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THE WEEKLY BEAR TRAP - Course Review for the RSM Classic 2019

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  • THE WEEKLY BEAR TRAP - Course Review for the RSM Classic 2019





    JAYALGER’S WEEKLY BEAR TRAP

    “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” – Babe Ruth


    COURSE PREVIEW FOR THE RSM CLASSIC 2019

    The Course - Sea Island Resort, St. Simons Island, GA

    We return back to the U.S. for the final full-field event of the fall swing before a nice break for the most of December. Sea Island Resort has served as the host of the RSM Classic (formally known as the McGladrey Classic) since its inception in 2010. Through 2014, the tournament was played only on the Seaside Course. However, starting on 2015, the event has been played on two courses (the Seaside Course and the Plantation Course). Golfers will get one round on each of the courses on the first two days. After the cut, the Seaside course will host the final two rounds. The Plantation Course is a par-72, 7058-yard course with four par 3s and four par 5s while the Seaside Course is a par-70, 7005-yard course with four par 3s and two par 5s. Hole breakdown is as follows:

    Seaside Course
    Par 3 4
    Par 4 <400 1
    Par 4 400-450 9
    Par 4 450-500 2
    Par 4 >500 0
    Par 5 2
    Total 18


    Plantation Course
    Par 3 4
    Par 4 <400 4
    Par 4 400-450 4
    Par 4 450-500 2
    Par 4 >500 0
    Par 5 4
    Total 18

    Course Data - Seaside (2018)



    Course Data - Plantation (2018)




    Course Stats (Seaside Course)
    • Par 70
    • 7,005 yards
    • Architect - Harry S. Colt and Charles Alison (1929), re-design Tom Fazio
    • Fairways - Bermudagrass ryegrass (easier than average to hit, ~70%)
    • Greens - Bermudagrass with Poa Trivialis (Stimpmeter - 12)
    • GIR ~73% (easier than avg)
    • Ocean-side links-style course open to the coastal winds


    Course Stats (Plantation Course)
    • Par 72
    • 7,058 yards
    • Architect - Harry S. Colt and Charles Alison (1929), re-design Tom Fazio
    • Fairways - Bermudagrass with ryegrass (easier than average to hit, ~70%)
    • Greens - TifEagle Bermudagrass with Poa Trivialis (Stimpmeter - 12)
    • Parkland-style course with smaller greens and more protected from the wind




    Few Observed Stat Trends (based on 2018 data)
    • Both courses are tailored for the shorter, accurate hitters or bombers that club down. The focus should be on the Seaside Course as golfers who make the cut will play Seaside for three rounds.
    • All of the par 5s are the easiest holes on both courses. All of them are until 600 yards with the longest hole at 590 yards (Hole No. 4 - Plantation). The four par 5s on the Plantation Course combined for 2.077 strokes under par last year while the two par 5s combined for 0.827 strokes under par. Furthermore, 44 of the 55 eagles last year were scored on the par 5s with most eagles scored on the final hole of the Plantation Course (20). Needless to say, scoring on the par 5s is essential.
    • There are nine par 4s on the Seaside Course that are between 400-450 yards. However, they are some of the most difficult holes on the course playing over par or just slightly under par last year. On a positive note though, only one of the holes had a bogey rate greater than 20%. Thus, bogey avoidance and making pars will be helpful on these holes.
    • Overall, the Plantation Course played 1.457 strokes under par last year with the front nine playing only slightly easier than the back nine. The Seaside Course played 0.761 strokes under par last year.

    Featured Holes (Plantation)
    • Hole No. 14 - Par 4, 442 yards



    Hole 14 was the toughest hole on the course last year playing 0.153 strokes over par mainly due to the Atlantic winds that always play a factor on this hole. Off the tee, golfers will need to avoid the big oak trees on the right of the fairway but avoid the marshland that extends the entire left side of the fairway up to the bunker-less green. This hole had a bogey or worse rate of over 20% and a birdie rate on only 10%. Par will be a good score here.
    • Hole No. 15 - Par 5, 565 yards



    Fortunately, right after the most difficult hole is the most easiest hole, Hole No. 15 which played 0.548 strokes under par last year. Longer hitters should be able to carry over the left fairway bunker at about 300 yards and allow them to reach the green in two. Shorter hitters will have to stay right of the bunker and lay up to a well protected elevated green by two large bunkers in the front. Birdie rate is slightly over 50%. In addition, there were 16 eagles scored here last year. Golfers need to take advantage of this hole or potentially lose a stroke to the field.

    Closing Hole - Par 4, 470 yards



    This closing hole is a long par 4 which requires both accuracy and length to avoid the large bunkers on both sides of the fairway. Golfers approach shots will need to avoid the two front bunkers protecting this long green stretching from front to back. Last year this hole played closely to par with a birdie rate of only about 15%. Last year Austin Cook was the leader going into Sunday and ran away with the win, birdied this hole to win by four strokes.


    Stay tuned for my Picks.





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