Tuesday, May 8, 2018

What To Look For: 2018 The PLAYERS Championship

The 45th PLAYERS Championship comes this week with the biggest purse of any event on Tour.


Sawgrass is Pete Dye's most famous design due to the famous 17th hole which led to a deluge of island green designs across the world.  But what often gets overlooked is how difficult Sawgrass is and how it counters wreckless bombers out of the event.

Every year, I get complaints from readers because the top of the leaderboard during the tournament lacks starpower and I'm asked why that is.

First, all of the 10 par-4's at Sawgrass are doglegs and many of them feature blind or semi-blind tee shots.  Secondly, there is an even split of 5 dogleg rights and 5 dogleg lefts.  So, it's more of a course about accuracy off the tee and in particular being able to hit tee shots at different directional angles.

Sawgrass is also the one course that may favor long hitters when it is dry and short hitters when it is soft (usually it's the opposite).  Jason Day's 2016 victory showed that as he was able to effectively lay up off the tee and then hold the greens by hitting sky-rocket approach shots.  I'm not sure what the conditions of Sawgrass are like, but it's been pretty windy the past month and thus I'm guessing it's going to play a little firm.

Usually, the 18th hole is the final critical hole on the course.  In recent years, the 17th has been a critical holes as the top contenders have really played 17 well in the past few years (think of Rickie Fowler in 2015).

Projected Winning Score: -13


3JACK'S FAVORITES

Justin Thomas +1,400
Jordan Spieth +1,400
Justin Rose +2,800
Henrik Stenson +2,800


3JACK DARK HORSE PICKS

Bryson DeChambeau +4,000
Daniel Berger +10,000
Rafael Cabrera Bello +10,000
Brian Harman +12,500
Russell Knox +15,000
Byeong Hun An +15,000




3JACK

Monday, May 7, 2018

PGA Tour Averages with the Driver on GEARS

Interesting video from Michael Neff from GEARS on what PGA Tour Averages he is seeing with the driver:






3JACK

Friday, May 4, 2018

Going Over the Lesson with GG

I've had a few readers ask me to go more into detail of what George Gankas and I worked on in our lesson.  Unfortunately, on the day I left to come back home (4/24/18), I caught a fever and then over the weekend I was so sick that I spent about 95% of my weekend either in my bed or couch.  This past week I've been able to work on what GG and I went over and I feel like progress has been made.  I hope to get a video of my swing this Sunday to show the progress.  But, here's what GG and I worked on.

Posture

GG teaches a posture that is closer to standing upright than it is to being bent over.  GG wants the shoulders to be 'rolled over' (ala Nicklaus).  Good checkpoints are to have the armpits over the balls of the feet and the tush line over (or very close to it) the heels of the feet.  IIRC, he wants the angle of the player's back at about 150 degrees.

This picture is a lousy angle, but I did have the armpits over the balls of the feet.  However, the tush line was too far away from the heels of the feet.


The black line shows more where approximately the tush line should be.  It feels very different as it feels like I'm trying to stand up as vertical as I can while still addressing the ball.  It requires you to suck the butt in. 

The idea of this posture is to make it easier for the golfer to rotate the pelvis.  In order to rotate the pelvis in the downswing the golfer needs more of an anterior pelvic tilt type of move. 


That is easier to accomplish if the pelvis is more neutral in the backswing to begin with.  GG also feels that the posture helps with the overall balance in the golf swing.  My old posture made it too easy to get the pressure towards my toes which helps stall the pivot. 

Lastly, I think the GG posture helps a bit with hand path depth in the backswing.  With my old posture, the torso is so bent over that the hand path is likely to get more vertical in the backswing and not very deep.  That shallower hand path in the backswing means less time to rotate in the downswing as well as being more likely to early extend if I try to make an 'inside loop' action with my hands in the downswing. 

Ball Position


GG also wanted me to move the ball position a little more forward, pretty much in line with the left ear.  The orange line shows my ball position and the blue line shows where GG wants the ball position.

The big issue I was having with is low point control.  My AoA with a 6-iron is abuot -1.3 degrees and sometimes it gets shallower than that.  With the driver my AoA is at +5 to +6 degrees.  The big issue with my AoA stems from my body tilts in the downswing and not getting enough pressure towards my left foot prior to p5.  GG felt that part of that may be due to the ball positon being too far back and thus my focus gets more towards getting too much tilt so I can deliver the club to the ball.

It's an interesting question...did I move my ball position back to compensate for my over-tilting or did I over-tilt in the downswing to compensate for having my ball position too far back?


Backswing

GG noticed that I do not 'create a ball' in the backswing with my right hip.

Here's an example with Hogan (who over-did it a little)


The space at the top of the swing GG prefers to be about the size of a golf ball.

Here's my swing


The reason for creating this space is, more or less, to keep the low point forward while we rotate.  GG did give the option to move off the ball with the lower body and to counter that with some upper body tilt.  However, that felt too foreign to me and we worked on 'creating a ball' with my right hip.  I found this pretty easy to do since I was not that far off to begin with and the new posture helped with the process.

Downswing

Here are the tilts of my swing at impact.


With the spine over-tilting and the head hanging back, that shallows out the AoA and adds some dynamic loft.  This causes some real issues with controlling the low point.


It's a bit difficult to see, but my left leg has pretty much straightened at this point.  What you cannot see is I am pushing off the inside of my left foot and pushing myself away from the target.  The pelvis rotates a bit, but then I push off the inside of my left foot, causing my left leg to straighten too early and causing my Center of Mass to move away from the target.  Thus causing me to stall my pivot and over-tilt my spine and shoulders.

Instead, GG wants me to get more flex in my left knee in transition.  But, it's not for cosmetic purposes, the flexion in my left knee is done to use the ground more effectively.  And the key part is to get the pressure more from the outside edge of my left foot instead of the inside edge of my left foot.

I have found that it's much more difficult to straighten the left leg too early in the downswing if the pressure is on the outside edge of my left foot, particularly by P5.

There are a few key checkpoints GG has in the downswing.

P5


At P5, the pelvis should be square to the target line and the left hip should be lower than the right hip.  I did a pretty good job of it with this swing.


P6


At P6, the pelvis should be roughly 25 degrees open with the hips level.  In the picture of p6 above, my left hip is higher than my right hip, thus causing the pelvis to stall and not get to ~25 degrees open to the baseline.

You can see the left knee go from flexion to straightening.  The pressure in the left foot is towards the inside of the elft foot instead of more towards the outside of the left foot.  This difference in where the pressure is in the foot allows me to easily extend the left leg and tilt back and away from the target too much.

Here's a couple of stills of Dustin Johnson.


Now, DJ is hitting a driver.  Thus, his left knee will straighten earlier than if he was hitting a 9-iron.  Even still, look at how much more left knee flexion he has at p6 and how in both p5 and p6, you can see how he has more of the pressure towards the outside edge of his left foot.

Another checkpoint is to make this downswing move without 'backing up' the right hip.


Hogan is more of an exaggeration of the move.  But, notice how he creates space with his right hip at p4 (compared to p1).  And then at about p5.5 his right hip is still on the red line that I drew at p4.  For me, because I over-tilt, my right hip has the tendency to 'back up' behind where the red line would be.

This feels very weird to do this because I'm so used to pushing off the inward portion of my left foot and pushing myself away from the target.

This feels more 'stack and tilt', but the best way to make this comfortable and execute the move is to make sure I get more of the pressure on the outside of left foot prior to p5. 

I have found that I am trying to keep my left knee 'low' and continuing to externally rotate the left leg thru impact.  With my old way, the pressure gets on the inside of my left foot, the left knee 'gets high' and the left femur more internally rotates thru impact. 

Here's a rundown:






3JACK

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

What To Look For: 2018 Wells Fargo Championship

The 15th Wells Fargo Championship comes this week to the PGA Tour, right before The PLAYERS Championship at Sawgrass.



The Quail Hollow Club was founded in 1959 and originally designed by George Cobb. I’m vaguely familiar with Cobb’s work outside of the Bryan Park Golf Course in Greensboro, Clemson University Course, and Myrtlewood and Surf Club in Myrtle Beach. What I remember was these courses were solid tracks with some ‘potato-chip’ shaped green complexes. I’ve never been to Quail Hollow, but that is the general sentiment with regards to that course as well.

From a statistical standpoint, when the make percentages on the greens are lower it typically favors the better ballstrikers. Often times lower make percentages have smaller deviations in their make percentage and thus good putters that are weaker ballstrikers have difficulty differentiating themselves. Unless this is a course like Pebble Beach where some players have a good feel for those low make percentage greens and course knowledge goes a long way at Pebble.

So, expect a lot of strokes to be gained/lost with the longer clubs and the par-5’s will be very important. And the 18th hole is the final Critical Hole on the golf course.

Projected Winning Score: -14


3JACK’S FAVORITES

Rory McIlroy +700
Justin Thomas +1,000
Paul Casey +2,500
Tony Finau +3,500
Louis Oosthuizen +3,500


3JACK’S DARK HORSE PICKS

Bryson DeChambeau +5,000
Brian Harman +6,600
Daniel Berger +6,600
Xander Schauffele +8,000
Charles Howell III +10,000




3JACK

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Week That Was: SoCal Trip Review

I flew to Los Angeles on Wednesday, April 18th, for a week of golf fitting, a golf presentation, lesson, and other golf fun.

The flight to LAX was a straight-shot from Orlando and we actually got to LAX in 5 hours, but had to cycle around in the air for a little while as there was so much air traffic congestion.  I always prefer the window and I like how Delta has screen monitors that will show you a map of where you are currently flying over.

Like this look at Juarez.  Cue the ominous Sicario music:

A post shared by Richie Hunt (@progolfsynopsis) on


I didn't reach my hotel until midnight (3:00 AM EST). I planned a visit to Fujikura HQ to get on their ENSO machine and had to leave by 8:30 AM.  I was greeted by the lovely traffic on the I-405.  I also rented a Camaro convertible which had no USB charger for my phone and I struggled to figure out how to get the controls to work.

The trip to Fujikura (down in Vista) took a little longer than expected.  I was greeted by Marshall Thompson, Fitting and Tour Rep for Fujikura.  I had shipped my clubs to Fujikura via ShipSticks and Marshall took a look at the clubs and had put together shafts for me that he thought I may like with the adapter sleeves for my Callaway Rogue Sub Zero driver.  He did the same with my hybrids.  My 3-wood is a Callaway Rogue Sub-Zero, but it is glued on.  And of course the iron shafts (Accra) are glued on as well.  But, he did have the Taylor Made P790 7-iron head and put a Fujikura Pro 115 iron shaft in there.

But first, Marshall showed me an awesome tour of the facility.  Explaining so much of the equipment they use to make their shafts and their ability to customize shafts for their customers.  One of the things I always remark about Fujikura is how different the shaft feels when you grab it by the fingertips.  It just feels like a sturdy, top of the line shaft that won't break and Fujikura has testing machines that test against it and all of their shafts have a lifetime warranty against breakage (no, not snapping them over your knee).  And all of their machines are state-of-the-art with their EI profile machine being a big highlight.  Here's a video with VP of Engineering, Alex Dee...giving a behind the scenes look:




I would check out Fujikura's YouTube Channel as well for other videos.  I was surprised by some facets of how they make their graphite shafts and learned a lot of things about graphite that I didn't know before.  I am convinced that it's just a matter of time before graphite shafts become the majority of shafts used by Tour players.  The only thing that hurts graphite in irons is that they can be too light and for the average consumer the price is higher than steel.  But I am confident that performance can improve with graphite in iron shafts, even for Tour pros.  And being able to not take such a toll on a golfer's elbows, wrists and shoulders is a great benefit.

After that we got on the ENSO machine.  The ENSO machine has been discussed here on the blog for a while:




ENSO uses 3D motion capture by placing the motion capture 'balls' on the shaft and the head of the club.  It can measure a myriad of different facets of what the golfer, shaft and club head are doing throughout the swing.

For instance, it can measure your hand speed throughout the swing.  They have found that almost all golfers reach peak hand speed on the downswing when their trail elbow connects to their body.


From there, the hands always slow down.  So, you could have a player with 60 mph hand speed at that point (picture above) and it could slow down to 25 mph club speed at impact.  There is no 'right way' or 'wrong way.'  But, that affects how the shaft reacts and that can affect the club head properties (path, AoA, face angle, etc).

There's a lot more variables, but what ENSO does is it takes all of those variables it measures and then it allows Fujikura to better determine what type of shaft is needed as well if it needs ancillary measures taken like it being tipped, soft-stepped, etc.

First up, I tried the new Fujikura Pro 115 iron shafts.  While the Accra Tour 100i's are a nice shaft, they are a little light for me and that causes some issues.  I could only MOI match my P790's to 2,670 MOI with the Accra shafts because the shafts are so light.  And as Fujikura explained (and it confirmed for me something I've thought for years), putting too much weight in the head can be a very bad idea.

And with the clubs being so light with the Accra shafts, there is some loss of awareness of the club and that can lead to high, slight pulls with a little draw.  With the Fujikura Pro 115's I was hitting them 5-7 yards further despite them being 1/4" shorter than my Accra's.  But the biggie was I was piping them right at the target and they flew a touch lower (which could be used in my case).

After that we looked at my driver which had a Project X HZRDUS (X-Stiff) shaft.  I really don't like that shaft.  It doesn't feel good and I could be striping the ball all day with a little draw and take, what I feel, is my best swing of the day and hit a cut.  We then saw that the Fujikura Speeder Evolution IV was a better fit for me.

While I liked my Fujikura Motore Speeder hybrid 8.8 shafts, they have a tendency to leave shots to the right.  And that was cured with the switch to a Fujikura Atmos Hybrid blue 8x shaft that I also hit further.

In fact, here's what I was finally fit for:


I would recommend this fitting with Fujikura with my utmost regard.  If you really want to get the very best information for fitting for a shaft, this is the way to do it.  And Fujikura has so many models with different profiles and so many different customized options...whether it be customization for shaft performance or customization for aesthetics...you really cannot beat what Fujikura has to offer.

Afterward, Marshall took me out with Jeremy Butler (Director of Sales) and John Hovis (Tour Manager) to Shadowridge Country Club in Vista.  Shadowridge is a private club and it's a very old school design which I greatly prefer.  You don't see many of those designs in Florida since they are always building around water, protected areas and trying to make a golf community.  I really think one of the advantages of California golf is that the land is quite good to design a course as long as you don't try to get to cute with it.  And Shadowridge was just fantastic all around despite me playing lousy there.  A 5+ hour plane flight and getting caught in LA traffic will do that to a golfer.  I cannot thank Fujikura enough for having me and they just reconfirmed my belief they are the Rolls Royce of shaft manufacturers.

***

Friday's plans were to take a 2 hour lesson with George Gankas.  It was supposed to be about a 1 hour 15 minute trip to see GG in Westlake Village coming from where I was staying in Hermosa Beach.  That took about 1 hour 45 minutes.

From watching the videos, I got the impression that the golf club where GG teaches was a goat track.  But, from the outward appearance it looked like a well kept public course.

The lesson with GG went great.  There were a lot of things about what he teaches that I thought I knew and I had sorta right...but was missing some key parts.  Then there were other concepts of GG's that I didn't know at all.  And I think that's what made the in-person lesson worth it.

For instance, I thought I had the posture correct because my armpits were over the balls of my feet.  But, what GG pointed out was my butt was still sticking too far out and I needed the butt in line with my heels as well.  That new posture felt weird, but GG gave some pointers on how to execute it and I started to get the posture down pretty quick.

We also worked on my ball position as GG felt I had the ball position too far back.  Something I've never been told before by any instructor.  And GG explained why he wanted me to move it up a little.  In all, I think the ball position being too far back helped explain why I did other things in my swing that were not as 'efficient' as I would like them to be.

We also worked on the backswing as I moved off to the right a little.  GG talks about this in his video where he wants to create a 'golf ball' of distance from the right hip at the top of the swing.  In the lesson, he explained that you did not HAVE to have that golf ball of distance as there were other effective ways to do it and we had to figure out what was the best way for me (we found that creating a 'golf ball' gap was best for me).

We then worked on the transition and downswing portions.  A lot of this revolved around my knees needing to get more flexion.  It was more knees and femurs based than hips for me.  But GG had two key checkpoints for me to look for:

At P5, the left hip should be lower than the right hip, but the pelvis should be square to the target line.

At P6, the hips should be level, but the pelvis should be roughly 25* open to the target

Finally we discussed how I was going to work on these things in order to implement them and ingrain them into my swing

From there, I had to drive back to Hermosa Beach which was supposed to take about 1 hour 15 minutes, but took me 2 hours.  Then I had a typical 2 hour drive to Murietta that took 3 hours.  By the time I got back to Hermosa for the night...I had spent roughly EIGHT hours on the road.

In Murietta, I was at Bear Creek giving a presentation on the analytics of the game hosted by golf instructor Tyler Miller.  Golf instructor Keith Morgan was there as well.  We went over the analytics of the game as well as the strategy and some of the psychology that goes into it.

I'm a very strong believer that psychology and analytics in golf go hand-in-hand.  Many golfers think that golfers with good performance metrics or that play the odds correctly do it because they are in a good mental state.  But, I believe it can often swing the other way...the golfer that may be in a poor mental state that 'plays the odds correctly' gives themselves a better chance to start to get themselves in a good mental state.

Most good players I come across tend to be too conservative off the tee by laying-up too often.  There's always that fear of the penalty of a bad shot and the idea that the golfer needs to be able to control bad shots and when they occur.  But in reality, bad shots are basically out of our control.

We know that if you're 1 dimple off or 1 degree off, that can be the difference between a good shot and a bad shot.  Since we are not robots, it's impossible to determine when a bad shot is going to occur as well as stopping bad shots altogether.

What we do have control over is our focus and our strategy.  And if you continue to play for your average swing and you do it with good focus...that's all you can really do for now.  If you hit bad shots that day...then it wasn't your day and you need to work on your ballstriking on the range so you can improve your results off your average swing.

But overly conservative strategies just mean a slow death instead of a quick death. And it never ceases to amaze me how many golfers get duped by the slow killer and cannot understand why they can't take their game to the next level.

Tyler brought me around to see the course and it is quite excellent.  They played the 1985 Skins Game at Bear Creek:



As far as Nicklaus designs go, it reminds me a bit of Muirfield Village.  Pretty generous driving areas for the most part.  But devilish approach shots and getting up and down can be done...but, it's a chore.  Plenty of awesome views to be seen along with the SoCal weather make for a great destination.


***

Saturday I went up to play Rustic Canyon with GolfWRX member ShutSteepStuck who told me his game was in 'shambles' beforehand.


Rustic Canyon is a Gil Hanse design and it's usually the preferred, affordable public golf in the LA area.  This is the first Hanse design I played and I really liked it mainly because Hanse made it a reasonable track to play despite how firm it is.

A lot of these types of American Links style courses tend to have too many blind shots (which I think are the death of good course design) and too much trouble that you don't know if it will come into play or not.

One of the things I found interesting about Rustic Canyon was the green surrounds were basically cut at almost the same length as the greens.  So those that really chop down on their chips and pitches would have a problem.  Given that I was coming off a lesson and some unfamiliar shafts in some important clubs, I played fairly well.


***

Sunday I got onto Hillcrest Country Club as the guest of Jeremy Shapiro and Spencer Torgan.  Hillcrest is another old school design that is right across the street from the FOX movie studios.

Hillcrest was in fantastic condition.  It's only about 6,500 yards, but it's pretty tight.  It wasn't ridiculously tight which is what old school designers would usually do. In other words, if you hit the driver well you'll be rewarded handsomely.  If you don't, you're SOL.

Hillcrest will be going thru a re-design/renovation soon.  There is some dislike for holes #3, #10 and #17.  I agree that #10 is a junk hole where you just hit 4-iron off the tee and then flip a SW in.  #3 is a little better.  I actually like #17, but with #3 and #10 it takes away from the uniqueness of #17.

Having said that...it was a really fun and awesome experience.  I have an affection for old Los Angeles history and since I love golf I enjoy reading about the historic golf courses, stories and figures in LA.  Here's a great Wikipedia entry on Hillcrest CC:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillcrest_Country_Club_(Los_Angeles)


***

Originally I was going to play Torrey Pines on Monday.  However, after way too much driving I wasn't interested in taking another 3+ hour drive to San Diego.  Also, Torrey's greens were aerified 2 weeks ago.

I was going to get on Pelican Hill, but surprisingly the tee times were filled up on Monday.

That left me with going to El Dorado in Long Beach.  This is a muni course and they play the Long Beach Open and I see a few golf vloggers like BeBetterGolf playing there and I wanted to see what it was about.



Muni's are weird as it seems to depend on the state they are located in when it comes to the quality of muni courses.  For instance, New York State has a lot of great muni courses.  Most of them are built as part of a state park.

OTOH, Florida isn't the best place for muni courses. 

El Dorado was solid.  It's pretty short (6,500 yards from the back tees).  The front nine took 2.5 hours and then I played #10 and #11 and I quit as it was getting cold.  But, it's a solid track for the money.


FINAL THOUGHTS

When I bought my new car last summer, I was thinking about getting a Camaro.  I'm glad I didn't.  The rental was small, uncomfortable and didn't have that much pickup.  Much better off getting a sedan next time.

Where Florida weather is crazy when it comes to precipitation as it can be sunny out in one fairway and 3 fairways over it can be a downpour...California weather is really wacky when it comes to temperature.  You can drive 5 miles inland and spot a 15 degree temperature change.  Because I wasn't cognizant of that...I had the fun time of trying to checkout of my hotel, ship my clubs thru ShipSticks, check into the airport...all with a fever on Tuesday.

I needed to spread out my driving a little more.  The 8 hours of driving on Friday really tired me out for the rest of the vacation.

May would be a better time to come to LA than April because of the temperatures.

I'm not sure how I feel about a street named Isis Avenue.

In-N-Out Burger was solid, but not unworldly as I was led to believe.

LA remains my favorite city for food.  So much great competition and so many options to choose from.  I could really go there for the views and the food alone.

Can't wait to get my new Fujikura shafts!







3JACK

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

What To Look For: 2018 Texas Valero Open

The Tour comes to San Antonio for the Texas Valero Open which dates back to 1922.


The Texas Valero Open is held at the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio which plays at 1,100 feet above sea level. Combine that with the gusty winds in the area, this can lead to some monster drives on some tailwind tee shots.

That wind also reeks havoc on the players. The 3rd hole routinely has one of the largest deviations in score for any par-3 on Tour. It’s a very shallow green where the players have to hit over water and if the tailwind is blowing hard enough, it can be impossible to get the ball to stop. It plays 213 yards from the back tees, but often times the tournament officials move the tees up to roughly 150-160 yards because the hole can play so impossible that it will greatly slow up the pace of play.



The course is a Pete Dye design which comes up this time of year with Harbour Town last week, TPC San Antonio this week, then TPC Louisiana the following week and TPC Sawgrass coming up 2 weeks after that.

I’ve played some Pete Dye links style course (yes, this isn’t a ‘true links’ because it doesn’t have the ocean nearby). Most notably Kiawah Island and The Dye Course at PGA Village. They are not exactly fun to play, particularly when the wind is howling. It can be nearly impossible to hit the ball to the fairway and I carry it about 275 yards on average. And then you can hit some very good drives on tough driving holes and end up with a goofy lie in the middle of the fairway.

Most players don’t like those features either and that makes for a weaker field.

This course is mostly about long and short approaches. Typically the top finishers drive it well here, too. But, there’s some luck involved due to the wind gusts.

PROJECTED WINNING SCORE: -12


3JACK’S FAVORITES

Luke List +2,200
Kevin Chappell +2,800
Adam Scott +3,000
Billy Horschel +3,000
Chesson Hadley +3,500


3JACK’S DARK HORSE PICKS

Zach Johnson +4,000
Keegan Bradley +5,000
Kevin Streelman +5,000
Ryan Palmer +5,000
Andrew Landry +15,000







3JACK

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

What To Look For: 2018 RBC Heritage Classic

The Tour comes back to Hilton Head for the 49th RBC Heritage Classic.


Harbour Town Golf Links was built in 1967 designed by Pete Dye with the help of Jack Nicklaus. Many people don’t realize that Nicklaus’ architecture mentor was Pete Dye.

The course plays to 7,099 yards at a par-71. It features very narrow fairways with some hazards, but dense trees lining the fairways as well as some oddly shaped greens. Harbour Town ranks as one of Dye’s best designs and is almost universally beloved by golfers of any handicap.

Personally, I’m undecided by Dye. I’ve played many of his designs that I thought were exceptional (Harbour Town, Old Marsh and Kiawah), many of them that I thought stunk (Pound Ridge) and many of them I found to be middle of the road (Dye Preserve and TPC Louisiana).

Dye’s courses often have very basic holes that were made due to him making the big splash with a few feature holes. That doesn’t quite bother me as in all likelihood, not every hole is going to be a home run and he can create a nice ebb and flow to the weaker designs compared to the feature holes. I tend to have a bigger issue with the blind tee shots to narrow landing areas where there is hazards on both sides and long of the landing zone. I think it’s very important to be extremely judicial with blind tee shots in golf and Mr. Dye certainly doesn’t share that opinion.

But, he designed a great one here and the players love it as well. The only issue is that it’s so tight that the bombers tend to stay away from it and it also comes right after Masters week, so the field isn’t the strongest one.

Most of the shots lost or gained will come from mid-approach shots and watch out for greenside bunker play as well if it gets windy and players struggle to find the GIR.

Projected Winning Score: -12


3JACK’S FAVORITES

Paul Casey +1,200
Matt Kuchar +1,600
Webb Simpson +2,500
Cameron Smith +2,800
Tyrrell Hatton +3,300


3JACK’S DARK HORSE PICKS

Emiliano Grillo +4,000
Jason Dufner +6,000
Si Woo Kim +8,000
Charl Schwartzel +9,000
Davis Love III +40,000




3JACK