When those three world-class golfers play in "TaylorMade Driving Relief," a $3 million charity skins game on May 17 to help with COVID-19 relief efforts, they will yield a big part of the limelight to their surroundings.

It’s not often Palm Beach County residents Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler share the spotlight, especially when they’re in the same foursome.


But when those three world-class golfers play in "TaylorMade Driving Relief," a $3 million charity skins game on May 17 to help with COVID-19 relief efforts, they will yield a big part of the limelight to their surroundings.


Seminole Golf Club.


Ranked as one of the world’s best golf courses, this marks the first time a match has been televised at Seminole, where members guard privacy as well as Hall of Fame designer Donald Ross protected par on his immaculate layout.


Few Palm Beach County residents have had the opportunity to see Seminole. There is little evidence Seminole exists other than a non-descript sign on U.S. 1 in Juno Beach, about 2 miles north of PGA Boulevard. We know Ben Hogan used to spend his winters here and the Member-Pro has a better field than all but the majors.


For four hours on May 17 (2-6 p.m.) on NBC, we get a chance to finally see behind the curtain of Seminole.


"It’s one of the most revered courses in the world," said McIlroy, whose father, Gerry, is a Seminole member.


Gary Koch was about to begin his professional career when he played Seminole for the first time in the late-1970s. He knew what to expect, but still …


"It’s like walking into the Sistine Chapel of Golf," said Koch, who will handle NBC’s commentary along with Paul Azinger.


"You walk through the locker rooms and see the names of some of the players who won tournaments … We only have six hand-held cameras for the telecast, but I’m sure we’ll spend plenty of time talking about Seminole and its history."


Seminole already is hosting next year’s Walker Cup, a tournament between the top amateur men from the U.S. and Great Britain/Ireland, so its inaugural viewing comes a year early.


"It’s an honor for the members to share their golf course with the world," longtime Head PGA Professional/manager Bob Ford said Monday. "When you have ‘things,’ it’s always nice to share them. We’ve never really had this opportunity before."


What viewers will notice about Seminole is a rare sand ridge (in South Florida) to the west of the course and dunes to its east gave Ross a dream framework in 1929. Fourteen of the 18 holes touch these two areas.


The course only measures 6,836 yards, but its defense are fast greens and capricious winds off the Atlantic Ocean. The course rarely plays the same.


"When you first see it, you’re thinking I’m going to tear this place up," said Johnson, a former No. 1. "But when you add your score up, it’s never that good."


Johnson will team with current No. 1 McIlroy, which can’t happen in this year’s Ryder Cup, assuming it’s played, but almost recently happened on the PGA Tour. McIlroy said Johnson asked to play with him in the team event in New Orleans that was canceled. They have combined to win five majors and 38 PGA Tour events.


"Folks are going to be in for a treat," McIlroy said. "The world is starved for live sports on TV."


McIlroy-Johnson will face the team of Fowler and Matthew Wolff, who both went to Oklahoma State. Wolff won as a rookie last year and Fowler has five career wins.


"We know we’re going in as underdogs, but we’re ready to pull the upset," Fowler said.


The match will be decidedly old school. All four players will walk and carry their own bags, though TaylorMade has outfitted their ambassadors with smaller bags. Koch and Azinger will announce from the PGA Tour’s headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach. Jerry Foltz and Steve Sands will be on-course reporters and there will be no spectators or other media at Seminole.


Ford said all sanitation rules will be implemented such as styrofoam in the cup, no touching of pins and the players remaining at least 6 feet apart.


"This will be educational for golfers to see how to properly play the sport with the virus going on," Ford said.


The event is supported by UnitedHeath Group, which has pledged $3 million to the American Nurses Foundation and CDC Foundation. Farmers Insurance also has pledged $1 million for birdies-and-eagles.


Seminole was considered as a host for The Match 2 between Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning for COVID-19 relief, tentatively scheduled for May 24. The Match officials approached the Medalist in Hobe Sound (Woods’ home course) to host the event.


A source told Gannett two weeks ago the Medalist would be willing to "host the Match, but we won’t pay for it. If they want a TV rights fee, they’re going to have to go elsewhere."


Of course, anything can be negotiated.


The PGA Tour has announced plans to return June 11 at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas.