Luther Cochrane has played many of the great golf courses in different parts of the world, and his initial inclination is to pick a hole from one of those familiar layouts, be it St. Andrews or Augusta National, Cypress Point or Turnberry.
“But the thing is, I’m a club player,” says the 51-year-old Charlotte resident who heads Bovis Lend Lease, the construction management company, which will have an estimated $5 billion in 2000 revenues. “And the more I thought about it, the more I realized I should chose a hole from my home course. That’s where I do most of my playing, and that’s where I have so much fun with the game of golf.”
Cochrane’ s home course is Quail Hollow Club, and his favorite hole there is No. 1. “I’m selecting that for two primary reasons,” says the friendly, energetic executive who boasts
a four handicap. “First of all, it happens to be a damn good hole, a nice par-four with a narrow driving area and a very difficult green to putt. You make birdie there, or even par, and you set yourself up for a good round.
“The other thing I like about it is that the first hole means I am just starting another round of golf,” Cochrane continues. “It means I am about to play 18 holes, and even when I am finished with No. 1, I still have 17 more to go. I love playing golf, and I have a group of people I enjoy playing with most Saturdays. We call ourselves the Morons, or the Mo’s for short. There are anywhere from six to 16 of us, and we try to play 36 holes if we can.
“Like most club players, we get excited teeing off the first hole,” Cochrane says. “And that’s really what makes that hole so good. It means our day on the course is just beginning.”
LUTHER COCHRANE, CEO, BOVIS LEND LEASE
Course Profile-Quail Hollow Club
Location: Charlotte, NC
Hole: 1st, par-four, 411 yards from the back (one-bird) tees; 398 yards from the middle markers (two-birds), and 364 yards from the members’ tees (three birds), which is where most people play from.
Hole Description: A dogleg right, No. 1 has two bunkers down the right side that are about 150 yards away from the green, with the last one being about a 240-yard carry from the members’ tees. Trees are the only real problem on the left, and players hitting down the middle really don’t have to worry about driving through the fairway, which slopes slightly from left to right. The green is guarded in front by bunkers left and right, but the real hazard is the way the putting surface runs from back-to-front; anything hit above the hole, or long, is going to be very tough to keep on the green. The hole itself is fairly flat, and the green, which has some serious undulations, is slightly elevated.
Course Architects: Originally designed by George Cobb, it has been remodeled over the years by Arnold Palmer, who also happens to be a member, and Tom Fazio.
Club Description: A small, private club just outside downtown, Quail Hollow was founded in 1961. Though it does have tennis courts and swimming facilities, its primary focus is golf. The par-72 course, which measures 7,114 yards from the tips, hosted the PGA Tour’s Kemper Open for 11 years, from 1969 through 1979. Caddies are available, and there are no tee times.