Why play Fantasy Golf?
Simply put, Golf is one of the most suited sports out there to Fantasy and especially Daily Fantasy, for a number of reasons
– If you’re into your stats, golf is a treasure trove. Everything is measured, and everything can be used to gain an edge over the competition
– The season is pretty much year-round, so there’s a PGA Tour event almost every week to entertain you. Virtually every event starts on a Thursday and ends on a Sunday, so it’s easy to schedule your research and entries. In most countries, every event is fully televised.
– There are generally 144-156 players to choose from each week, meaning almost no duplicated lineups or ties in the money spots. With so many combinations of players to choose from it’s excellent for entering multiple lineups, and gives you endless selection options.
– The factors that influence golf performance each week are very wide. From the course architecture, player form, weather, field strength and more. Golf research and lineup creation will never get boring because you’re never likely to pick the same team twice.
– The cut after 36 holes, where the bottom half of the field drop out, means the sweat on a Friday evening is just as fun as the final round on a Sunday evening. There are not many better feelings than getting 6/6 through the weekend!
How simple is it to make a team?
In a word, very! Each week all you do is pick 6 golfers to make up your team with a 100m budget. Pick one of your players to be your captain and receive a 1.25x multiplier.
Fanteam Golf’s unique fantasy feature is the ‘Underdog’, where your lowest priced player automatically gets set as your Underdog and also gets a 1.25x multiplier.
Each week there’s a ‘Main Event’ tournament that spans all 4 rounds of an event. Sometimes, we also run single-round contests for rounds 2, 3 and 4. The difference will be clearly marked on the contest pages.
What happens next?
Every PGA Tour event covers 4 rounds, one a day from Thursday to Sunday. Every player will play the first two rounds, after which there is a cut. This is generally the top 65 players and ties that continue through to the weekend, the rest go home.
The target if you want to make the big money spots is to get at least 5, and ideally all 6, of your golfers through the cut. The remaining players then play rounds 3 and 4 over the weekend, racking up as many fantasy points as they can for your teams.
There are a few events that will differ slightly in format, such as no cut events and cuts made after round 3, including this week’s American Express Tournament, but the aim remains the same. Pick the players you think will finish high up the leaderboard.
Tell me about scoring
Golf scoring is understandably confusing if you’re completely new to Golf, but once you learn the lingo it’s actually relatively simple. The above graphic shows all Fanteam’s scoring metrics, which combine to make up your player’s fantasy score. Here’s a bit more detail on each one:
– Par is the number of shots a player is expected to take on a hole. For example, on a Par 4 a player is expected to get a Par.
– Birdie is one better than par (e.g. getting a 3 on a Par 4) and is rewarded well.
– Rarer is an Eagle, which is two shots below par and provides even more points.
– Rarest of all is ‘Better than Eagle’ which is either a hole-in-one, a 2 on a Par 5. These are super rare, 10 fantasy points are yours if a player gets one!
– On the flipside if a player takes more shots than Par they’re punished with minus points. A Bogey is one worse than Par, a Double Bogey two worse, and a Triple Bogey or more being the ultimate punishment for your teams.
– ‘No dropped shots in round’ means your player achieves par or better on every hole in a round, and nets you bonus points.
– ‘3 consecutive birdies or better’ is exactly as it suggests, your player beats par on 3 consecutive holes.
– ‘Round of 64 or better’ is rewarded when your player takes 64 or less shots to complete an entire round. Par is generally between 70 and 72, so they need a lot of birdies to achieve this rare feat!
– ‘All 4 rounds sub-70’ means all 4 of your player’s rounds were completed in 69 shots or less.
– ‘Bounce Back’ is awarded when a player follows a Bogey with a Birdie or Better. We reward this as golfers generally struggle to put bad holes behind them, so ‘bouncing back’ quickly is a skill to master in this sport!
– Placement points’ are awarded for your player’s finishing position in the tournament. The winner naturally gets the most, and we award these pints all the way down to 60th place.
Note – the points shown above are all included in single-round contests as well as the tournament-long ones, apart from ‘Finishing Position’ and ‘All 4 Rounds sub-70’ which are for tournament-long contests only.
So how do I pick my players?
Now you understand the basics and scoring, it’s time to think about how to pick your team.
The best advice we can give initially is to take advice from experienced players. You wouldn’t learn the mechanics of a car, then just go out onto the open road on day one without an instructor!
There’s a tonne of content out there that provide tournament insights, player picks, and a good dose of comedy along the way. These DFS Darlings will explain the reasoning behind their selections, so over time you’ll not only borrow their picks but also be able to understand the thought processes behind them. Always more fun to do your own research, learning from the best can get you to that point quickly.
Here’s some of our favourites, all easily findable via google or an app store:
Podcasts / Videos
Search your favourite Podcast providers (e.g. Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher) for these gems:
The Pat Mayo Experience (@ThePME) – The OG of DFS Golf coverage, Pat produces at least 3(!) shows each week previewing PGA Tour events from a stats, betting and fantasy perspective, in depth video and audio form.
Rick Gehman (@RickRunGood) produces the 300 Yards to Unknown podcast that, like Pat, does in depth previews shows of each week’s events. Rick is also part of the First Cut podcast which creates 6 shows a week, including a run down of each round.
Both can be found in Podcast format and on YouTube
Tour Junkies (@Tour_Junkies) produce a highly comedic couple of shows full of great PGA Tour insight each week.
John Haslbauer – produces an in-depth course preview of each PGA Tournament, including the field, format, trends and much more.
Steve Rawlings – produces a brilliant, comprehensive guide to each PGA Tournament along with picks. Find him @SteveThePunter on twitter, or via the Betfair blog here, where you can also find further great golf writing.
Ben Coley (@BenColeyGolf) and Dave Tindall (@DaveTindallGolf) both write for various places each week, check out their Twitter for links to excellent articles.
There are many more out there, most of which have written content alongside an audio version including No laying Up & Fantasy Golf Degenerates,)
Many sites out there provide Golf Stats, Ownership Projections, and Line-up Generators. Most are behind paywalls, but there are plenty of free trials to be had.
RickRunGood – Incredibly detailed stat database that includes his Cheat Sheat, Power Rankings, Individual Player Profiles & Custom Model. Also new this year is his Season Game section.
Fantasy National Golf Club – The OG, and one of the world’s best customisable stat database for golf. If you like a good spreadsheet then FNGC is like heaven. Also has a ‘dark mode’ so you can research golf whilst ‘working’.
FanShare Pro – There are loads of data points to be found on FanShare Pro as well as ownership trends, aggregated industry sentiment, golfer profiles and a customizable lineup generator.
Awesemo – plenty of free content, plus some really neat tools to optimise your picks behind the paywall.
I want to do my own research
Fancy diving straight in on your own? Well you’re going to be getting into the stats my friend. Alongside the awesome sites above, the PGA Tour itself is a treasure trove of statistics. These are broken down by year and will have different importance at each course. Here’s an explanation of some of the key ones to focus in on:
Driving Distance – This is simply the distance a player hits their tee shots. Some courses suit players who can absolutely mash the ball, the higher their driving distance the more advantage they have for their next shot.
Driving accuracy – Other courses demand a more gentile approach. Driving accuracy measures how often a player keeps their ball on the straight and narrow, avoiding the long grass and any waiting sand traps.
Greens in regulation – Tells you how often a player gets their ball to the green in an expected amount of strokes. Players with a high GIR percentage face less tricky chip or bunker shots.
Scrambling – When a player does miss the green with their approach shot, they’ll need to scramble. Effectively it means they need to chip, then putt their way out of trouble. Some players have magic hands in this department, others have real trouble with the short game!
Birdie or Better – This measures how often a player makes a birdie, or better, on holes. As birdies and eagles are greatly rewarded in DFS, you want players who love to make the low numbers regularly. A more volatile player with a lot of birdies and some bogeys, is more use for DFS than a player who pars almost every hole.
Strokes gained metrics – These relatively new stats take a lot of the above factors, and compare them across all competitors at an event. For example ‘Strokes Gained Approach’ measures how good a player’s second shots on each hole have been relative to his completion.
Anything else I should consider?
There are a few more factors to consider in golf:
– Course type: The PGA Tour visits different courses every week, and where they’re playing can have a big impact on which players you’re going to want. Some players love wide-open, long courses where they can hit it as far as they can, taking advantage of their raw power. Other courses are tighter and require a more accurate player who keeps things tidy and straight.
– Grass type: Courses can have different grasses e.g. Bent, POA, Bermuda, which are preferred or reviled by different players. This is a relatively minor factor to consider, but especially in putting certain players excel on certain surfaces.
– Weather: Some players love a windy day, others hit their ball super-high and therefore tend to get blown away in tough conditions. It’s always worth knowing what kind of weather your players have had success in.
– Course history: Most tournaments use the same course every year, meaning players build up a ‘course history’. It’s highly debated in the Fantasy Golf community how much course history should be factored in, but there are definitely certain players who perform well at a venue year in, year out.
– Player form: As with most sports players can dip in and out of good form. It’s always worth seeing how players have done over the previous few tournaments, the last thing you want is a team full of players who’ve been on a bad run for months on end!
Tips and Tricks
Here’s some well-known, but often crucial advice from our Fantasy Golf Experts:
-Getting 5 or ideally 6 players through the cut is essential to a good finish. Keep an eye on a player’s ‘cuts made’ stats to ensure you have as much chance going into the weekend as possible.
– Birdies are key in racking up scoring points. Take volatile players who trade birdies for bogeys all day, rather than a ‘steady Eddie’ who rarely scores anything other than par.
-Your Underdog gets a 1.25x multiplier, and so makes up a decent chunk of your team’s total points. Many will choose to take mid-priced golfers in order to have a relatively strong Underdog player.
– Auto-complete can be your friend. Our auto-complete feature is especially suited to golf given a large number of potential lineups, and the volatility of player performance. If you’re in a rush don’t be scared to auto-complete your team, you might just get lucky!
Fanteam’s Keys to Fantasy Golf success
1. Use the knowledge of others (content, podcasts, stat sites) before branching out on your own
2. Consider multiple lineups to give yourself a good shot at a strong team going into the weekend
3. Give us a shout if you want any further explanations on stats, fantasy format, or anything golf related! @FanteamGolf
The Fanteam Crew