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And so it begins: the “post-season” of golf if you will. As the top 125 and ties in the FedEx Points ranking begin what could be a 4-week showdown, only 120 golfers will descend upon Glen Oaks Club in Westbury, NY. (Five players are skipping this event: Garcia, ranked high enough to advance without playing, Snedeker, injured, Scott, wife is due any day now, Piercy, injured, and Bozzelli injured.)  So with that in mind lets see how those 120 players will fair in this weeks approach distances as we walk the course together.

**As we go from hole-to-hole I will refer back to this chart. I will also clarify is there are approach differences between Bombers and Non-Bombers as several holes will leave the approach distance range that is the same for both.

 

Course: Glen Oaks Club, Par 70- 7,350 yards

 

Hole 1: 498 yards, Par 4

 

The first hole (for some) happens to be the longest of all the Par 4s that the guys will face this week. Off the tee guys need to avoid the bunkers that protect left corner of this dogleg left. In order to avoid these bunkers players will need a drive around 295 yards (which truly shouldn’t be an issue for most). Long hitters will face a 175-200 yard approach shot uphill into a large green that is guarded in front by a deep bunker on the right. Shorter hitters will have an approach shot of 200+ yards into this tough hole.

 

Bomber Approach 175-200: Koepka, Rahm, DJ, Finau

Non-Bomber Approach 200+: Ollie, Watney, Na, Fowler, English

 

Hole 2: 238 yards, Par 3

 

This is the longest Par 3 on the course but from first glance, this is a seemingly simple hole. This Par 3 plays downhill to a small green that slopes back to front. This tough green is guarded by 2 bunkers up front but don’t be fooled, going long is a recipe for disaster too.

 

Hole 3: 625 yards, Par 5

 

For those starting their rounds on the front nine this Thursday they have to face the courses longest Par 4, 3, and 5 back to back to back. Don’t be shocked if guys aren’t scoring on these first few holes and honestly, pars on these holes day 1 will feel like a victory.

 

If players look at this hole as a 3 shot hole (which I expect to be the case for most) I would anticipate that guys will look to keep their tee shot around 285 yards which will leave them short of bunker on left. From there the field will likely give themselves an approach shot between 125-150 yards so they can attack a seriously sloped and heavily bunkered green.

 

Approach 125-150 yards: Knox, Stenson, Campbell, Reavie, Stanley, Matsuyama

 

Hole 4: 490 yards, Par 4

 

Another long par 4 that will require a properly placed shot off the tee into a very tight and small landing area in the fairway.  All players will be looking at an approach shot between 175-200 yards into a large green that is heavily protected by bunkers.

 

Approach 175-200 yards: Koepka, Garrigus, Casey, Steele, Stanley, DeChambeau, Rahm

 

Hole 5: 472 yards, Par 4

 

Off the tee, players will be looking to avoid hazards on both the left and right side of the fairway. Off to the left there are bunkers and 300 yards off the tee to the right there is water. Providing the players avoid both these obstacles, they will have an approach shot between 175-200 yards into a green that sits at an angle and is guarded by bunkers.

 

Approach 175-200 yards: Koepka, Garrigus, Casey, Steele, Stanley, DeChambeau, Rahm

 

Hole 6: 185 yards, Par 3

 

This Par 3 will require guys to pick their number and swing away with confidence. The green is rather small and is guarded by a pong short right and bunkers on both sides of the green.

 

Hole 7: 470 yards, Par 4

 

Guys will have another difficult tee shot that will require a lot of precision and confidence. Going left off the tee will leave players OB but the fairway slopes from left to right so aiming too far right will likely leave them with an approach shot from the rough. Guys are looking at another approach shot between 175-200 yards into a green that is guarded by bunkers.

 

Approach 175-200 yards: Koepka, Garrigus, Casey, Steele, Stanley, DeChambeau, Rahm

 

Hole 8: 444 yards, Par 4

 

Another critical tee shot will be required on this hole- I think that is becoming a theme! Off the tee guys will be looking to avoid fairway bunkers on the left and really thick rough to the right. Long hitters will have a blind uphill approach shot between 125-150 yards. Shorter hitters will have an even longer approach shot (between 175-200 yards) into the green.

 

Approach 125-150 yards: Rnox, Stenson, Campbell, Reavie, Stanley, Matsuyama

 

 

Hole 9: 440 yards, Par 4

 

In order to have the best approach possible, guys need to avoid the right fairway bunker (which is around 250 yards off the tee) into this narrow fairway. All guys will be looking at an approach shot between 125-150 yards into a green that is framed by bunkers on the left and right.

 

Approach 125-150 yards: Rnox, Stenson, Campbell, Reavie, Stanley, Matsuyama

 

Hole 10: 445 yards, Par 4

 

For those guys starting their day on this hole, they will need to avoid letting their nerves (if that even happens to these guys) get the better of their tee shot as there is a group of intimidating fairway bunkers on the right side of the fairway. Placing the tee shot on the left side of the fairway will give guys a good angle into the green. Expect to see long hitters to have an approach between 125-150 yards where shorter hitters will be looking at 175-200 yards. This green is sloped back to front and protected by bunkers.

 

Approach 125-150 yards: Rnox, Stenson, Campbell, Reavie, Stanley, Matsuyama

 

 

Hole 11: 315 yards, Par 4

 

Unlike the front nine, those guys starting their day on the 10th hole will face a risk-reward on their second hole. Especially if the wind is coming from behind the players, this is a drivable Par 4. Attempting to drive the green presents risks so guys will need to be sure to avoid multiple water hazards while also navigating a very shallow green that slopes severely from back to front. Short of the green there is a pond and going long will leave guys with a difficult bunker shot onto a green that runs toward the water. If guys choose to lie up I would anticipate seeing their approach between 50-125 yards.

 

Approach 50-125 yards: D. Berger, P, Mickelson, J. Thomas, W. Bryan, A. Hadwin, F. Molinari

 

Hole 12: 450 yards, Par 4

 

Off the tee players will need to avoid a bunker on the left and right side of the fairway. The bunker to the left is 300 yards off the tee while the one to the right is 330 yards. This dogleg left bends slightly and leaves players with an approach between 125-150 yards (for bombers) and 150-175 yards (for shorter hitters) into a green that is guarded by bunkers on both sides. If guys go too long they will have a tough shot back to the green that is running away from them.

 

Bombers Approach 125-150 yards: DJ, G. Woodland

Non-Bombers Approach 150-175 yards: Rnox, Stenson, Campbell, Reavie, Stanley, Matsuyama

 

Hole 13: 539 yards, Par 5

 

If the longer hitters intend to reach this hole in 2, they have to navigate the first deep fairway bunker, that is 270 yards to clear, on the left side. Long hitters will face an uphill approach of 200+ yards into a green protected by small bunkers on the left and a large bunker on the right. For guys who are treating this as a 3 shot hole, their approach will be between 50-125 yards.

 

Bombers Approach 200+ yards: L. List, G. Woodland, R. McIlroy, J. Thomas

Non-Bombers Approach 50-125 yards: D. Berger, P, Mickelson, J. Thomas, W. Bryan, A. Hadwin, F. Molinari

 

Hole 14: 438 yards, Par 4

 

This hole is a straight shot but still requires so precision off the tee. The fairway is lined by trees on the right side of the fairway and has one small bunker off to the left. All guys will have an approach shot between 125-150 yards into a contoured green that is guarded by a bunker on the right.

 

Approach 125-150 yards: Rnox, Stenson, Campbell, Reavie, Stanley, Matsuyama

 

Hole 15: 184 yards, Par 3

 

This is the first Par 3 on the back nine and it will require an accurate iron shot into a small green that slopes from back to front. A bunker on the back left side and a large pond along the right side guards this green, so shots that are misplaced will leave the ball moving toward the water.

 

Hole 16: 400 yards, Par 4

 

No one should need a driver off the tee on one of the shorter Par 4s that players will see this week. This hole does play very uphill and bunkers guard the green. Expect all approach shots to come between 50-125 yards. Players will want to keep their approach shot below the hole otherwise they will be looking at one of the quickest putts on the course.

 

Approach 50-125 yards: D. Berger, P, Mickelson, J. Thomas, W. Bryan, A. Hadwin, F. Molinari

 

Hole 17: 233 yards, Par 3

 

The second Par 3 on the back nine should play the longest of the week. This downhill hole is into a green protected by a large pond to the left as well as bunkers. Oh and don’t forget the pond runs the entire length of the hole.

 

Hole 18: 475 yards, Par 4

 

The final hole of the back nine is anything but a give me. A tough tee shot will requires players to hit their ball to the right of a large pond as well as a fairway bunker. In order to have a better lie and shorter approach, players will need to take their tee shot over the water and clear the left fairway bunker (meaning a drive of at least 320 yards). However, I imagine most players avoid the water and bunker all together off the tee, giving themselves an approach, into an elevated green surrounded by bunkers and rough, between 175-200 yards.  Even when they reach the green, they must figure out how to read a heavily contoured green.

 

Approach 175-200 yards: Koepka, Garrigus, Casey, Steele, Stanley, DeChambeau, Rahm

 

Distance Count:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Players Count:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stenson- hot off a win he shows up the most

Koepka/Campbell/Hideki/Know/Reavie- all come in with the 2nd most tags