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Walking the Course

Whether you’re a golf fan, or simply trying to pin point golfers that may play well this week, this article is for you. I’ll take you hole by hole and tell you some cool features about each of them. Off course, we are in the business to help you all make money, so we’ll add in the statistical analysis as well.

***This article may not be written every week depending on what the course the tournament is held on and available information.
**Note:Leaders in these yardages are derived from proximity to the hole, which simply means, how far you are from the hole after your approach shot.

Course: Firestone National *only yearly numbers here as not many of the field played last week in Canada.

Yardage: 7,400

Par:70

**Note: Yardages may change based on Tee placements, but these should be relatively standard. Also, there are extremes at both ends of the driving distance spectrum (just think about DJ vs. Steve Stricker) but this should be indicative of MOST of the field.

Player Focus Recap– Robert Garrigus led the tags last week and also was Top 5 in the tournament… Credence? Let’s see if we can make it 2 weeks in a row.

1. Par 4, 400 yards: This shorter par 4 requires an accurate shot from the tee as fairway bunkers line both sides. Most won’t be hitting driver as that’s the club that brings the bunkers really into play. Bunkers also guard the approach shot left and right of the green. Approaches from 125-150. Only 37 birdies were made here last year.

Yearly 125-150: Knox, Bryan, Hun An, Stanley, Woodland

2. Par 5, 530 Yards: A hole that set’s up nicely for a draw, is definitely reachable in 2 and the first real good chance to score. Tall oaks overhang the left side which make the tee shot a bit more important. This hole is the easiest on the course in terms of scoring average and did yield 8 eagles last year. Approaches to come from 200-225.

Yearly- 200-225: Thomas, Woodland, Swafford, Holmes, Fowler

3. Par 4, 440: This is really creepy, but I haven’t changed the hole yardages or par from last week… Anyways This dogleg par 4 has a nice water feature that will gobble up some shots that are hit “fat” or heavy. Obviously an ideal tee shot will allow an easier approach. Approaches to come from 150-175.

Yearly 150-175: Spieth, Fowler, Grace, Matsuyama, Bryan

4. Par 4, 470 yards: Finally a difference from last week… This beast of a par 4 plays to one of the top 5 most difficult on the course. The green sits quite a bit above the fairway making the approach shot just a tad more difficult with bunkers guarding front right and left. Approaches to come from 175-200.

Yearly 175-200: Koepka, Rahm, Steele, Dechambeau, Matsuyama

5. Par 3 200 yards: Pretty straight forward par 3 here. A few bunkers guard the left side of the green, bt not much trouble other than that. Approaches from 175-200.

Yearly 175-200: Koepka, Rahm, Steele, Dechambeau, Matsuyama

6. Par 4, 470 Yards: Length and accuracy are required here on this longer par 4. It curves a bit to the left so a tight draw would play well here. Bunkers again guard both sides of the green. Approaches to come from 150-175.

Yearly 150-175: Spieth, Fowler, Grace, Matsuyama, Bryan

7. Par 3, 220 yards: The 7th hole has the biggest green on the course which will surely make club selection crucial here. Hey guess what? Bunkers surround all parts of the green. Approaches’ from 200-225 yards.

Yearly- 200-225: Thomas, Woodland, Swafford, Holmes, Fowler

8. Par 4, 485 Yards: The first of 2 incredibly tough holes to finish out the front 9. Both par 4’s measure over 475 in length. Players will see that iconic Firestone Water Tower from the tee shot, and fits the eye for a great aim spot. Approaches to come from 175-200.

Yearly 175-200: Koepka, Rahm, Steele, Dechambeau, Matsuyama

9. Par 4, 490 Yards: A straight forward long par 4 has some fairway bunkers that you must stand clear off. It plays a bit down hill from the tee so approaches still will come from the 175-200 range… Definitely a theme on this front 9.

Yearly 175-200: Koepka, Rahm, Steele, Dechambeau, Matsuyama

10. Par 4, 410 yards: Less than driver off the tee here as the golfers will want to avoid the fairway bunkers that guard both sides of the fairway. Ranked as the 14th easiest hole on the course last year yielding 44 birdies over the 4 days. Approaches to come from 125-150.

Yearly 125-150: Knox, Bryan, Hun An, Stanley, Woodland

11. Par 4, 420 yards: Played as the second easiest hole on the course the tee shot is fairly easy allowing players to get to that $$$$ wedge yardage of 100 yards. Just shy of 50 birdies were made here last year. It is 1 of only 2 holes on the course that played under par.

Yearly 100-125: Hun-An, Thomas, Molinari, Berger, Pampling
12. Par 3, 180 Yards: GIR is a must here on this shorter par 3. Golfers who are able to find the green from the tee will have a chance at birdie, with over 20 made here last year, but players who miss may be subject to a tougher up and down than they’d like. Approaches to come from the 175-200

Yearly 175-200: Koepka, Rahm, Steele, Dechambeau, Matsuyama
13. Par 4, 470 Yards: Trouble on both sides of the fairway in this dogleg right. A large oak tree makes it difficult for some to carry that right side, and if you go through the fairway you’ll have a deep bunker waiting on the left side. Driver must be controlled. Approaches to come 150-175
Yearly 150-175: Spieth, Fowler, Grace, Matsuyama, Bryan

14. Par 4, 470 Yards: The second of back to back 470 yard par 4s. The newly added tee pushes it back 30 yards, and brings fairway bunkers into play that will force most golfers to hit driver off the tee. Yielding the second least birdies of any hole at just 21 last year. Approaches to come from that same 150-175 we saw on 13.

Yearly 150-175: Spieth, Fowler, Grace, Matsuyama, Bryan

15. Par 3, 225 yards: Another long par 3 starts a tough finishing stretch here at Firestone. The green is rather deep and has bunkers on the left and right. Players will certainly take par 3 here and move on. Approaches to come from the 200-225.

Yearly- 200-225: Thomas, Woodland, Swafford, Holmes, Fowler

16. Par, 670 Yards: HA… Erin Hills esk here. I don’t even think DJ will be able to get there in 2. Only 1 eagle was made on the hole last year, and I don’t expect many more to be made this year. The tee shot is lined with bunkers that sit about 280-290 from the tee and the second shot has a nice creek awaiting any mis judge of yardage. The best bet is to just stay short of the pond all together. The hole will yield birdies, but could also yield some big ones as well.

Yearly- 50-125: Berger, Mickelson, Bryan, DJ, JT

17. Par 4, 400 Yards: A short par 4 17th gives the golfer an option on the tee to either drive it up to the top of the ridge and have a sand wedge into the green, or lay back behind it the ridge and bunkers and have a shot from about 125. Definitely a scorable hole with a good drive.

Yearly- 50-125: Berger, Mickelson, Bryan, DJ, JT

18. Par 4, 470 Yards: The finishing hole at Firestone south features a down hill tee shot that will certainly gives some nerves to the leaders come Sunday. There’s a massive tree that sits a front the left side of the green which will come into play if players don’t position their tee shot correctly. Approaches to come from 100-125.

Yearly 100-125: Hun-An, Thomas, Molinari, Berger, Pampling

The Tally:
Let’s see where most of the approach shots will be coming from
• <100 yards- 1 for the bombers that’s it.
• 100-125 Yards- 2
• 125-150 yards- 2
• 150-175 yards- 4
• 175-200 yards- 5
• 200-225- 3
• <100 yards- 2
The Tags:
Matsuyama-9
Bryan- 8
Fowler-7

I hope you all enjoyed the second rendition of “Walking the Course”. When the information is available this article will be written! Want a bit more on the course? Be sure to read Tee-2-green First Cut where @grantbushman highlights some very important factors to consider! Good luck this week!