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PGA DFS Hole By Hole Breakdown: The Honda Classic (2023)

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 PGA National for the Honda Classic on the PGA Tour. This course is long and difficult, it will be a grinder's paradise. Bring the "A" game with long irons and the short game to be successful this week. 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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PGA National (Champion Course): Par 70, 7125 Yards

Hole 1: Par 4, 365 Yards

Off the Tee: The opening tee shot is a fairly simple one. The fairway gets more narrow the farther down the hole you go and there is water trouble left. It's a short hole, so most of the field will lay back off this tee to about 230 yards so they avoid going in the fairway bunker and then take a wedge to the green from there.

Approach: A wedge competition from about 130 yards to a green that has a large bunker protecting it on all sides except the right side. With wedges in hand, this should be a birdie hole for the whole field, which is a rarity on this course. Green Size: 20x35 yards

Advantage: SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring


Hole 2: Par 4, 464 Yards

Off the Tee: This tee shot is narrow with not much room to miss. The fairway bunker is also in play for almost the whole field. Accuracy is important here because this hole is long and bogey comes into play if there is no good shot to the green after the tee shot.

Approach:  A mid-iron approach to a green that's long, narrow, and protected by a bunker on the whole left side of the green. The bunker will be in play for all approaches, and we'll likely see those that are out of position off the tee bail out to the right of the green to avoid playing out of that bunker after a poor tee shot. As is the case for most holes on this course, par is a good score here. Green Size: 150x40 yards

Advantage: Driving Accuracy, SG: Approach, Scrambling


Hole 3: Par 5, 538 Yards

Off the Tee: The fairway isn't wide here, but as long as the miss doesn't go left this hole is relatively easy. There are fairway bunkers on the right side that are in play for most tee shots, but many will choose to lay up on this hole anyway so finding one of those bunkers isn't the worst thing in the world. Long hitters will be able to get to the green in two if they want, and the bombers will have an advantage off this tee because they can take all the fairway bunkers out of play.

Approach:  A lot of the field will choose to lay up from the tee shot leaving around 100 yards left to the green, and the rest will be the long hitters that will give it a go with long irons or hybrids. The reason for the lay-up is the bunkers protecting the front-left and front-right sides of the green that is narrow, plus water lurking on shots that go over the green. Regardless of the approach, birdie on this hole will be there for the whole field and will be an important one to get. Green Size: 15x35 yards

Advantage: Ball-Striking, Driving Distance, SG: Approach, Par 5 Scoring


Hole 4: Par 4, 395 Yards

Off the Tee: Another short par 4 that we will see most of the field keeping driver in the bag for. The fairway gets narrow the closer to the green you get, plus fairway bunkers come into play up there too. A lot of fairway woods will be played off the tee to leave wedge distances to the green.

Approach: Another wedge competition from close to 130 yards to a wide green protected by a large bunker in front of the green. The approach is simple as long as the tee shot leaves a shot is not too far offline. This should be a birdie hole for the field. Green Size: 30x10 Yards

Advantage: SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring


Hole 5: Par 3, 217 Yards

Approach:  A long approach that first has to carry a body of water, and then avoid going into the water on the left or in the bunker at the back of the green. Short games will be on display on this hole as many will target the right side of this green and bail short and right, even if the pin is left. Par is good enough here at the start of a long stretch of holes that play over par. Green Size: 20x30 Yards

Advantage: GIR, Scrambling


Hole 6: Par 4, 479 Yards

Off the Tee: The tee shot here is similar to the first hole, except the hole is significantly longer which will require everyone to hit driver. Obviously, they will want to avoid the water on the left so they'll have to take targets closer to the right side of the fairway. Missing right is safer than left, but if the ball isn't in the fairway it's a tough shot to the green because of the length of the hole. It is no surprise this hole played as the second hardest on Tour in 2019 because of this tee shot difficulty.

Approach:  Long irons and possibly even fairway woods will be hit on this hole that used to be a par 5. The water will still be in play for any big miss left, plus bunkers are protecting the front-left and front-right sides of the green. The green is generously-sized, so the green shouldn't be too difficult to hit as long as the ball is in play off the tee but there likely won't be much pin hunting on this approach. Green Size: 20x30 Yards

Advantage: Driving Accuracy, Ball-Striking, GIR, Scrambling


Hole 7: Par 3, 226 Yards

Approach: Another long par 3 with an approach to a long green. This green isn't as protected as many of the other holes, but the length of the hole makes up for that. Bunkers in the front make them have to carry it onto the green, and another bunker on the right will catch some right-side misses. We should see a lot of shots hit at the center of the green and take whatever putt is left from there. Green Size: 20x40 Yards

Advantage: GIR


Hole 8: Par 4, 427 Yards

Off the Tee: This is one of the wider fairways on the course, and there's just enough room on both sides to miss and still be OK off the tee. It will be difficult to reach the water that splits the hole, so everyone should be trying to hit driver as far as possible. Those that can hit it far enough can possibly leave a wedge into the green.

Approach:  Most likely a short iron or possibly a wedge over the water to a large green protected on the left and right sides by bunkers.  The closer the approach comes from, the less of a problem those bunkers will be. Green Size: 25x35 Yards

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


Hole 9: Par 4, 421 Yards

Off the Tee: Water left again on this tee shot, but it should be avoidable by aiming down the center of the fairway. They'll make sure to error on the right, but anyone who can hit a draw off the tee will be able to cut a lot more of this dogleg off. Avoid the water and the fairway bunker and it should be a decent look at the green.

Approach:  The long and narrow greens are back, but with short irons and wedges in hand this time, it shouldn't be too difficult of an approach. The green is protected by small bunkers on the left side and they are probably only in play for short hitters when the pin is on that side. Green Size: 15x40 Yards

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


Hole 10: Par 4, 508 Yards

Off the Tee: This is the second par 5 that converted into a par 4, most of the field will take their tee shots straight over the fairway bunker. Playing a left-to-right shot shape will help cut even more of this hole off. As long as it doesn't go too far right, there should be a good look at the green.

Approach:  A long-iron approach to a big green that is open in front which allows them to bounce the ball onto the green if they wanted. Bunkers protect pretty much the rest of the green, so a miss just has to hope to not land in one of the bunkers. This hole is not difficult and probably would be one of the easiest on Tour if it were still a par 5, but the length is what makes it play over par as a par 4. Green Size: 25x30 Yards

Advantage: Driving Distance, Ball-Striking, GIR, Scrambling


Hole 11: Par 4, 450 Yards

Off the Tee: This is one tee shot where there is no significant advantage. This is a long hole, and usually in that situation a long hitter would strongly benefit, but the bombers will have water in play if they hit driver. The bombers will likely have to lay up off the tee, leveling the playing field with the shorter hitters. There is just too much risk trying to squeeze it between both bodies of water.

Approach:  Most of the field will play this approach from somewhere between 150 and 175 yards. Not shown in this image, there is a bunker in the back of this green, and the water is a problem along the front. Distance control with mid irons will be key on this hole. Obviously, they can't miss short, but a miss long also is a problem because a miss-hit from the bunker could also land in the water. As difficult as this hole is, however, birdie is possible with a good tee shot and accurate approach. Green Size: 40x20 Yards

Advantage: SG: Approach


Hole 12: Par 4, 438 Yards

Off the Tee: Another dogleg, this one bending left-to-right. Like other holes so far, the yardage is long but a good tee shot can cut off a good portion of the hole. They should take targets just to the left of the large bunker on the right and any ball flight that moves left-to-right cuts off even more of the hole. The bombers should be able to take all the bunkers out of play.

Approach:  The green when looking at it diagonally is thin and long, but at the angle the approaches are coming from it will play a little bigger. A bunker is there to catch any short miss and the green is not deep, so distance control on the approach is key. Green Size: 20x30 Yards

Advantage: Driving Distance, Ball-Striking, SG: Approach, Scrambling


Hole 13: Par 4, 388 Yards

Off the Tee: This tee shot is to a narrow fairway, but there is room to miss on both sides and still have a look at the green. Shorter hitters will need to be more accurate because the bunker on the left comes into play, but average length and longer will be able to carry it without much of a problem.

Approach:  This is a short approach around 100 yards to a green protected on all sides except the back of the green. With wedges in hand, the bunkers shouldn't be much in play and the field should be able to get a birdie on this hole before another tough stretch of holes. Green Size: 20x30 Yards

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


Hole 14: Par 4, 465 Yards

Off the Tee: They will have to be careful with a right miss off this tee because of the water, so the fairway bunkers are more in play on the left because of that. This tee shot has to be in play and out of the bunkers to have a chance at this green, so accuracy is key.

Approach:  A mid-iron approach to a decent-sized green, but it is protected by bunkers in the front and back as well as water all along the right. Pins on the right side have to be left alone because of the water, meaning there will be a lot of long putts or chips from the left side of the green. There is is no easy shot on this hole, par is a great score. Green Size: 30x20 Yards

Advantage: Ball-Striking, SG: Approach, Scrambling


Hole 15: Par 3, 179 Yards

Approach:  This is a shorter par 3 than the prior par 3's, but it isn't any easier. The tee shot is carried entirely over water, and the water runs along the right side of the green as protection as well. There's a bunker in the back of the green to catch shots that were intentionally or unintentionally hit long to avoid the water too. Just getting it on the green is the key here. Green Size: 35x15 Yards

Advantage: Ball-Striking, GIR


Hole 16: Par 4, 434 Yards

Off the Tee: Not much choice off the tee here. The fairway runs out far too quickly for anyone to hit driver, so something less than that will be used by the whole field. The goal will be to keep it as far right as possible that is safe while also avoiding the bunkers. A tee shot of about 250 yards is what they're looking for.

Approach:  Everyone will likely attack this green from about 175 yards away. The right side of the green is protected by water and a bunker, and then there's another smaller bunker on the left side. This hole will see birdies when the pin is in the back and a lot of short-game work when the pin is put towards the front of the green. Green Size: 20x30 Yards

Advantage: SG: Approach, Scrambling, Par 4 Scoring


Hole 17: Par 3, 175 Yards

Approach:  This hole is measured from one of the middle teeing grounds, but it can be lengthened up to 190 yards which they played it at in 2019. It's another tee shot over water to a short green that has a bunker to catch any shots that go long. Not many places to miss and be safe here, so get it on the green and get out of there with a par. Green Size: 30x15 Yards

Advantage: SG: Approach

Hole 18: Par 5, 556 Yards

Off the Tee: This will be one of the easier fairways to hit out of the whole day. It's wide at the landing area and only a miss badly left will bring bunkers into play. A long tee shot here will be important to get a look at the green in two. There are no easy lay up options so it's important if they have the length to have a shot at the green.

Approach:  Average length and longer hitters should be able to get to the green in two. The fairway is narrow up closer to the green, so a lay-up is not guaranteed to be safe. It's much wider at the actual green so even a miss at the green is in better shape than a miss from a lay up. All types of approaches will come into this green depending on the player, but there should be a fair amount of birdies on the closing hole no matter what decisions are made following the tee shot. Green Size: 25x25 Yards

Advantage: Driving Distance, Ball-Striking, SG: Approach, SG: Around the Green, Par 5 Scoring



There is no significant advantage off the tee because there are about equal holes that require accuracy and distance, so a good ball-striker checks off both of those boxes and should do well on this course.

The course is long and is made longer by strategic design so that bombers can't kill the shorter holes. That means that a lot of approaches will come from long distances, and more greens will be missed. The majority of the holes play over par, so those that can avoid bogies and scramble well should keep themselves in contention.

Speaking of longer approaches, good iron play is critical to making sure the approaches and par 3 tee shots do not wind up in the water. Look for the SG: Approach stat as well as those that have good approach stats from 175 yards and further.

Other stats to consider: SG: Off the Tee, Par 4 Scoring, GIR, Driving Distance, Par 5 Scoring, Approaches 150-175



Images and measurements were done on Google Earth. These satellite images can sometimes be up to 5 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 2021 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 5 yards and measured from the center of the fairway to the center of the green.

Green measurements were also measured to the nearest 5 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.


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