Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP

The Asian swing continues this week on the PGA Tour. What do you need to know about the first ever official PGA event in Japan?

The Asian Swing continues with a brand new event and the first official PGA Tour event to be held in Japan. The Tour is showing this event major respect, with a field similar in strength to next week's WGC event, teeing it up at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club.

The purse isn't quite as lush as the HSBC-Champions, but it's not far off. Along with last week's CJ CUP, the ZOZO Championship features the biggest purse of the year outside of the majors and WGC events. That type of pull in a no-cut event will attract many of the world's top players.

Narashino CC is a 7,041-yard par 70 featuring many dogleg layouts that we expect will make the course play a bit longer than its yardage suggests. Thick trees line almost every fairway and will make errant tee shots even more penal. Golfers should expect to club down off the tee out of either necessity of angle or to ensure a landing in the short grass, and most will leave long irons into the majority of holes at this venue.

Let's dig into the course and see what stats we can use to build our daily fantasy lineups this week.

Course and Tournament Info

Course: Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club
Par: 70
Distance: 7,041 yards

In a course debut, DFS players and bettors are flying just as blind as the contestants themselves, although the golfers at least get to play a few practice rounds. It pays to rely on evergreen stats and indicators, and while this is the first event on Japanese soil, we have a decent sample of events elsewhere in Asia. It remains to be seen where the ZOZO Championship will stack up at the end of the year, but the Japanese are not likely to roll out a pushover in their first crack at the world's top players.

The tournament course is a composite of two 36-hole tracks on site, and the resultant Franken-course features five par 3s and three par 5s.

Kuala Lumpur and Nine Bridges fit the bill but are par 72 birdie fests played at elevation and allow elite ballstrikers to overpower them. The best comp is Sheshan International Golf Club in China, home of the HSBC and perennially among the toughest tracks on Tour.

Stateside, the extra par 3 brings the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort to mind, and we could look to Pebble Beach and Harbour Town GL for shorter tracks that pack a punch. In particular, the RBC Heritage stands out, with winners of Asian descent the last two years in Cheng-Tsung Pan (Taiwanese) and Satoshi Kodaira (Japanese).

Key Stats

These stats will be key to success in the ZOZO Championship.

Key Stats for the ZOZO Championship at Accordia Golf Narashino CC
Strokes Gained: Tee to Green
Strokes Gained: Approach
Scrambling Gained
Bogeys Avoided
Performance in Asia

We are keeping it evergreen here with no course history, and strokes gained: tee to green with an emphasis on approach is our standard starting point. Birdie makers will generally pop with irons, save the rare elite putter, but we are also looking for good scramblers who can salvage a hole rather than put up a huge number. Especially in a no-cut event, avoiding disaster is often as much about maintaining the scorecard as it is about keeping your emotions in check.

While the venues are all quite different, we do want to give extra attention to golfers who have succeeded either on the Asian Tour or in PGA events held on this continent.

Course History Studs


Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.