PGA DFS: How Much Does Event and Course History Matter?
The PGA DFS industry has steadily gained momentum. Last July, PGA Tour and DraftKings announced a multi-year partnership. This was huge news for the DFS industry, as it will provide the Tour with another opportunity to engage fans and grow the game. We can expect bigger cash prizes and even various PGA Tour prizes down the road in DraftKings contests.
PGA DFS is the best bang for your buck. Unlike other sports, each DFS contest is spread out over four days. Your golfer is guaranteed at least two rounds, and the multi-day sweat is second to none. This is one advantage DFS golf has on its competitors. However, assembling that cash-winning lineup is no easy task. The first thing to look at before each event should be course history.
Many sites, including Data Golf and Saber DFS, offer free course history databases for every single event on Tour. This is something to take advantage of prior to setting your DFS lineups each week. A golfer’s course history at a particular event often has a strong correlation with how they will play that certain week.
While the world’s highest-ranked golfers will usually turn in a strong showing, they too can have bad course histories at certain events. For example, Rickie Fowler, the world’s 27th-ranked golfer, really struggles at the Farmers Insurance Open. Despite Farmers Insurance being a sponsor of Fowler’s, he hasn’t finished better than 66th at the event in five years. The added pressure of being in the spotlight could factor into his struggles, or the course simply does not set up well for his eye.
Kevin Streelman’s success at Pebble Beach is another good example of why course history matters. Despite being 91st in the official world golf ranking, Streelman has five straight top-20 finishes at the ATT Pebble Beach event. What makes him set up so well for Pebble Beach? Well, for one, it’s one of the shortest courses on Tour. While Streelman is one of the shorter hitters on Tour, he is also one of the most accurate. He doesn’t lose any advantage off the tee and can attack the course with his elite irons (27th in strokes gained: approach, in 2019).
Having success at a certain course can give a golfer a huge mental edge heading into an event. For example, Andrew Landry, the winner of the American Express in 2020 (formerly known as the CareerBuilder Challenge), also had a runner-up finish at the course in 2018. Landry had five missed cuts before his win this year. It goes to show that recent form isn’t everything, and golfers can feed off of their prior success at a particular course.
Course history can give you an edge on the competition. If you are having a hard time deciding between a couple of players, always pick the golfer with a better course history. DFS Golf is no easy task, and you need to do all the research you can to try to get that big GPP win someday.