Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: THE NORTHERN TRUST

The FedEx Cup Playoffs begin this week, the closing stretch of one of the most unusual PGA seasons ever. Find out what matters at the host venue for the first leg at TPC Boston.

The FedEx Cup Playoffs start this week as the first leg tees off at TPC Boston, a familiar enough venue hosting under different sponsorship. Formerly the annual venue of the second leg, the Dell Technologies Championship (formerly the the Deutsche Bank Championship), TPC Boston is now in the rotation for the opening event, THE NORTHERN TRUST.

The 7,342-yard, par 71 is an Arnold Palmer design that opened in 2002 and hosted a Tour event each year until the Playoffs were shortened from four events to three last year. The top 125 players in the FedEx Cup rankings qualify for THE NORTHERN TRUST, and all 125 are expected to participate this week.

The course design is pretty classic and sets up for exciting tournament golf. Long and challenging par 3s are balanced by short par 4s and reachable par 5s. The first and last holes are can't-miss birdie opportunities -- the opening hole is a 353-yard, par 4 and the closing hole is a 530-yard, par 5. Each of the last three events at TPC Boston were decided by multiple strokes, but the 18th opens the door for some Sunday evening heroics.

The weather looks beautiful this week, with some heat and humidity that should see the ball fly especially on Friday and Saturday. As of now, no other weather conditions look to bear any mention.

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: TPC Boston
Par: 71
Distance: 7,342 yards
Fairways/Rough: Bentgrass, bluegrass, and fescue
Greens: Bentgrass

Note the below is for TPC Boston's last five years, not the last five iterations of THE NORTHERN TRUST, which have been held at various rotating venues.

SeasonParYardageAverageO/U Par AvgRank

The layout favors the bold, and with only the top players getting in this week, we can expect some fireworks. Golf has changed drastically in the past two years with a youth movement and an absurd distance boom, both of which are lend to aggressive approaches to the sport week in and week out. TPC Boston was middle of the pack in both driving accuracy and greens in regulation percentage but consistently fell near the top of the rankings for longest driving distance. The field will be bombing it this week.

Given the geography, it's hard not to think immediately of TPC River Highlands, another New England track that requires elite iron play. It does not have too many other corollaries given how many events happen in the South, West, and Midwest, but last year's Playoff venues at Liberty National GC and Medinah Country Club (No. 3) look like good decent comps with driver-heavy mentalities and bentgrass greens. Thinking outside the box, datagolf's course fit tool identifies Silverado Resort and Spa (North), annual host of the Safeway Open, as a track where golfers gain strokes in the same areas at TPC Boston.

Key Stats

These stats will be the keys to success in THE NORTHERN TRUST at TPC Boston.

Key Stats for THE NORTHERN TRUST at TPC Boston
Very Recent Form (Total Strokes Gained Last 8-12 Rounds)
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee
Strokes Gained: Approach
Birdies or Better Gained

We want to mostly target golfers who are hot. Discount momentum all you want, but confidence and swagger heading into the Playoffs has proven useful in recent years. Bryson DeChambeau won the last time TPC Boston hosted in 2018, having also won the prior week. Runner-up Justin Rose was one of the hottest players in the world at the time despite a missed cut the week prior. Justin Thomas won in 2017 just a few weeks after winning the PGA Championship, while good buddy Jordan Spieth finished runner-up on the back of five strong finishes leading into the Dell Technologies Championship that year.

Ballstriking is key here. That means we are looking at the top players in the world when starting our lineups or betting cards, and it's no surprise the two most recent winners are the current kings off the tee (DeChambeau) and on approach (Thomas). Bryson was nowhere near the specimen he is now and Thomas was just coming into his own. Both should arrive with loads of confidence this week.

And finally, of course we'll need to make some birdies, as the winning score should creep past 15-under par by Sunday. There are plenty of 64s and 65s out there this week.

Course History Studs

Rory McIlroy won the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2016 and 2012, though he has just two other strong finishes. He was T5 in 2014 and T12 in 2018.

Henrik Stenson won in 2013 en route to the FedEx Cup, and he was runner-up in 2015.

Some big names have long and fruitful histories without a win. Dustin Johnson has four top-10s in nine trips to TPC Boston. Jason Day managed to finish inside the top 25 in 8 of his 11 tries.

Louis Oosthuizen was runner-up in 2012. In the last four installments at TPC Boston, he finished T31, T30, 8th, and T12. Paul Casey was runner-up to McIlroy in 2016 and T4 the following year, and he has two other top-25s.

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.