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PGA DFS Hole By Hole Breakdown: RSM Classic (Premium Content)

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 Sea Island Golf Club (Seaside), host of the RSM Classic. Great iron players, specifically from short distances, should thrive this week. Be sure to also read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS and betting articles to help you win big!

 

Sea Island Golf Club (Seaside): Par 70, 7005 Yards

*Note: this write up is for the Seaside course only. The tournament also plays on the Plantation course, but only for one of the first two rounds. Three rounds are played at the Seaside course for each player (that makes the cut).

Hole 1: Par 4, 417 Yards

Off the Tee: This is a narrow tee shot to start the tournament off. Both the bunkers on the right and the trees/trouble on the left are in play for the average-length player hitting driver. If they choose to hit driver and hit the fairway, it’s a nice short wedge into the green. More than likely we will see guys choosing to lay up short of the bunker that is 255 yards to get to and then play a longer iron into this green. Driver would be a surprising play to lead off the tournament.

Approach: Assuming everyone lays back off the tee, it’s 150-160 yards to a green with a large bunker on the left that may be in play for those with rough iron play. Otherwise, nothing too difficult about the approach assuming the ball started in the fairway. Just a short iron into the green to start off the day. Green Size: 20x30 yards

Advantage: SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring

 

Hole 2: Par 4, 415 Yards

Off The Tee: For an average-length hitter, this hole should be open enough to give driver a go. They should be able to carry the bunker on the left and keep the water on the right out of play. Shorter hitters may be in a little more trouble, the farther back you bring the carry distance the more the bunker and/or water comes into play. The short hitters may need to lay up, considering the bunker is 255 yards to carry.

Approach: An easy short wedge into an average sized green. The bunker on the right could be in play for those that have to lay back and take longer irons into this green, especially when pins are placed on that side of the green, but those with shorter wedges will have no problem here. This should be a scoring hole for those that can hit the ball a little farther than others. Green Size: 25x25 yards

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

 

Hole 3: Par 3, 204 Yards

Approach: A longer par 3 that can be made to play just about any distance under 220 yards. The measured distance leaves about 15 yards of tee box behind the tees, and the tee box spans 55 yards, so they can really play around with distances if they wanted to. Playing into a green protected by a bunker in the very front, they will likely just shoot for the middle of this green and be happy with par. Green Size: 25x25 yards

Advantage: GIR, Bogey Avoidance

 

Hole 4: Par 4, 429 Yards

Off The Tee: This is a tee shot that has trouble written all over it for very wayward tee shots, which may entice some to lay up off the tee, but that will mean a mid-iron into the green. Long hitters will have a disadvantage here, as the bunker straight down the fairway comes into play and the mess on the left is just as much in play. Leaving something in front of the fairway bunker will be the preferred play on this hole.

Approach: If everyone gets to somewhere behind that fairway bunker, it will be about a 145-165 yard approach depending on how far down they go and on which side of the fairway it ends up. That is a short-iron for most of the field, so there should still be some scoring here even though many will have to hit less than driver for safety. Green Size: 30x20 Yards

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

 

Hole 5: Par 4, 409 Yards

Off The Tee: Even the most aggressive players won’t take this hole on with driver. A direct shot to the green requires a 330 yard carry which is hardly worth it unless there is a ton of wind. The average length player has too much trouble in play as well. Length isn’t needed on this hole, the play off this tee is to lay up to something in front of the fairway bunker, leaving a short iron or even possibly a wedge into the green.

Approach: The goal off the tee will be to leave around 130-140 yards into the green, which will be a wedge for many, otherwise a short iron. With wedges and short irons, the bunker will probably not be in play and this will likely be a scoring hole for the whole field. Green Size: 20x30 Yards

Advantage: SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring

 

Hole 6: Par 3, 179 Yards

Approach: An average length par 3 into a wide green, only protected by a front bunker that looks to be a couple yards off the green. Although not a short hole, there’s not much to protect it other than weather/wind, so good iron players should score on this hole. Green Size: 35x20 Yards

Advantage: SG: Approach, Par 3 Scoring

 

Hole 7: Par 5, 582 Yards

Off The Tee: Finally to the first par 5, and it’s a score-able one. Most of the field shouldn’t have much problem finding the fairway, but there’s room to miss even if that happens. Average length hitters and longer will be able to get to this green in two, and will definitely give it a shot with no protection near the green. Shorter hitters will be looking at a layup to a preferred wedge distance.

Approach: A fairway wood for those with length to get there is likely, otherwise a layup to a short wedge into a nice sized green. There are no bunkers, and the water could only really be in play if longer hitters are trying to rip fairway wood darts at pins on the right side of the green. This should be a scoring hole for the field no matter what they choose to do with their second shots. Green Size: 35x25 Yards

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

 

Hole 8: Par 4, 368 Yards

Off The Tee: A short par 4 that will again likely see mostly layups off the tee, although it can be argued the guys should let driver rip off this tee, and we will probably see some do that. Anything left of the couple trees on the right side will leave a short pitch into this green and immediately make this hole a scoring hole no matter the pin location. Most will opt to lay back to something in front of the far-left bunker, leaving a full wedge into the green.

Approach: Everyone will have a wedge into this green of some sort. Good iron players shouldn’t have any problem circling a 3 on this hole, and long hitters that decide to hit driver towards the green will have even less of an issue doing that. Green Size: 15x30 Yards

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

 

Hole 9: Par 4, 452 Yards

Off The Tee: There should be room here even for inaccurate drivers to miss and still be safe. They'll have to avoid the bunker on the left, so the longer the hitter the more they'll have to error to the right. However, the fairway is large and they really shouldn't have issues finding it.

Approach: A short or mid-iron to a green with just one bunker on the left, and is only in play with pins on the left. Scoring on this hole should not be difficult, although could be more challenging if the tee shot ends up in the bunker or the rough (if it's thick enough). Green Size: 25x30 Yards

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

 

Hole 10: Par 4, 418 Yards

Off The Tee: Starting the back 9 is a risk-reward tee shot. They will want to avoid anything into the trees on the left, which brings almost the entire fairway bunker on the right into play with driver. However, a well-placed driver leaves a wedge into the green and a scoring chance, whereas a layup brings a medium-length iron approach over a large greenside bunker. We will likely see most hit less than driver off this tee, but there is a reward for those that are long and straight on this hole.

Approach: From a lay up off the tee, it's about 160-170 yards to a green covered in the front by a large bunker. Those that can get a wedge into the green can score here, the rest will probably just be playing to get it anywhere on the green and take a par. Green Size: 25x25 Yards

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

 

Hole 11: Par 4, 425 Yards

Off The Tee: There is trouble left and right on this hole, and no tee shot other than a driver right down the middle of the fairway is completely safe. If they aim left to avoid bunkers, the tree line on the left and a random tree right off the edge of the fairway is in play. Obviously, if they go the other way, bunkers and waste area are in play. Accuracy is the key off this tee.

Approach: Assuming they can find a safe area off the tee, it should be a wedge or 9 iron at maximum into the hole. The bunkers look to be far enough off the green where they will not be in play with these guys hitting wedges into the green. This is a scoring hole if they can avoid all the trouble off the tee. Green Size: 25x25 Yards

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

 

Hole 12: Par 3, 223 Yards

Approach: The longest of all 4 of the long par 3s, but this one is safer than the others. The tee shot will only have trouble if the pin is set on the right side of the green, which brings the greenside bunker into play. Long holes like these are not usually scoring holes, so keeping it out of the bunker and walking over to the next hole with par is good enough. Green Size: 30x30 Yards

Advantage: GIR, Bogey Avoidance

 

Hole 13: Par 4, 408 Yards

Off The Tee: The tee shot here with driver will likely bring too much risk for most of the field. A miss left is wet and miss right will end up in the fairway bunker. These guys should be able to lay up off the tee with a club that can’t reach furthest bunker on the right and still leave a wedge or 9 iron at most into this green.

Approach: Most of the field will be looking at 130-140 yards after they lay back off the tee, which is still a wedge for most everyone in the field. The bunker in the front of the green shouldn’t be in play even with front pin locations, they should be able to take wedges over the pin and spin them back for scoring chances if needed. This is a scoring hole for the field. Green Size: 30x25 Yards

Advantage: SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring

 

Hole 14: Par 4, 442 Yards

Off The Tee: This hole requires an accurate tee shot. If you miss the fairway, you’re in trouble on both sides. It’s a longer hole and even a great drive down the middle won’t give most of these guys wedges. Laying up is an option for longer hitters if they think that will ensure a fairway hit, but they have to be mindful of the fairway bunker too. All-in-all, just a difficult tee shot here.

Approach: There’s no trouble surrounding the green, but an approach from a longer distance into a smaller green makes it harder to hit. Given the trouble off the tee and the long approach, par is what they're looking for on this hole, anything better is just a huge bonus. Green Size: 20x30 Yards

Advantage: Driving Accuracy, SG: Approach, Bogey Avoidance, Scrambling

 

Hole 15: Par 5, 565 Yards

Off The Tee: The tee shot on the second (and last) par 5 shouldn’t be a hard one. They only need about 250 yards to clear the first bunker and the fairway is open from there. Longer hitters might have issues with the far bunker with driver, or possibly the left bunker if they try to cut the corner too much, but they can also tee off with a 3-wood and still be in perfect position if they need to do that.

Approach: Although this green is probably reachable for most of the field, hitting the green will be difficult. It’s a narrow green at the front that has a bunker protecting the whole left side and another that is on the front right. They won't be able to roll it up the front of the green, so that long of an approach will have to be accurate and carried onto the green. A good around-the-green game will be key here, as it's much more likely the green is missed, especially into the front bunkers. We won’t see a ton of eagle putts, but we will see plenty of birdies from player with good short games and especially playing out of bunkers. Green Size: 20x30 Yards

Advantage: Ball-Striking, SG: Around The Green, Par 5 Scoring

 

Hole 16: Par 4, 407 Yards

Off The Tee: Driver is safe here for most the field because of the way the fairway angles, and the fairway bunker won’t be in play unless it’s someone with a lot of power or there’s significant rollout. In those cases, a layup off the tee is fine, either way there will be a wedge approach into this green.

Approach: A short wedge for the whole field into this green. There shouldn't be any problems getting it onto this green with a good look at birdie for anyone. This should play as one of the easiest holes of the tournament. Green Size: 40x20 Yards

Advantage: SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring

 

Hole 17: Par 3, 192 Yards

Approach: This hole may play as one of the more difficult holes on the course. Another longer par 3 approach to a wide but short green. Distance control will be key on this shot, as a miss long or short will land you either off the green or in one of the two large bunkers in the front. If there is any significant wind, it’s possible this hole could play over par for the weekend. A par on this hole headed to the last hole of the round is good enough. Green Size: 35x15 Yards

Advantage: GIR, Scrambling, Bogey Avoidance


Hole 18: Par 4, 470 Yards

Off the Tee: They saved the longest hole for last, but it's probably the easiest driving hole on the course. Bunkers on both sides should be able to be carried without any negative wind influence by most of the field, but shorter hitters have plenty of room between them too. Length is the key on the closing hole if there’s any realistic chance of scoring.

Approach: A mid to long iron approach to a green protected by bunkers on the entire left side and the front-right side. Due to the length of the approach, those bunkers are probably in play for everyone every day, unless they put the pin in the back right for some reason. An approach that finds the green and makes way for a two-putt par is plenty good to close out the round. Green Size: 20x30 Yards

Advantage: Driving Distance, Ball-Striking, Bogey Avoidance

 

Conclusions

Around half the tee shots around here will be hit with less than driver, plus there are four par 3's. We can pretty much throw most off-the-tee stats out the window, but driving accuracy would be the only one to consider since it does calculate accuracy using ANY club off the tee, not just driver.

Since we're not worried much about off-the-tee, and knowing that most tee shots should find the fairway or at least have a good look at the green, good iron play is a great place to start looking for advantages. The course is short and even with fairway woods and irons off the tee, many approaches are still in wedge and short-iron territory. SG: Approach is an important stat to look at, and maybe more specifically approaches that come from less than 150 yards. At least half of their approaches will be from 150 yards or less, and that does not include the two par 5's where they could lay up and have short wedge approaches as well.

Although more than half of the approaches are coming from 150 yards or less, there are still four long par 3's, a couple long iron approaches, and two approaches into par 5's that will be hard to hit the green. Those that can avoid bogey and scramble well should also be able to keep themselves in contention, even if they aren't great iron players.

Other stats to consider: Par 4 Scoring, SG: Putting, GIR, Ball-Striking, SG: Around the Green, SG OTT

 

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 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.

Scorecards:

 

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