The first day of the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship week kicked with golfers and media members getting re-acclimated to the course and surroundings for the first time since the massive footprint of the PGA Championship enveloped every inch of the grounds a year ago.
But what's different from a year ago are the various sponsored booths where fans can interact with their favorite brands, experience golf through simulators, etc. which were not a part of the PGA Championship.
The course felt more like home with some familiar faces mixed into the more than 2,300 voluteers managing the activities and areas of interest. However, the energy and anticipation were the same. With Tiger Woods attending this year's event, fans that hadn't originally planned on attending are now purchasing tickets. Local resident Sherry Brown was upbeat about the chance to watch Tiger compete again. "I found out Tiger was coming so I am trying to get some passes for my dad and my brother."
The Wells Fargo Social Media Hub, located near the first tee, is back again this year. The space has high-top tables, cushioned seating areas and an interactive media wall that keeps you up to date on everything happening at the tournament. Fans can also get a quick tour of new and easy methods to purchase food and souvenirs during the tournament. And one of the best parts about the space is that it is air conditioned to take the edge off of any hot days during the competition.
Food trucks will be located at the Green Mile village featuring a host of local fare. The trucks will feature everything from pizza to sliders to BBQ.
New to the Wells Fargo Championship, the TopGolf Expo area located in the Green Mile village is designed to help novice golfers get over fears of the game and have fun in an environment that features golf games, skills challenges and giveaways.
Also new to this year's event is the is Tito's Stillhouse Lounge located near the 10th green.
Some of the early faces to hit the range included Vijay Singh, Keegan Bradley and 2013 Wells Fargo Champion Derek Ernst. Earnst will have Charlotte swing coach and owner Tour Techniques Randy Joyner on the bag as he looks to become the Wells Fargo Champion for the second time. To do that he'll have to contend with 2016 Champion James Hahn who also visited the range today.
"Feels like I'm still defending ...the last time the Wells Fargo Championship was played out here I was the one holding the trophy at the end so hopefully I can do that again." said Hahn after an afternoon range session.
The Las Vegas odds-makers are picking Rory McIlroy to win this week and Tiger Woods being given an 18/1 chance of nabbing the trophy according to www.vegasinsider.com.
The big winner, of course, will be the Charlotte area First Tee program. Kids from the program will also participate in the Wednesday Pro-Am event as Caddies for PGA Tour pros on holes #4 and #17. Tiger Woods will lead off the Pro-Am on Tee #1 at 7:00 a.m.
ADSN will be on site for the entire week of the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship to bring you up to the minute coverage as well as an in-depth behind the scenes look at some of the nuances of this Charlotte tradition.