Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Safeway Open

The 2018-19 PGA season kicks off at Silverado this week. What should you know about the course?

The 2018-19 season is already on the verge. Golf has no offseason. Gondor needs no king. Er. Golf needs no offseason.

Silverado Resort and Spa North is still relatively new on the PGA Tour calendar, but we've got four years of data to work with with the course.

Let's dig in and start the swing season.

Course and Tournament Info

Course: Silverado Resort and Spa North
Par: 72
Distance: 7,166 yards
Fairways: Bermuda
Greens: Poa Annua

The course is a short par 72 with poa greens, but it hasn't been a pushover necessarily. It's played under par, on average, each year that it's been a PGA host, but it's been about middling in terms of course difficulty each season.

Year Difficulty Rank Par Yards Avg Score Avg O/U Par
2018 23 72 7,166 71.757 -0.243
2017 36 72 7,166 70.827 -1.173
2016 33 72 7,203 71.107 -0.893
2015 25 72 7,203 71.704 -0.296

The past winners have all been at least 15 under par, with Brendan Steele shooting an 18 under two years ago. Steele is a two-time defending champion at this course. The other two winners were Emiliano Grillo and Sang-Moon Bae (-15).

How did they -- and other strong performers at Silverado -- get there?

Key Stats

These stats stand out as the most important for success at Silverado in our four-year sample.

Key Stats for the Safeway Open at Silverado
Strokes Gained: Approach
Greens in Regulation
Driving Distance
Birdie or Better Rate
Strokes Gained Putting on Poa

Strokes gained: approach makes the cut, as per usual. This is a course where ball-strikers can get ahead, so strokes gained approach and strokes gained: off the tee are in play, though one area of driving looks to be more important than the other.

Via FantasyGolfMetrics, driving accuracy hasn't been super relevant here in the past -- though driving distance has. Golfers finishing top-25 here in the past four years average a shade under 300 yards on their drives, while those missing the cut are around 292, a pretty big split relative to the differential at most courses.

Greens in regulation rates for the top 25 here are 73.4% in this split, via FantasyGolfMetrics. That's 63.8% for the trunk-slammers. Getting into scoring position matters.

The poa greens can give us a bit of an edge. Predicting who will putt well is nigh impossible, but using the surface splits come in handy. You can see some of the top poa putters on Future of Fantasy.

Course History Studs

Via FantasyGolfMetrics, Phil Mickelson has the most strokes gained at this course among golfers in the field who have more than one event over the past four years. Mickelson was third here last year and eighth in 2016, via Smart Golf Bets.

Steele, of course, is near the top, and he comes in second among the field in total strokes gained at Silverado. Steele has won back-to-back here and also finished 17th and 21st at Silverado.

Sang-Moon Bae is in the field this week, and Bae won here in 2014 but didn't play this event again until last year, when he missed the cut. That was his return from a mandatory stint of military duty in South Korea.

Grillo is the other former winner, and he followed up his victory with a 26th and 28th the next two years.

Chez Reavie made the cut all four years, starting with a 53rd and improving to 17th, 22nd, and 13th. Ryan Moore was 10th in 2015 and 17th in 2017.