Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Houston Open

What do you need to know about GC of Houston to prep your FanDuel rosters this week?

We're just one week away from the Masters, so it's hard to get super excited about any other golf event. But, hey, at least the Houston Open is more promising than the Corales Puntacana Championship (and possibly the WGC-Match Play if match-play events aren't your thing).

The PGA Tour heads to the GC of Houston for the final tune-up before Augusta. What do you need to know about this course?

Course and Tournament Info

GC of Houston is a par 72 that runs 7,441 yards long (Augusta is a par 72 that's 7,435). The bentgrass greens are fast, as well, so there's an Augusta corollary here. The winner gets an entry into the Masters, too, so those who haven't earned a slot could have extra motivation.

The course itself has played close to par over the past 10 years, even after a renaming in 2014.

Year Difficulty Rank Course Par Yards Avg Score Avg O/U Par
2017 24 GC of Houston 72 7,441 71.982 -0.018
2016 23 GC of Houston 72 7,441 71.885 -0.115
2015 41 GC of Houston 72 7,441 70.855 -1.145
2014 23 GC of Houston 72 7,441 72.245 0.245
2013 25 Redstone GC 72 7,441 71.868 -0.132
2012 34 Redstone GC 72 7,457 71.452 -0.548
2011 29 Redstone GC 72 7,457 71.740 -0.260
2010 14 Redstone GC 72 7,457 72.596 0.596
2009 22 Redstone GC 72 7,457 72.202 0.202
2008 30 Redstone GC 72 7,457 72.068 0.068

What do golfers need to do well here to succeed?

Key Stats

Strokes gained: tee to green and putting always are worth monitoring to see how well players are performing of late, but these other stats have been vital to success at GC of Houston in the past 12 years.

Key Stats for the Houston Open at GC of Houston
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee
Greens in Regulation
Strokes Gained: Putting (on Bentgrass)
Birdie or Better Rate

The fairways are wide, and distance matters, yet strokes gained: off the tee matter more here than at other courses on the PGA Tour, per For that reason, it's the preferred off-the-tee stat this week over just distance or accuracy.

Greens have been easy to hit here, but those finishing in the top 25 since 2006 have recorded 74% of greens in regulation, per FantasyGolfMetrics. Those missing the cut hit only 65% in that span. So both GIR and scrambling make the list.

Putting always matters and is hard to predict, but with the greens registering a 12-plus on the Stimpmeter, per FutureOfFantasy, we should be trying to weed out the worst putters in the field.

With scores hovering around par, those who can record birdies and break par have done well, naturally. But aim for scorers more than par seekers.

Course History Studs

Per datagolf, Russell Henley leads the Tour in adjusted strokes gained at GC of Houston (+2.80). That's to be expected, as he's finished 45th, 7th, 4th, 5th, and 1st over the past five years.

Daniel Berger (+2.50), Phil Mickelson (+2.05), J.B. Holmes (+1.75), and Henrik Stenson (+1.69) round out the top five and are all in the field this week.

Mickelson has finished top-25 in 7 of 10 tries, and Hunter Mahan has done it in 6 of 12 attempts (but has two straight missed cuts).

Rickie Fowler has four top 10s in his past four years (6th, 71st, 10th, 3rd).

Jhonattan Vegas has consecutive top-20 finishes (19th and 15th), while Luke List narrowly missed out on that claim, finishing 27th and 3rd the past two years.