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PGA DFS Hole By Hole Breakdown: Valero Texas Open (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 TPC San Antonio - The Oaks Course, host of the PGA Tour's Valero Texas Open. Lock in on the elite iron players, it will be important to strike the irons well to get it on these narrow and difficult greens. Be sure to also read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS and betting articles to help you win big!


TPC San Antonio - The Oaks Course: Par 72, 7438 Yards

Hole 1: Par 4, 454 Yards

Off the Tee: It's a little narrow to start on the first tee, but not narrow enough to consider a club other than driver. Some will miss it into the trees on the left or right, but otherwise it shouldn't be too difficult to find an area with a look at the green. Even if they wanted to drop down a club, the hole is way too long for that to be feasible anyway. Straight-ish with any length is the key to start the day.

Approach: The approach to this green will only be difficult for those that have a decent length in. One small bunker protects the front, and a large one protects the back of the green. However, the green is large so it shouldn't be extremely difficult to hit. Due to the length, there won't be a ton of scoring to start out, but par shouldn't be difficult either. Green Size: 30x15 yards

Advantage: Ball-Striking, SG: Approach, Bogey Avoidance


Hole 2: Par 5, 602 Yards

Off The Tee: This is an interesting hole all the way around, starting with the tee shot. Like the first hole, it is semi-narrow. The farther down the hole they go, the more narrow it gets, including a bunker directly in the middle of the fairway that will block the very long hitters. Due to the length of the hole, this tee shot doesn't really matter. Only the long hitters will be able to reach, and they'll have to be lucky to be in the fairway and have a shot at it. We should expect to see the majority of the field laying up on this hole no matter what happens here.

Approach: The approach here will be interesting, as the green is split with another hole later in the round. The area the pins will be placed will be in a much smaller area than the green looks, but good wedge players should have no problem scoring here. Green Size: N/A yards (not attempting to measure this green)

Advantage: SG: Approach, Par 5 Scoring


Hole 3: Par 3, 171 Yards

Approach: The first of the long par 3's on this course is going to be a hard one. The whole tee shot has to carry a huge body of water, so any pin towards the front will end up with a high scoring average whether that's from shots in the water or shots that error long and leave long chips back. The green is large, so even shots on the green will have 3-putt chances. A par on this hole will be very good. Green Size: 40x20 yards

Advantage: GIR, 3-Putt Avoidance, Bogey Avoidance


Hole 4: Par 4, 481 Yards

Off The Tee: A long par 4 here with a tee shot like the first two. It's just barely wide enough to not be an issue with trees, but there are bunkers that will be a problem for anyone that's average length or better. They have to hit driver again because of the length of the hole. Long and straight is the key again.

Approach: A long approach here for most of the field to a difficult green. It's protected by a large bunker on the left, and the front of the green is narrow. The only spot that will be "easier" to hit is the back of the green where it gets much more wide. This green will probably be missed often, so short game will be important on this hole. Green Size: 15x30 Yards

Advantage: Ball-Striking, Scrambling


Hole 5: Par 4, 401 Yards

Off The Tee: There is an additional tee box that isn't present on this image that extends the hole over 400 yards and ends up making the tee shot a difficult choice. They can hit driver, but there is a bunker on the right that could be in the way, and a waste area on the left. Since this hole is short, avoiding issues off the tee will be important. Therefore, we may see some people lay up off the tee which will still leave a wedge into the green.

Approach: There are bunkers by the green but they won't be an issue with wedges in hand. The green is decent-sized and they'll be able to attack any pins on this hole. This will be the first non-par 5 hole that should be a scoring hole. Green Size: 15x30 Yards

Advantage: SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring


Hole 6: Par 4, 403 Yards

Off The Tee: Unlike the last hole, the decision on this hole is easy. The hole gets narrow around the landing area for everyone, so they will likely hit less than driver off this tee. The hole is short, so even on a lay up, they'll have wedges into the green still.

Approach: Just like the last hole, a wedge into this green. It should be a pretty similar approach in terms of length and difficulty. It is a good chance for back-to-back birdies before heading to a more difficult hole. Green Size: 15x30 Yards

Advantage: SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring


Hole 7: Par 3, 207 Yards

Approach: This green is split with the 2nd hole, so the green is much smaller for this hole than it looks. The large bunker on the left is the main defense, and the green is narrow so it will be played out of. Anything onto the green with a chance at par is plenty good here. Green Size: N/A Yards

Advantage: GIR, Bogey Avoidance


Hole 8: Par 5, 604 Yards

Off The Tee: Another 600 yard par 5 that will probably play just like the first one. The tee shot is narrow, and only long hitters will have a chance to get to the green in two anyway. So, as long as they don't go out of bounds on the right, we'll see most lay up and get ready to hit wedges into the green.

Approach: If they attempt to go for the green, they'll have to be precise because the green is narrow and protected on both sides by bunkers. We will most likely see the field approaching this green with wedges, and in that case it should be an easy hole. Misses will probably end up in one of the bunkers, but there should be plenty of scoring from good wedge players. Green Size: 15x35 Yards

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


Hole 9: Par 4, 474 Yards

Off The Tee: A difficult hole to close out the first nine. It is long and will require accuracy all-around. They'll have to stay out of the trees on the right, which will bring a different set of trees into play on the left. Keeping it between the trees is important because of the length of the upcoming approach.

Approach: A long approach is left to a very thin green. It will be hard to hit this green even by the best approach players, so we should see a lot of short game work on this hole. Closing out the front nine with a par should be the goal. Green Size: 10x45 Yards

Advantage: Ball-Striking, Scrambling


Hole 10: Par 4, 447 Yards

Off The Tee: This tee shot should be a refreshing sight for those that aren't starting their day on this hole. There's plenty of room on both sides here, so they should be able to let loose with driver without much worry about OB or trees. Long is even better to get this approach near wedge range.

Approach: A mid-length approach, or possibly a wedge for the long hitters to another narrow green. This one is protected near the front with a couple bunkers and another one towards the back right. Long hitters with wedges won't have to worry about the bunkers, others likely will. There should be some scoring on this hole, but par will likely still be good. Green Size: 15x40 Yards

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


Hole 11: Par 4, 405 Yards

Off The Tee: For average-length hitters, the tee shot here is an interesting one. They should be able to clear the middle bunker, but if they go too far they risk running through the fairway and/or into another set of bunkers. If they lay up short of the bunker, they leave in a long approach to the green that won't be easy to hit from there. I suspect we will see most take it over the bunker and hope they miss the second set of bunkers. Short hitters will have to try to avoid the bunker or be forced to lay up.

Approach: Yet another narrow green, this one is only protected on the right side. Those that avoid the bunkers and have wedges in should have no problem scoring on this hole. The rest will have hard approaches from bunkers or long approaches that will have to be accurate to get on the green. This hole will likely play somewhere around par, but we will see that made up of a lot of birdies or bogeys depending on the tee shot result. Green Size: 15x40 Yards

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


Hole 12: Par 4, 410 Yards

Off The Tee: Back to the somewhat narrow driving holes. There are trees and waste area issues on both sides, but they have to be big misses to find them. Assuming they stay out of them (and avoid the bunker on the left for shorter hitters), it's just a wedge contest from there.

Approach: As long as the tee shots are playable, this will just be a wedge competition for the field. The green is huge so it should be no problem to hit and the bunkers will not be a problem. This is a scoring hole for everyone that keeps their ball in play. Green Size: 20x40 Yards

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


Hole 13: Par 3, 241 Yards

Approach: No easing up on the par 3's here, this one being the longest. The green is huge, so as long as they can get it to the front of the green they should have no problem keeping it on the green. The issue here will be avoiding the three-putt after they get it onto the surface. Green Size: 20x40 Yards

Advantage: GIR, 3 Putt Avoidance


Hole 14: Par 5, 553 Yards

Off The Tee: They are finally to a par 5 that might be reachable by most of the field, but even still they may not try it out. No issues at all off the tee here as long as they play away from the trees on the right. Bomb it down there and get ready for the next shot.

Approach: It will be a difficult decision on this approach. If they go for the green, they should expect that their shot has a high likelihood of being in one of the bunkers. Given that risk, and if they don't trust their bunker games, they can just lay up to an easy wedge distance, likely just short of the left bunker. From there, it should be an easy approach onto the green. It should be a scoring hole, but not as low as it should be because of the good bunkering defense. Green Size: 15x30 Yards

Advantage: Driving Distance, SG: Approach, Par 5 Scoring


Hole 15: Par 4, 464 Yards

Off The Tee: Once again, a tee shot with barely enough room on each side between tree lines, and there is a bunker in the way for those that hit it long. There is no option to lay up off the tee either due to the length of the hole. They have to avoid the bunker on the right and stay out of the trees on both sides if they want a chance at a par on this hole.

Approach: A long approach to another narrow green that's protected on all corners by bunkers. If the green is missed, they will likely be playing from the sand. Good sand play and short games will be important on this hole. Green Size: 10x30 Yards

Advantage: Ball-Striking, SG: Approach, Sand Saves


Hole 16: Par 3, 183 Yards

Approach: They put in a par 3 under 200 yards, but they didn't make it any easier. The bunker in the center of the green will be the primary defense, and then there are a few on the left side and another on the right for extra protection. The bunker in the middle leaves very little space no matter where they put the pin, so the mid-length approach will have to be accurate. Par will be plenty good here, as it is on all the other par 3's. Green Size: N/A Yards

Advantage: SG: Approach, Scrambling


Hole 17: Par 4, 347 Yards

Off The Tee: They can hit driver off this tee, but they don't NEED to, especially coming down the stretch. The hole is very short, so in order to avoid the bunker on the right they may choose to hit a fairway wood or driving iron to lessen the chances of ending up there. No matter what they hit off the tee, they'll all have short wedges left.

Approach: A short wedge for the whole field that should be a scoring opportunity. The bunker protecting the green should really only be in play for the extra powerful guys off the tee that choose to hit driver. A wedge and a short putt is all they should have left before heading to the final hole. Green Size: 15x40 Yards

Advantage: SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring

Hole 18: Par 5, 591 Yards

Off the Tee: The final hole is another par 5 that is unlikely to be taken on in two shots. The tee shot is not difficult, there is plenty of room so they can just let loose and try and get it as far down as possible. Long hitters have an outside chance of reaching in two if they can crush one a ways down there.

Approach: If they go for the green, they will have to carry a creek that runs in front of the green. Most will choose to lay up short of the creek somewhere and have a wedge in. From there, the bunkers that are around the green are not in play and it should be a scoring chance very similar to the last hole. A birdie-birdie finish for good wedge players should not be surprising. Green Size: 30x15 Yards

Advantage: Driving Distance, SG: Approach, Par 5 Scoring



Great Approach play is the name of the game this week. Length is mitigated a little because of strategic bunkering, and shorter hitters will have much longer approaches, so those that are great iron players should do well, including on the par 5's where they are unlikely to be taken on in two.

The fairways aren't super narrow, but there are trouble spots on most holes where a bad tee shot will be in the trees or waste area. Good ball-striking will be important to give the best chance at avoiding the issues on the left and right sides of the holes, as well as getting it onto the green from the difficult approaches.

Most greens are narrow, and if the irons are not hot it will be hard to hit a lot of the greens. Scrambling will be important to make sure bogey stays off the card while they navigate the long holes with difficult approaches.

Other stats to consider: Par 4 Scoring, Par 5 Scoring, SG: Around The Green, 3 Putt Avoidance, Bogey Avoidance, Driving Distance



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 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 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.



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