Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: BMW Championship

The PGA Tour's penultimate event is on tap for this week at a new course: Caves Valley Golf Club.

There is very minimal information available on Caves Valley, and so it takes a bit of assumption to analyze the par 72 located in Owings Mills, Maryland.

Here's what I found.

Caves Valley Golf Club Course Information

Par: 72
Distance: 7,542
Average Green Size: 5,200 square feet
Green Type: Bentgrass
Past 5 Winning Scores: N/A
Prior 5 Cut Lines: N/A

The Tom Fazio design has been recently lengthened to get up to PGA Tour standards, and the fairways themselves have been tightened.

As for the green size, we're looking at smaller-than-average greens, and by the shape of them, they are often long and narrow rather than round.

Precision with irons could be crucial.

Caves Valley Golf Club Hole-by-Hole Breakdown

Caves Valley
Golf Club
Par Yards vs Median
PGA Tour
1 4 365 83%
2 5 589 105%
3 3 224 112%
4 5 590 105%
5 4 356 81%
6 3 223 112%
7 4 430 98%
8 4 474 108%
9 4 466 107%
10 4 464 106%
11 4 356 81%
12 5 568 101%
13 3 221 111%
14 4 468 107%
15 4 495 113%
16 5 596 106%
17 3 192 96%
18 4 465 106%
Total 72 7542 102%

In total, just five holes at Caves Valley rank shorter than the median hole on Tour at the same par, namely four par 4s and a par 3. Three par 4s are 365 yards or shorter.

Conversely, just four holes rate as at least 110% of the par-based median, but 12 of the holes are at least 105% as long. The added length stems from attrition rather than merely a handful of abnormally long holes.

That should put us on driving distance. That also plays into the angle of three long par 3s -- rating 220 yards or longer. Sure, that's not driver for the PGA Tour pros, but longer hitters will have shorter clubs into those long par 3s.

Courses Similar to Caves Valley Golf Club

Some other courses with small-to-average bentgrass greens and average-to-long overall lengths include:

- Liberty National Golf Club (THE NORTHERN TRUST)
- Muirfield Village (The Memorial)
- Shadow Creek (THE CJ CUP)
- Augusta National (The Masters)
- TPC Twin Cities (3M Open)

Key Stats for BMW Championship at Caves Valley Golf Club

- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Off the Tee
- Strokes Gained: Around the Green
- Proximity From 200+ Yards
- Strokes Gained: Putting on Bentgrass

The small, oblong greens are giving me no reason to avoid strokes gained: approach as the most vital stat for this week's event.

As for driving, a flyover look at the course suggests some opportunities to let it fly and carry some hazards, but precision off the tee also seems pretty vital. Rather than distance or accuracy, I'll be focusing on off-the-tee play.

Chipping could prove important, given the small greens, though we just saw multiple scores approach 20-under last week at Liberty National, and its greens average out to be 4,653 square feet.

The reason for proximity from 200-plus yards is pretty simple: it'll cover a lot of the long par 3s, and for forced layups or shorter hitters in general, they could face some longer approach shots into greens.