Playing Through: Quicken Loans National at TPC Potomac

POTOMAC, Md. — Like the golf future of Tiger Woods himself, the future of the Quicken Loans National after this year is somewhat up in the air. But also like Tiger, it is back in the D.C. area this week, looking to restore a little extra attention and luster to a tournament that has been played without him the last couple years.

Woods will headline a field that includes betting favorite Rickie Fowler as well as former champion and local favorite Billy Hurley III. But all eyes will be on Woods.

“A lot of excitement building with Tiger coming back to play,” tournament director Mike Antolini told WTOP. “He hasn’t played in Montgomery County since 2014, hasn’t played in the Quicken Loans National since 2015.”

Woods has also been competitive throughout the season so far, but has yet to break through for a win. That sets the stage for a potentially compelling weekend of golf with Tiger in the hunt, whether he ends up winning or simply coming close.

“I think that anytime you win a PGA Tour event, it’s a crowning achievement of many players’ careers. When you can do so with Tiger Woods in the field, it means that much more,” said Antolini.

As far as the spectator experience, the action begins Wednesday morning with the Pro-Am, with the tournament starting Thursday. For those who have attended in the past, there will be a few changes from last year’s layout.

There will be cooling stations on site this year, and there have been a few tents added to the layout that are open to regular ticket holders to provide shade from the summer heat. While the course spans well away from the clubhouse area, particularly in the middle parts of each nine, the focus is really on the hub of the action when it comes to fan activations this year.

“We recognize that most of the fan action around TPC Potomac is in the circle from 16 green, to 17 tee, to 18 green, to clubhouse, to 9 green, to 1 tee, and up through the range,” said Antolini. “I encourage those fans who come out who maybe haven’t seen the course or haven’t played the course to come out early and walk the course. It’s a beautiful walk. All 18 holes are just gorgeous.”

Or, hey, if that’s not your cup of tea, check out the gallery below as we take you through every hole on the course.

Hole #1: Par 4, 440 from black tees, 415 from gold tees, 400 from silver tees, 392 from copper tees, 301 from ivory tees An uphill tee shot greats the players, wrapping to the right and continuing to move uphill, making the hole play a lot longer than the yardage. A tight run up to the narrow green is guarded by bunkers on both sides, so there’s not much room for error on the approach. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
Hole #2: Par 5, 619/570/495/478/455 A blind tee shot on this par 5 carries over a ridge, with everything kicking to the left side of the fairway. The approach feeds downhill all the way before a slight rise to the green itself, a large putting surface that slopes back away from the players. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
Hole #3: Par 3, 225/210/185/160/135 Downhill par 3 has three tight bunkers carved into the edges of the green and a false front and side catch area that will drag shots that miss in those directions down away from the pin. With a front pin, almost all putts will be at least somewhat downhill here. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
Hole #4: Par 4, 440/379/362/352/335 With water left, a spit of lake encroaches and forces players to keep the ball up the right side off the tee. This brings the right front bunker into play for the approach to a very long green that runs side to side behind the trap. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
Hole #5: Par 4, 365/336/312/299/275 A bunker splits the fairway on this short par 4, but most players should be able to carry it without issue. A well-placed shot up the left side offers the best path into a fairly small green, but a definite chance for a low score. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
Hole #6: Par 4, 484/449/422/379/360 A narrow, long par 4, it stretches slowly downhill left-to-right, with nasty reeds and a creek running down the right side the whole way. There’s sand trouble as well, but the biggest issue is staying up and dry out of the hazard, which could play a big role with a pin deep on the right side of the green. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
Hole #7: Par 4, 452/420/395/383/266 Uphill tee shot over the lake for the pros leads to a narrow fairway that angles out to the right. There are plenty of dips and not a ton of flat lies for the approach into a green guarded by bunkers on both sides. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
Hole #8: Par 4, 467/435/415/390/275 A longer par 4 that curls up and over a hill, then back down again, all through another fairly narrow fairway. It’s the third of three straight holes that seems straightforward enough, but will be especially punitive for those who can’t find the fairway, as the rough fills in. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
Hole #9: Par 3, 201/175/155/136/120 A perched, downhill par 3, there’s really no room for error here. Four surrounding sand traps and a false front are there to punish mistakes, and anything more errant than that is lost. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
A quick note before the back nine: This is a shot from the rough on 10 a week ago Monday. It ought to be even more punitive this week for the tournament, which gives you an indication of the significance in staying in the fairway. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
Hole #10: Par 5, 560/532/510/482/438 A late dogleg par 5 from elevated tees for the pros, the fairway narrows dramatically on the approach. Bunkers will trap anything that fades as the hole turns. For any shots left above the hole, there’s almost no way to stop a pitch on the tight green. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
Hole #11: Par 4, 470/420/378/365/339 A seemingly simple enough Par 4, it rated as the single toughest hole on the PGA Tour last year. A fairly narrow fairway requires a placed drive, and the angle of the green can play all right great if you can play a cut into it. But it’s pretty unforgiving on both sides of the hole, especially below, where the creek runs through. Any misses will be punished here. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
Hole #12: Par 3, 168/161/144/144/130 This is a short par 3, but it moves straight uphill. Players can’t miss short, or the ball will kick back down the false front all the way to the gully. A huge green leaves plenty of room long, but an inevitable downhill putt with danger below, especially if the pin is tucked all the way up front. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
Hole #13: Par 4, 360/324/302/279/258 A scenic, downhill tee shot with water left and homes scattered around the ridges of the hole. Players that stay clear of the right fairway bunkers will have a clean, uphill look at the green. Perched, pitched, surrounded by deep, cavernous bunkers, any approach needs to be a well-placed, soft shot to avoid danger. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
Hole #14: Par 4, 299/278/256/239/225 A short par 4, it should be easily drivable by most players, some even with a 3 wood. The shape moves slightly to the right between a couple bunkers. Players that miss short above the green will find themselves with a potentially awkward downhill sand lie, but otherwise this should be a birdie hole. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
Hole #15: Par 4, 490/440/418/397/353 A blind par 4, the tee shot moves uphill to a narrowing fairway, then a majestic drop off well down to the green below. A bunker splits the green, forcing decisions if the pin is spotted up front. A very deep putting surface means a tough two-putt if you’re not close. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
Hole #16: Par 4, 412/390/327/319/305 Another blind tee shot to a fairway that cuts off as it heads into a valley. That sets up an aerial second shot to a green protected by bunkers with the gallery behind. Anything short leaves tight, steep bunker shots to get up and down and save par. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
The tee shot over the water on 17 at TPC Potomac is right in the middle of the action for the Quicken Loans National. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
Signature Hole Hole #17: Par 3, 222/190/170/152/115 A downhill par 3 over water, the wide green can mean a number of different pin placements, but a scenic tee shot regardless. A couple rolls in the green can leave tough putts, if you’re on the wrong side of them. Antolini considers it the best viewing spot on the course. “You can really take a tremendous amount of the course and tournament in,” he said. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
Hole #18: Par 4, 465/426/401/380/340 A somewhat blind rise leads to a down and up again approach to the green, with a multi-fingered, long bunker stretching along the left side below the putting surface. The gallery wraps behind for the final shot, which can be real tight with a front pin. (WTOP/Noah Frank)
The tee shot over the water on 17 at TPC Potomac is right in the middle of the action for the Quicken Loans National. (WTOP/Noah Frank)

Grounds Tickets:

Wednesday Pro-Am: $20

Thursday — Sunday: $39 — kids 15 and under free with ticketed adult

Free tickets for all active, retired and reserve military and National Guard; 50% off grounds ticket prices for veterans

Teacher discount: $29 grounds ticket, includes $10 food/beverage voucher

Student discount: $25 for high school/college students

Premium Tickets:

Independence Pavilion outdoor, covered seating at 16 green, food/drink included: $275

Capital Club — climate controlled w/ seating at 18 green, food/drink included, sold out for Thursday/Friday: $375

Cabanas: Private tent for 10, sold out for Thursday/Friday: $2,000

Limited amount of on-site parking available online only in advance. Regular parking at Rock Spring Park, (6720 Rockledge Drive), complimentary shuttle over to the course.

For more information about the tournament, visit

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