DJ surprisingly drove the ball below average at TPC River Highlands. It's a pretty wide open course, but it's rare to see somebody gain a sizable advantage off the tee. But TPC River Highlands proved once again that it's a long approach shot course and DJ was 2nd on shots from the Red Zone and was 4th in total Putts Gained.
This week the Tour comes back to Detroit Golf Club for the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Here's some background on Detroit GC from Wikipedia.
The Detroit Golf Club was founded in 1899 by William R. Farrand and several of his friends. Originally the Club was limited to 100 members. They rented a 45-acre (180,000 m2) plot of farmland at 6 Mile and Woodward, and a 6-hole course layout was created. In 1900 the course added 3 holes, making it a 9-hole course. The membership was increased to 200 in 1902. At that time 135 acres (0.55 km2) of land were purchased at 6 Mile and Hamilton, and an 18-hole course was developed.
In 1906 the Club was formally opened, and membership fees were raised to $250. In 1913 additional property was bought, and Donald Ross was asked to survey the property. Ross determined that two courses of 18 holes could be built on the land. Horace Rackham paid $100,000 for the 36-hole course to be built to the DGC at a cost.
In 1916 Albert Kahn started construction on a new clubhouse, which was completed in 1918. The brother of Donald Ross, Alec Ross, became Club Professional, a position he held until 1945, a total of 31 years.
In 1922 club membership was increased to 650, and they decided to stay open year round. In 1929 the Fred Wardell Caddy House was built, at a cost around $40,000.
During World War II, Club activities were limited due to gas rationing, and in 1945, Alex Ross retired as Club Professional. Golf star Horton Smith was hired as the Club Pro, and in 1959 was elected into the Professional Golfers Association Hall of Fame. In 1963 Smith died, and Walter Burkemo was hired.
The club addded new amenities: tennis courts, a cart garage, and a crystal dining room. Burkemo was succeeded by George Bayer. The current club pro is Josh Upson. The club also contains a pool for members, and sponsors a swim team.
Ross course designs tend to stress approach shot play and putting with some occasional short game. Detroit GC appears to be no different considering last year's data. The top contenders gained their strokes thru versatile iron play and short game. The only issue in the projections is that last year the field was considerably weaker than this year's field.
The final critical hole is the par-4, 455 yard 18th hole.
The average Tour player will hit driver here and should have a target of about 2-4 yards right of the left fairway bunker. Detroit is about 600-700 feet above sea level and with a bit of a tailwind more players can take it right over the left fairway bunker. But if it's a headwind (from the Northeast) it makes the hole entirely more difficult to play.
Projected Winning Score: -23
Bryson DeChambeau +650
Webb Simpson +1,100
Tyrrell Hatton +1,200
Sung-Jae Im +2,000
Victor Hovland +3,300
3JACK'S DARK HORSE PICKS
Bubba Watson +4,000
Doc Redman +4,000
Adam Hadwin +5,000
Brian Stuard +10,000
Richy Werenski +30,000