Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: The Northern Trust

As The Northern Trust kicks off the FedEx Cup Playoffs, we get a course being played for the first time in five years. What should you know?

Though the majors are in the rearview mirror, we're onto the FedEx Cup Playoffs. The Northern Trust -- sorry, THE NORTHERN TRUST -- kicks off the final four events of the PGA Tour's 2017-18 season.

The event this week is at a rotating course and comprises only 125 golfers (though just 122 are expected to play), so it's a bit of a unique beast. Let's dive into the course and tournament and see what stands out about Ridgewood CC.

Course and Tournament Info

Course: Ridgewood CC
Par: 71
Distance: 7,319 yards
Greens: Bentgrass and Poa Annua
Fairways: Bentgrass, Poa Annua, and Ryegrass

Ridgewood CC has hosted what was previously called The Barclays three times (2008, 2010, and 2014), so we have some recent data on the par 71 -- though not an overabundance.

At first glance, we can see that the course has played around the Tour average in difficulty in those three years, but the birdie-to-bogey ratio got the most fantasy-friendly in 2014.

Year Difficulty Rank Course Par Yards Avg Score Avg O/U Par
2014 31 Ridgewood CC 71 7,319 70.809 -0.191
2010 24 Ridgewood CC 71 7,319 70.977 -0.023
2008 24 Ridgewood CC 71 7,319 71.406 0.406

The course itself has plenty of bunkers to go around, and the par 3s are dispersed (155 yards, 190, 217, and 230). Overall, it's a pretty straightforward course.

Key Stats

These stats have done the most to separate the top 25 from the trunk slammers in the three events held here.

Key Stats for The Northern Trust at Ridgewood CC
Strokes Gained: Approach
Proximity From 150-200 Yards
Birdie or Better Rate
Driving Distance

Golfers finishing top-25 averaged 0.50 strokes gained: approach, according to FantasyGolfMetrics. That gave it the most weight compared to strokes gained: off the tee or strokes gained: around the green.

Proximity from 150 to 200 yards actually had a bigger differential than proximity from even 200-plus yards, but you can just opt for proximity to the pin, too. Throwing it in close and converting birdie chances is going to separate the field this week from a fantasy perspective.

Top-25 finishers converted scrambling opportunities 65% of the time, compared to 49% for those missing the cut.

Driving accuracy didn't have much of a differential at all, but added distance helped separate the top 25 and the cut-missers.

FedEx Standings

There isn't much course form to go on, so we'll look at playoff standings instead.

The top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings earned an invitation for this week, and the top 100 will be in the field next week. These are the bottom 30, and all need a strong showing this week in order to advance.

FedEx Cup RankGolfer
95Trey Mullinax
96Charl Schwartzel
97Rory Sabbatini
98Charley Hoffman
99Alex Cejka
100Ryan Palmer
101Richy Werenski
102Nick Watney
103Danny Lee
104Sung Kang
105John Huh
106Harold Varner III
107Scott Stallings
108Tyler Duncan
109William McGirt
110J.T. Poston
111Bronson Burgoon
112Vaughn Taylor
113Martin Laird
114Sam Ryder
115Grayson Murray
116Ryan Blaum
117Scott Brown
118Brian Stuard
119Nick Taylor
120Sam Saunders
121Sean O'Hair
122Bud Cauley
123Jhonattan Vegas
124Harris English
125Seamus Power

The point standings are just a small factor this week -- we still want to target the best fits rather than those who need to play well -- but these options have something extra to play for this week. We'll update the list as the Playoffs move forward.