(Reuters) - Golf fans will play a direct role in course set-up for the first time in a major at next month’s PGA Championship in Rochester, New York, organizers said on Tuesday.
Through the “PGA Championship Pick the Hole Location Challenge Hosted by Jack Nicklaus,” fans will be able to choose online one of four designated pin positions at Oak Hill Country Club’s par-three 15th for the final round.
The 181-yard 15th is a tricky, downhill hole with a narrow green guarded by water on the right and by two bunkers on the left.
“The chance for golf fans to interact with the PGA Championship and play a role in shaping the outcome of the final round fascinates me,” golfing great Nicklaus said in a statement. “It’s like being able to call the shots during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.”
Fans will make their selections for the 15th hole via the PGA of America website (www.pga.com) between July 23 and August 10. The final round of the PGA Championship is scheduled to be played on August 11.
“The PGA of America is delighted to present this innovative opportunity, as we believe this is the first time that consumers have been able to make a direct and significant impact on a global sports arena,” said PGA President Ted Bishop.
“We are honored that the legendary Jack Nicklaus will lead fans as their host and teacher in understanding the nuances that the greatest players in golf consider and think about regarding course setup and hole locations.”
Nicklaus, winner of a record 18 major titles, clinched the most recent of his five PGA Championship titles at Oak Hill in 1980.
The 95th PGA Championship will be played from August 8-11 at Oak Hill where Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy will defend the title he claimed by a record eight shots last year at Kiawah Island.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue