Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Palmetto Championship at Congaree
The PGA Tour tees it up in Ridgeland, South Carolina this week for what would normally be the RBC Canadian Open.
With COVID-19 protocols in place — did you hear anything about that this past weekend? — the international border trek was too tricky to justify the week before a major. In what can only be described as a massive “L” for both capital letters and Workday, Inc., the event has been titled the Palmetto Championship at Congaree.
Congaree Golf Club is a sprawling 7,655-yard par 71 on the Davant Plantation in the lowlands of South Carolina, about an hour inland from Hilton Head island.
While the plantation dates back to before the Civil War, Congaree was just constructed in 2018 — and to great fanfare. It was named the top “New Private Golf Course” by Golf Digest in 2018, and debuted at number 39 in the publication’s list of the top 100 American courses earlier this year.
The course was designed by Tom Fazio and was a huge undertaking to convert a mostly sand-based landscape into a hilly, oak tree-lined golf course. No fewer than 75 oaks were transplanted and strategically placed to hang over fairways or greens to complicate ball-striking decisions across the course.
Rain is in the forecast every day week, which should help the course play soft and give an even bigger advantage to longer hitters. But if it’s a total washout, individual skill sets often fall by the wayside and survival kicks in.
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: Congaree Golf Club
Distance: 7,655 yards
Fairways/Rough: TifGrand Bermuda
Greens: Champion Bermuda
Length is the key here. The par 5s are 595, 645, and 580 yards long, and just one of the par 3s is shorter than 195 yards. Particularly eye-popping is the close to the front nine, where the 520-yard sixth, 540-yard eighth, and 510-yard ninth all play to a par 4 this week.
Water is in play on nine holes with wetlands on five others, and sand is featured in wide swaths throughout the course.
With a weak field leading into a major and a comically long course with danger all around, we’d expect this course to pose a stiffer test than maiden courses normally do. Still, it’s hard to design a challenging PGA Tour test that the members still enjoy playing. Expect the winner to fall between 15 and 20 under par this week.
It’s tempting to comb through the recent memory of another South Carolina course with a sand base, but there’s likely little to learn from Kiawah Island that we could apply this week.
The Fazio design that comes to mind immediately is Shadow Creek, recently seen in the inaugural The Match: Tiger vs. Phil and this past fall’s CJ CUP.
That’s another a really small sample, and rainy conditions further complicate any connection. That wet weather may be the unifier here, and we can look to the recent AT&T Byron Nelson held at TPC Craig Ranch and prior editions at TPC Four Seasons Resort as our best guide.
These stats will prove vital to success in the Palmetto Championship at Congaree Golf Club.
|Key Stats for the Palmetto Championship at Congaree Golf Club|
|Strokes Gained: Off the Tee|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Par 5s|
|Proximity Gained: 200-plus Yards|
We’ll need to find golfers who bomb it out there this week because this course is a behemoth.
We’ll gladly trade the fairway for distance, as the rough at a brand new, high-priced course trying to make a good impression should be manageable for PGA Tour pros. The fairway may not be any safer from oak tree overhangs, so just grip it and rip it, and then we’ll see what’s next.
Our targets should gain with approach play and specifically from 200 yards and beyond. We can expect most of the field to have a shot from that distance on at least half the holes, including all three par 5s. Those holes just can’t be long enough for today’s players, but setting up a makeable eagle putt after a long approach is still among the most valuable skills.
Sealing the deal is what it’s all about, and once again we’ll focus on birdie-makers. There will be plenty of bogeys this week, and grinders are not going to be able to claw back those strokes they lost.
Course History Studs
None! The course has its big moment this week. This will be the first but likely not the last.
Congaree’s bid for the 2025 Presidents Cup fell short, but premiere rankings by Golf Digest, a fill-in spot on the PGA Tour, and lots of money behind it means we’ll be back here again in some fashion in the future.
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.