The FedEx Cup Playoffs begin in Old Westbury, New York, with The Northern Trust at Glen Oaks Club. This course has never hosted a PGA Tour event, and the layout for this event will actually take place on 18 holes comprised from three different courses at this 27-hole club. Only the top-125 golfers in the season-long FedEx Cup points race qualified for this event, so the field is a bit smaller than the typical week. Five golfers have already said they will not compete this week, so the field currently stands at 120 golfers.
The field is loaded, which may keep the ownership levels down for any one particular player. Be sure to check out the new PGA Contests Dashboard, where you can see what type of exposure any DFS user has to a golfer in various contests this week. You can also look at stack ownership percentages, salary breakdowns, and duplicate lineups. It’s amazing.
The course has been compared to both Augusta National and Bethpage Black, but really everybody is giving their best guess on course comparisons. Let’s instead stick to what we know: Glen Oaks is a Par 70 that can play at a length of 7,346 yards with four Par 3 holes and two Par 5 holes.
Per PGATour.com, the course opens with the 505-yard Par 4 first hole that requires a well-placed tee shot and an uphill approach to a green guarded by bunkers; getting to the second hole at even par should be considered a win. The 230-yard Par 3 second hole plays downhill into another green well guarded by bunkers. Players will then arrive at the 625-yard Par 5 third hole — the longest hole on the course — where they will need to avoid the bunker on the left with their tee shot and once again face an approach shot into a heavily-bunkered green. These opening three holes are no joke. The 185-yard Par 3 sixth hole plays at 185 yards, but players will need to be extremely accurate off the tee because there is a pond guarding the green and any shots that go short or right will likely end up wet; shots that go left or long will end up in one of two bunkers. On both the 450-yard Par 4 eighth hole and 440-yard Par 4 ninth hole, a well-placed tee shot in the fairway should leave golfers with a fairly short approach shot and possible birdie opportunities.
The back nine features more of the same — an emphasis on well-placed tee shots and approaches into greens guarded by bunkers. One thing you’ll notice about Glen Oaks is there are a ton of bunkers. The 445-yard Par 4 10th hole could give players who start their rounds on the front an opportunity for a three-birdie streak bonus if they avoid the fairway bunkers on the right. Things will really get exciting on the 315-yard Par 4 11th hole — a risk-reward, driveable but dangerous hole. A pond guards the front and left of this hole, so players will need to avoid the water to set themselves up for an eagle opportunity. The 540-yard Par 5 13th hole should be reachable in two by every player in the field — at least those players who avoid the deep fairway bunker on the left. If everything goes well for a player, there’s an opportunity to go three to five under par on holes 11 through 13. The 235-yard Par 3 17th hole is a monster with a large pond protecting the left and bunkers guarding the right and front. The finishing 465-yard Par 4 18th hole will challenge players with a pond left and a heavily-contoured green surrounded by bunkers and rough.
Metrics To Remember
Because Glen Oaks has never hosted a PGA Tour event, I looked at the metrics from four other Par 70 courses that play at similar yardages and have firm greens: Colonial, East Lake, Firestone, and The Old White TPC. This compilation of courses has allowed an average of 51.36 points with a -3.27 Plus/Minus and 45.1 percent Consistency.
Here is how the top-20 percent of golfers in various metrics have done (in Plus/Minus valuation) at these four courses:
- Adj Rd Score: -1.29
- GIR: -5.24
- Driving Distance (DD): -0.09
- Driving Accuracy (DA): -2.47
- Scrambling (SC): -0.69
- Adjusted Birdies Per Tournament (Adj Bird Avg): +1.42
- Adjusted Eagles Per Tournament (Adj Eagle Avg): +1.24
- Adjusted Bogey Percentage (Adj Bog): -5.03
Among the above metrics, Adj Bird Avg (+4.69) and Adj Eagle Avg (+4.51) produced the strongest results compared to the baseline and returned overall positive results. After that, DD (+3.18), SC (+2.58), and Adj Rd Score (+1.98) all had solid results compared to the baseline.
- Adj Rd Score: +0.14
- GIR: +1.21
- DD: +3.28
- DA: +1.76
- SC: +0.12
- Adj Bird Avg: +3.63
Among the recent metrics, all the above produced overall positive results with Adj Bird Avg (+6.90), DD (+6.55), DA (+5.03), and GIR (+4.48) providing a very valuable return.
Because nobody knows if Glen Oaks will actually play like any of these courses, it’s best to take these numbers with a grain of salt.
A Name to Remember
With three events played at the four comparable courses in our database, Xander Schauffele has been an absolute monster, producing a hefty 85.1 DraftKings PPT with a +28.86 Plus/Minus and 100 percent Consistency. Per our PGA Models, he ranks 12th with his 305.6 yard LT DD, and he is tied for 21st in the field with his 60.1 LT SC percentage. Outside of DFS, Schauffele currently has +12,500 odds to win this event, something he did earlier this season at The Greenbrier.