The Masters hangover is here. Luckily, we get golf right away once again- kind of like a bloody mary after a long night out. This week is sponsored by the #CourseHistory crowd as you are sure to hear multiple takes involving Luke Donald in almost any form of content you consume this week. Before we get into our usual picks, though, let’s run through some of the key stats and take a look at the course for this week’s RBC Heritage.
The RBC Heritage is held at Harbour Town Golf Links down in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. It’s a Par 71 that plays around 7,100 yards and is a Pete Dye design (which is another thing you’re likely to hear about quite a bit this week).
Past Five Winners
Off the Tee
Historically, it hasn’t mattered how long you are off the tee at Harbour Town. Only two of the last 15 winners were inside the top ten in Driving Distance at this event while seven were inside the top ten in Driving Accuracy. Driving Accuracy explains DK Scoring about 5x better than Driving Distance, but it’s not terribly predictive. I’d focus in on some other stats for the week when building models.
The greens at Harbour Town are much more difficult to hit than a regular PGA Tour event. The field at an average Tour event hits about 47 Greens in Regulation. At Harbour Town, that number is closer to 41 GIR for the week. There’s a relatively small difference between the winner and the average Top 25 finisher, though, which means putting will pop a little bit more than usual this week.
Around the Green
When greens are difficult to hit, around the green play typically pops a little bit more than usual. Historically, Strokes Gained: Around the Green is slightly more predictive than Off the Tee at Harbour Town.
Other Stats to Consider
Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking: It’s just a simple combination of SG: Off the Tee and SG: Approach, but it captures a lot of what we’re looking for here. It explains nearly 40% of DK Scoring (compared to 32% if you were to ignore SG: Off the Tee and just go with SG: Approach).
Proximity from 175-200: With a shorter course, many of the approach shots will come from this range.
SG: Par 3: Given the par 71 course, I’ll probably bake in some Par 3 scoring into the mix somehow. Strokes Gained: Par 3 on Fantasy National is as good of a gauge as any for that.