Joshua Grenier, aka @GrantBushman on Twitter and jpgrenier on DraftKings and Fan Duel, starts the week in bringing you the Tour Level’s unique prospective, with the “First Cut”. Josh is a top ranked father of twin boys and uses zero of his several degrees in his day job. He loves to chat about golf, DFS and music on Twitter so feel free to hit him @GrantBushman.
As with all of our content and tools here at Tour Level, we aim to help you make better decisions in all of your fantasy golf and golf betting related items. The main purpose of this article is to kick the week off and shake of that case of the Mondays. The emphasis of the article is to simply familiarize yourself with the course and start to get an idea of specific stats that have been both indicators of past and future success at this weeks tournament . For a more in depth analysis on cash games check out @Scottimac11 and then for the inside track on the GPP takedown, be sure to check out top ranked @DFSgolfer23 “Against the Grain” series on Tuesday, and @Hump_Bumgardner “Chalk…or not” report due out on Wednesday.
The FedEx Championship – East Lake Golf Club
The PGA tour finishes the magical year of JT and Jordan down in Georgia. The final tournament features an old school track originally designed by the great Donald Ross in 1914 and then restored to its “Rossian” brilliance by Reese Jones in 1994. Reese Jones is the son of legendary golf course designer Robert Trent Jones and the younger brother of golf course designer Robert Trent Jones, Jr.. Reese, however, might be best know for his masterful restoration project of Bethpage Black during the build up to the 2002 US Open. His redesign is still paying dividends as it has since hosted another US Open and is in the NYC Metro rotation for the first week of the Fed Ex Cup. Some of his work is detailed in the delightful John Feinstein book, Inside the Ropes at Bethpage Black.
East Lake has held the tournament since 2004, so there is no lack of course history (CH) if you wish to find a small subset of the 30 remaining players who have performed well here in the past. Regardless of their CH, all players will face the test of a course that plays longish off the tee to tight fairways and into large but difficult green complexes with a fair share of water to challenge tee shots and approaches equally.
The Numbers, 7,321 yards, par 70
As is with all par 70 courses, we will focus on Par 4 scoring and with this length; proximity from distance (150-200 yards) will also likely correlate with player success. The other likely suspects are Bogey Avoidance and Scrambling, but my hesitancy with these as leading statistical indicators, especially on a course that will allow a decent amount of scoring from the fairway, is that it captures those players whose Around the Green (ATG) skill set keeps them relevant in the tournament but doesn’t help them compete with the guys splitting fairways and throwing darts.
This is not to say that scrambling legends like Rickie and Jordan (at times) don’t combine elite ball striking with scrambling wizardry to take them to the top of the leaderboard. My point is more that, I think its best to build a core us guys who excel on Par 4 scoring and ball striking and use the other indicators to help define or decide who will be the few guys used to round out your target golfers.
Four Par 3s – all are 200 yards or longer, so both Par 3 scoring and proximity of over 200 yards will again be a focus because of the degree of difficulty of these holes.
Two Par 5s – one is reachable (the 6th (525 yards) and one will play below par but is not very reachable, the 18th (600 yards). See the images below for a brief description:
The course features water on almost half of the holes (7/18) but it really only comes into play on four of the holes. This is enough to take note, especially given the style of green complex, where approach shots that are not hit well could run off the “turtled backed” greens. This run off is more of a concern for the deep green side bunkers but the run off on the 11th could be into the green side water hazard. The course will not be dry and fast as many have been in the last few weeks. See the below forecast and almanac, both of which show rain in the past and the potential of it in the future.
Relevant Stats and More Course Details:
- Greens In Regulation and Strokes Gained Approach
- Strokes Gained Tee to Green (SGT2G) and Driving Accuracy
- Par Four Scoring
- “Scrambling and Bogey Avoidance
Green Type: Bermuda grass (technically ultradwarf bermudagrass variety MiniVerde)
Green Speed: Fast
Green Size: Large (Typical Ross)
Rough: Thick Bermuda