPTIONS?
A: The hole is cut some 20 yards on and approximately five yards from the right edge. Accurate distance control is critical in the execution of this shot onto the top shelf to leave a fairly straightforward putt. Anything short is susceptible to rolling back down the slope onto the lower shelf, while anything long will leave a fiendishly tough downhill chip.
B: The short left pin placement brings in the ‘false’ front to the green. Although the hole is cut technically about 13 yards on the green and some six yards from the left, the encroachment of the false front means that the pin is set nearer to seven yards on the actual surface. Anything short can trundle back down the steep apron, leaving a very tricky chip from below the surface. A tee shot too far to the left will catch the sand, creating a difficult recovery shot.
C: This hole is cut towards the back left hand corner of the green, close to the bunkers which can swallow an errant approach. The pin position, more than 20 yards onto the green and approximately six yards from the left edge, once again puts a premium on distance control. A tee shot coming up short will result in the ball feeding down the slope and leaving a very long, uphill approach putt while anyone over-shooting the green faces a fast downhill chip to a position where the ball can gather pace near the hole.
D: The large, cavernous bunker eating into the front of the green provides strong protection for this pin position just a few yards beyond the hazard and some five yards from the right. The premium is on distance control with the penalties quite severe for any mis-judged tee shot. The key is to avoid the trap in front of the pin, which will leave a tough bunker shot, or over-shoot the pin, which puts pressure on the putting from long range down the slope.