Learn about the course for the Arnold Palmer Invitational and what types of golfers are likely to succeed on it for PGA DFS.
Before jumping into the details of this week’s PGA Tour Event, I wanted to mention a timeline for all PGA DFS items that you can expect each and every week from Frank and myself:
- Monday: Course/Event Preview
- Tuesday: Cash article, GPP article, Cheat Sheet, PGA DFS Stream
- Wednesday: Chat room (8pm EST) to answer questions
Without further ado, let’s jump into this week’s event:
Event: Arnold Palmer Invitational
Dates: Thursday March 4th through Sunday March 7th
Course: Bay Hill
Field: 123 players
Cut: 65 and ties
Past Winners: Hatton (2020), Molinari (2019), McIlroy (2018), Leishman (2017), Day (2016), Every (2015)
- Thursday/Friday: 2-6pm EST (Golf Channel) plus PGA Tour Live
- Saturday/Sunday: 12:30-2:30pm EST (Golf Channel), 2:30pm-6pm EST (NBC) plus PGA Tour Live
- With this being an Invitational and only 123 players we will see higher than normal 5/6 and 6/6 percentages for lineups.
- Bay Hill is a par 72 measuring in at over 7,400 yards
- The course features:
- 4 Par 5s (587, 560, 552 and 515 yards):
- While these may seem long, they play shorter than the yardage as they all should be reachable by most of the field.
- 4 Par 3s (214, 195, 217, 221)
- 11 Par 4s:
- <400 yards: 3
- 400-440 yards: 1
- 440+ yards: 6
- 4 Par 5s (587, 560, 552 and 515 yards):
- Off the Tee:
- Off the Tee game is about PGA Tour average this week. There is an equal emphasis on accuracy and distance. The course is long and hitting it far does give a player an advantage. However, the Bermuda rough here is thick and juicy and may cause players problems when they miss the fairway.
- There also is a lot of water and bunkers in play off the tee. So if you miss off the tee, you will want to make sure you miss in the correct spot to be able to recover.
- So basically what I’m saying is that a short accurate hitter can contend with an inaccurate long driver and vice versa. There is no one type of driver that has an edge this week.
- Off the Tee only accounts for 19% of strokes gained this week
- Approach Shots:
- This will be the most important stat of the week as it accounts for 38% of strokes gained historically in this event. In particular, you will see a large number of approach shots from 200+ yards. All 4 par 3s are 195+ yards and all 4 par 5s are reachable.
- We also have 6 lengthy par 4s that usually require an approach beyond 150 yards and depending upon wind, might even be close to 200 yards.
- This time of year in Florida we typically see a fair amount of wind which places a larger emphasis on iron game as player who hit their irons more solid are able to better control their ball in the wind. This is also the reason I believe we have seen a lot of foreign winners of this event as they are more used to wind than US players.
- The greens this week are massive Bermuda greens that will run about 12 on the stimpmeter (PGA Tour average). You can make a lot of putts on these greens if you are rolling the rock well. This is a welcome change from the bumpy Poa Annua greens they had out on the West coast.
- Putting has accounted for 29% of strokes gained amongst top finishers at this event.
- Around the Green:
- The green in regulation percentage here is about Tour average. These greens are not very difficult in terms of chipping, pitching or bunker play. Whenever it is easier to get up and down around the green, less skill is required and we end up seeing everyone’s around the green metrics bunched up. As expected, this metric only accounts for 14% of the strokes gained amongst top finishers.
What type of player typically succeeds here?
- I see one clear path to victory at this course:
- Elite mid to long iron player who is an above average putter (with a preference to Bermuda grass) who also takes advantage of the par 5s. This player will also have to gain strokes off the tee, but that can come via distance or accuracy.
What areas of a player’s game will be tested the most this week?
- Largest emphasis:
- Strokes Gained Approach (largest emphasis 200+ yards followed by 150-200 yards)
- Strokes Gained Putting
- Par 5 Scoring
- Strokes Gained Off the Tee
- Smaller emphasis:
- Strokes Gained Around the Green
- Par 3 scoring 200+ yards
Check back in on Tuesday for the Cash article, GPP article, Cheat Sheet and DFS Stream.