Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: RBC Heritage
Well, the Masters has come and gone, but it was a tournament to remember. Patrick Reed was able to fend off a slew of top-flight golfers on Sunday to don the green jacket and earn his first major.
Of course, it's always a letdown to think of any event other than the Masters around this time of year, yet the RBC Heritage -- and the quest for the plaid jacket -- has plenty of interesting angles for daily fantasy golf purposes.
So let's break down the course, key stats, and players with strong histories at Harbour Town GL.
Course and Tournament Info
Harbour Town GL is a 7,099-yard par 71, designed by Pete Dye. It sits on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, meaning wind is fully in effect for this week. In two of the past three years, Harbour Town GL played as only a moderately difficult course, but overall, the Pete Dye design has proven pretty tricky in recent seasons.
|Year||Difficulty Rank||Course||Par||Yards||Avg Score||Avg O/U Par|
|2017||29||Harbour Town GL||71||7,099||70.676||-0.324|
|2016||8||Harbour Town GL||71||7,099||72.285||1.285|
|2015||26||Harbour Town GL||71||7,101||70.490||-0.510|
|2014||9||Harbour Town GL||71||7,101||72.038||1.038|
|2013||11||Harbour Town GL||71||7,101||72.038||1.038|
|2012||9||Harbour Town GL||71||7,101||72.288||1.288|
Why? Well, for starters, Harbour Town features the smallest greens on the PGA Tour, per FutureOfFantasy. Plus, the narrow fairways require golfers to be accurate off the tee, approaching the green, and on the Bermudagrass greens themselves. There really isn't an area in which your golfers can be lagging -- other than maybe distance off the tee.
You always want to factor in strokes gained: tee to green to see which golfers are playing well in all facets of their games, but these few stats have separated the top 25 from those missing the cut at Harbour Town since 2003, via FantasyGolfMetrics.
|Key Stats for the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town GL|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Proximity to the Hole (From 175+ Yards)|
|Greens in Regulation|
This week, accuracy matters more than distance off the tee. Golfers who finished top 25 since 2003 here have outdrove those missing the cut by only 1.8 yards, on average. But the top 25 hit 70% of fairways, compared to 64% for those missing the cut. Really, you can factor in good drive rate -- which combines fairways hit and greens in regulation hit if a fairway was missed -- if you'd prefer.
Because a lot of the play here comes down to the second (and third) shot, as the greens are tiny and hard to hit. So strokes gained: approach, proximity (particularly from 175 yards and farther), scrambling, and greens in regulation have all shown to help the top 25 separate from the rest of the field.
If you want, you can give a little weight to strokes gained: putting on Bermudagrass, but honing in on those getting greens in regulation should be top priority -- especially if the wind gets nasty.
Course History Studs
Harbour Town is ripe for those who weight in course history for their player selection, as a few players have played excellently here relative to the rest of their career performance.
Russell Knox's four finishes read 9th, 18th, 2nd, and 11th.
Luke Donald, though, really stands out. The 40-year-old Englishman's results since 2009? Kind of hard to believe: 2nd, 3rd, 2nd, 37th, 3rd, 2nd, 15th, and 2nd. Via DataGolf, Donald's +2.62 adjusted strokes gained average at Harbour Town GL trails only Grace's +2.79.
Jim Furyk is another veteran with great results here (+2.15 adjusted strokes gained average earned through two wins since 2010 (2010 and 2015), plus three other top-25 finishes (21st in 2011, 8th in 2012, and 7th in 2014). Furyk didn't play here in 2016 and missed the cut in 2017, however.
Matt Kuchar has ripped off four top-11 finishes in a row: win, 5th, 9th, 11th. William McGirt has three top 10s over the past four years (9th, 31st, 9th, 3rd).