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PGA DFS Hole-By-Hole Breakdown: 2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions

All other PGA Premium Tools can be accessed on the premium dashboard.

Welcome to the latest edition of the PGA DFS Hole-By-Hole Breakdown, where Josh Bennett (@JishSwish) breaks down the course the PGA Tour is playing each week. We think this course breakdown is an important slice of the "PGA DFS pie" and will help change the way you do your research for every tournament. A good understanding of the course that's being played is extremely important before diving into individual players. Each week, this article will give you everything you need to know about the course, strategies players could take, and statistics that fit the specifics of the layout.

This week's Breakdown features  The Plantation Course at Kapalua, host of the Sentry Tournament of Champions. They just need to hit the ball as far as possible here, that's pretty much it. Be sure to also read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS and betting articles to help you win big!

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The Plantation Course at Kapalua: Par 73, 7596 Yards

Hole 1: Par 4, 520 Yards

Off the Tee: The first tee shot is downhill to a wide fairway. The bunkers on the left should be out of play unless it’s a bad miss, and they likely can be carried by the long hitters. This should be an easy fairway to hit and the approach will likely be a mid iron in after it rolls down the hill.

Approach: A mid-iron for most after a long drive, and could even end up a short iron for the longer hitters. Long should be the preferred miss, as anything short and offline likely winds up in one of the bunkers. Any pins toward the front of the green should see higher scores than when they’re in the back, but scoring should not be difficult in general on this hole. Green Size: 24x40 yards

Advantage: Driving Distance, Ball Striking, Par 4 Scoring

 

Hole 2: Par 3, 219 Yards

Approach: A long iron or hybrid for everyone here. Due to the length of this hole, many will error left since the right side is protected by bunkers. Hitting the green should be good enough on this hole, keep a bogey off the card this early in the round and head onto the next hole. Green Size: 25x40 Yards

Advantage: GIR, Scrambling, 3-Putt Avoidance

 

Hole 3: Par 4, 424 Yards

Off the Tee: They measure this hole from a tee box not shown on satellite, but they only used it in the first round in the 2020 event. The rest of the rounds were played at the next tee box up. Regardless, this hole is short and is wide open, so they can just bomb it down there and hit a wedge into the green. The closer they are to the green, the less the greenside bunkers will come into play on approach.

Approach: A short iron for most of the field, and a wedge if they are playing from the more forward tee box. The green is protected by bunkers on all sides, and if they truly play the scorecard distance here, the difficulty goes up because at least one of those bunkers will be in play for all four rounds. The closer they can get to the hole off the tee the better, wedges into this hole are a big scoring advantage. Green Size: 20x30 Yards

Advantage: Driving Distance, SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring

 

Hole 4: Par 4, 422 Yards

Off the Tee: Another hole where a tee box was added in renovation, but wasn't used every day in 2020. Two rounds were from the very back, the other two from much closer. The length is close to the last hole, but this one plays differently than the last. The last one was to see how far you can hit it, this one is to see how straight you can hit it. They will want to miss all the trouble left, which potentially brings more trouble right. If they move the tee boxes up to where they are in the images, the hole actually gets harder because the fairway bunker is in the landing area off the tee. We will see a lot of driving irons and fairway woods off this tee if that’s the case, and about 265 yards off the tee makes that shot safe. Risk appetite will be tested here with driver in hand from the scorecard distance. Less than driver off the tee leaves a very long approach, but the long hitters can potentially get a wedge into this green if it goes straight.

Approach: Given that the fairway is hit off the tee, the approach is fairly simple. From the tee boxes in the image, everyone should be playing a wedge into a generously sized green with pretty much no protection surrounding it. From the scorecard distance, anticipate a wide range of approach distances to the green depending on club selection off the tee, but still not terribly difficult because there’s no protection at the green. Green Size: 30x30 Yards

Advantage: Ball-Striking, SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring

 

Hole 5: Par 5, 526 Yards

Off the Tee: The first of the par 5’s starts with a tee shot that is going to be hard to miss the fairway. It’s a short par 5 too, so the farther they can get the ball down the fairway, the better shot they’ll have with shorter clubs and chances at eagles on one of the easiest holes on this course.

Approach: Another generously sized green that most will be hitting mid-long irons into. If it’s missed short, there’s a canyon that they’ll never get their ball back from and bunkers also line the right and backside of the green. They should play to the left side of the green, and given the size of the green, there should be a lot of long eagle putts. Early in the round, DFS players should be racking up some 3-in-a-row birdie streaks after this hole is completed. Green Size: 30x30 Yards

Advantage: Driving Distance, Ball Striking, 3 Putt Avoidance, Par 5 Scoring

 

Hole 6: Par 4, 424 Yards

Off the Tee: Risk appetite will be tested again on this tee shot. A bomb down the right side gives them sight to the hole and a wedge to the green, but it also potentially brings both the bunker and OB into play. Laying back into the meat of the fairway may be a popular approach, but that tactic then leaves a blind shot into the green.

Approach: Long hitters will have a short wedge into the green if they choose to play driver, shorter hitters will have a short iron or possibly a pitching wedge in on a blind approach. No bunkers are around the green and the green is bowled, so having good wedges and irons will be important to work the ball into the pin locations. This should be a scoring hole for those that can get it closer to the hole off the tee. Green Size: 25x35 Yards

Advantage: Driving Distance, SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring

 

Hole 7: Par 4, 522 Yards

Off the Tee: Another downhill tee shot into another wide-open fairway. Although the scorecard says it’s a long hole, it will play much shorter due to the downhill slope of the fairway. Once again, hit it as far as possible to get better approaches with shorter clubs.

Approach: A long iron approach from about 200 yards (or closer for the bombers) into a huge green. With pin locations alone, they can make this hole 2 or 3 clubs longer or shorter than the scorecard distance. A couple of bunkers guard the right side, and most will opt to play the longer approach at the center of the green to get a good shot at a birdie putt. Green Size: 25x55 Yards

Advantage: Driving Distance, Ball Striking, GIR

 

Hole 8: Par 3, 199 Yards

Approach: Like the first par 3, it’s a long approach on this hole. They first must carry a canyon, and then try to keep it out of the bunkers in the front and back. Distance control with a longer iron will be key because the width of the green should keep a lot of approaches on the green if distance is correct. Again like the first par 3, walking to the next tee box with a par will be good enough here, as this is the most difficult hole on the course. Green Size: 30x25 Yards

Advantage: GIR, 3 Putt Avoidance

 

Hole 9: Par 5, 550 Yards

Off the Tee: The fairway is generous again off this tee but it will run out of room for bombers if they play this any shorter than the scorecard distance. Like a couple other renovated holes, the added tee box on this hole was only used once in 2020, so it's possible they play up and then everyone is using less than driver off the tee even though it's a par 5.

Approach: Unless there is significant wind, this hole should be reachable by the whole field. The green is smaller in comparison to others on the course, which will emphasize around-the-green game since approaches will be coming in from well over 200 yards. There’s a small bunker in the front of the green, but the other bunkers should be far enough away that they aren’t in play. The split fairway starts down in a valley leaving a blind approach if they wanted to lay up, so there is no sense in not taking the longest club necessary and getting it up as close to the green as possible. Even if the green isn’t hit on approach, those with good short games should still be able to get it up and down and walk away with a birdie. Green Size: 25x30 Yards

Advantage: SG: Around the Green, Par 5 Scoring

 

Hole 10: Par 4, 384 Yards

Off the Tee: The tee shot on this shorter par 4 is uphill and the fairway gets very narrow the closer to the green they get. Once again, a new tee box was added in renovations but it was only used once in 2020. It shouldn’t matter too much on this hole though, even at the current distance, just getting it down the fairway just short of where it starts getting narrow is good for an easy birdie set up.

Approach: The whole field shouldn’t hit anything more than a wedge into this green no matter where they drive it to, and there is absolutely no protection to this green, especially with wedges in hand. There should be a good amount of scoring on this hole. Green Size: 30x35 Yards

Advantage: Driving Distance, Ball Striking, SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring

 

Hole 11: Par 3, 161 Yards

Approach: A mid-iron approach into this green. Pins on the left will be a problem with the large bunker on the front-left of the green. There will likely be multiple days with pins on that side to keep scoring down and make sure that bunker is always in play. Those that can hit a controlled draw and use spin from closer to the middle of the green will have an advantage on this hole. Green Size: 25x30 Yards

Advantage: SG: Approach

 

Hole 12: Par 4, 424 Yards

Off the Tee: Another tee shot to a massive fairway. Not much to this one. Swing hard and see how far it goes and then grab a wedge.

Approach: Nothing more than a wedge into one of the smaller greens on the course. The size of the green shouldn’t matter much though with wedges. Smaller bunkers line the right and backside of the green but they should not be much of an issue especially with good distance and spin control. The only way to save this hole from being a birdie fest is to put all four pins on the back right and not any more than a couple of paces off, otherwise, the whole field will have scoring chances here. Green Size: 20x25 Yards

Advantage: Ball Striking, SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring

 

Hole 13: Par 4, 383 Yards

Off the Tee: Finally to a fairway that isn’t 70 yards wide, but it probably would be if the massive set of trees on the left weren’t there. That shouldn’t be much of an issue for the long hitters either way if they can keep it relatively straight. We also may see guys lay back and keep the bunker and trees out of play. As long as there’s no wind directly into their faces though, the play is definitely to see how close they can get the ball to the green.

Approach: A short 100-yard approach after a driver, or a little longer approach from about 140 yards if laying back off the tee. The only protection to this green is a large bunker on the left, and much like the 11th hole we probably will see most of the pin locations on that side to keep scoring down. However, if it’s only 100 yards or so into the green it shouldn’t be much of a problem anyway. Green Size: 30x40 Yards

Advantage: Driving Distance, Ball Striking, SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring

 

Hole 14: Par 4, 301 Yards

Off the Tee: Although this hole measures over 300 yards, you can see in the image that it does not play it. A direct shot at the green only requires 280 yards to reach the front. However, bunkers are lined up on a direct line to the green, including greenside bunkers on the left and right. Aggressive players may elect to go directly at it and rely on their short game/bunker play, but we could see some of the field lay back just over the first set of bunkers with driving irons or hybrids and play from there.

Approach: A short pitch into a tiny green is all that will be left for those that take less than driver off the tee. Good wedge play with distance and spin control on shots that are likely not full swings should give up a lot of birdies on this hole even if the green is small. Obviously, those taking this hole on from the tee will have to rely on good short games, and birdies should come easy to them as well. Green Size: 15x20 Yards

Advantage: SG: Approach, SG: Around the Green, Par 4 Scoring

 

Hole 15: Par 5, 541 Yards

Off the Tee: Big surprise here- another tee shot with a huge fairway. The hole is a double dogleg, but the second dog leg really is meaningless because there’s nothing in the way forcing a layup or a curved ball flight. The goal off the tee is to keep it as far right as possible without going into the canyon, as that will obviously shorten the approach.

Approach: Long irons through fairway woods will be pulled for this shot depending on distance off the tee and location in the fairway, but the green should be reachable by the whole field. The green has no protection, so there should be a bunch of scoring here on the easiest hole on the course. If they don’t happen to hit the green on the approach, a good short game will still give everyone a good chance at recording a birdie. Green Size: 35x30 Yards

Advantage: Driving Distance, Ball Striking, SG: Around the Green, GIR

 

Hole 16: Par 4, 369 Yards

Off the Tee: A double fairway hole that makes almost no difference because of the length of the hole. At the point where most of the field can carry the ball, the two fairways are already one single large fairway. Like many other previous holes, rip driver up over the bunkers and grab a wedge for the approach.

Approach: A short shot, under 100 yards for everyone. Bunkers are on all three sides but shouldn’t be in play because of how short the approach will be. This should be the final hole of scoring coming down the stretch, so getting a birdie here before heading to the final two holes will be important for momentum. Green Size: 30x30 Yards

Advantage: Ball Striking, SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring

 

Hole 17: Par 4, 550 Yards

Off the Tee: Another wide-open fairway that only gets bigger the farther they hit it. The measured distance of the hole is extremely long for a par 4, but the fairway is downhill, so the rollout likely ends up leaving a mid-long iron into the green.

Approach: A mid-long iron somewhere around 200 yards is what's left. A miss short is a disaster and ends up in a canyon, and bunkers grab any miss longer and right. These guys will likely opt to just play to the center of the green and take what’s left from there. Par will be a good score heading to the final hole. Green Size: 30x35 Yards

Advantage: Driving Distance, Ball Striking, GIR

 

Hole 18: Par 5, 677 Yards

Off the Tee: To finish up the round, of course, another fairway that is seemingly impossible to miss. A big drive assisted by the downhill slope will give a shot at hitting the green in two. Shorter hitters may need to lay up to the wide part of the fairway just short of the green and play an easier pitch from there.

Approach: This approach should take the longest club that isn’t a driver that’s in the bag, and even that might not do it for some of the field. The approach is also downhill, so we will see a lot of draws hit at this green with the hope that the ball rolls down the hill left and onto the green. We won’t see any approaches taken directly at this green, as any error left ends up in the canyon (or bunker if they’re REALLY lucky). A birdie is great if the tee shot and approach is hit ideally, otherwise, par will be good enough to finish up the day. Green Size: 25x30 Yards

Advantage: Driving Distance, SG: Around the Green

 

Conclusions

This course is long on the scorecard, and you can see on almost every image that the fairways are huge, so ripping the ball as far as possible is the main advantage here. Looking towards the top of the tour in Driving Distance is a good start for players to target.

Ball-Striking will be important around here as well. It encompasses both distance and accuracy off the tee as well as approach play. Although accuracy will come easy for pretty much the whole field because of the width of these fairways, the length and approach pieces of that statistic will be the keys to scoring.

The four par 5’s are the four easiest holes on the course, so scoring on those par 5’s is absolutely necessary to keep in contention.

Finally, shots gained on approach (especially from the fairway) should be a stat that’s heavily leaned on. Nearly the whole field will be hitting most of these fairways, so those that have elite irons from the fairway will have a leg above those that do not.

 

Assumptions

Images and measurements were done on Google Earth. These satellite images can sometimes be up to five or more years old and not show very recent changes to courses if there were any.

Carry distance is used for off-the-tee distances shown in the images. The average carry distance on tour in 2019 was 281 yards, so that is what is used here.

I used a total dispersion off-the-tee of 60 yards. This comes from an article that Jon Sherman wrote for Practical Golf (@practicalgolf) discussing average dispersion, and I took 5-10 yards off from that number.

I assumed a 10-15 yard roll out from the carry distance to start the measurement to the green. Measurements to the green were rounded to the nearest five yards and measured from the center of the fairway to the center of the green.

Green measurements were also measured to the nearest five yards.

Things like weather, rough length, elevation, etc. are not taken into consideration on the measurements. I can only see and assume so much from satellite images. However, I do note where possible on each hole if things like elevation and wind could impact how the hole plays.

Scorecard:

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