Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: RBC Canadian Open

The RBC Canadian Open returns to Hamilton Golf and Country Club for the first time since 2012. What can the field expect this week?

The RBC Canadian Open returns to Hamilton Golf and Country Club for the first time since 2012, with some of the biggest names in the sport tuning up before the third major of the season next week at Pebble Beach.

The 6,966-yard par 70 hosts the event for the sixth time overall and the first since 2012. The Canadian Open layout includes both the West Course (front nine) and South Course (back nine). The course was designed in 1914 and is one of the highest rated courses in the country.

Since that 2012 edition, the course has undergone a major tree removal renovation to return to its original open layout. Golfers who took part back then will find much different looks off the tees this week.

The Canadian Open has traditionally been the follow-up to the Open Championship, but it's been moved up from July as part of the schedule overhaul and now serves as the lead-in event to the U.S. Open. Defending champ Dustin Johnson is in the field once again, as is last year’s U.S. Open winner, Brooks Koepka and FedEx Cup points leader Matt Kuchar.

The early forecast shows some rain mid-week, but that should be gone by first tee, and the early wave on Thursday may get some especially soft conditions.

Let's dig into the course and see what stats we can use to build our daily fantasy lineups this week.

Course and Tournament Info

Course: Hamilton Golf and Country Club
Par: 70
Distance: 6,966 yards
Tees/Fairways/Rough: Bentgrass everywhere, poa on the fairways and tees, Kentucky bluegrass/ryegrass/fescue in rough
Greens: Bentgrass with poa annua

SeasonParYardageAverageO/U Par AvgRank

History is pretty sparse here obviously, and even from a few years ago the strength of the average Tour golfer has drastically risen (to say nothing of the equipment improvements). But suffice it to say, the course is no pushover and certainly has some potential to get tricky.

The greens are on the slow side and with rain in the forecast leading up to the tournament, conditions should end up friendly for the most part. In the article linked above, the course superintendent notes that the severity of the slope on the greens can make finding pin placements difficult. If the pins are too easy, scores in the low 60s are very much in play, but if scoring gets out of control, the course can find some treacherous pins to even the playing field.

Scott Piercy won in 2012 at 17-under par, and multiple golfers shot at least 64 in every round. Watch out for fireworks this week.

Key Stats

These stats will be key to success at the RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf and Country Club.

Key Stats for the RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton GC&C
Strokes Gained: Tee to Green
Strokes Gained: Approach
Birdies or Better Gained
Strokes Gained: Par 4s (400-450 yards)
Strokes Gained: Par 5s

Without much of a sample but some indication that the course will be friendly for scoring, deferring the tee to green play that is sustained over a long period of time is the safest place to start. This will point to golfers who are either solid all-around players or so strong at one skill that it bolsters their overall stats.

Likewise, zeroing in on approach play helps focus on skills that sustain over time and can be at least somewhat predictive. Even though it is a shorter course, long iron play was more important than you’d think. At least in 2012, this wasn’t a drive and pitch fest. However, the tree removal may make many bombers more bold and really open up the scoring. Focus on overall approach stats rather than proximity ranges.

Birdie-makers get the edge over grinders with the expected scoring. Seven of the par 4s fall between 400-450 yards and gaining on these holes will be essential to climb the leaderboard. That said, it is far more important to take advantage of the par 5s to maintain scoring pace with the leaders. The field will only get a crack at two par 5s each day and failing to capitalize on those opportunities will likely be too costly to overcome.

Course History Studs

Piercy and 2006 champion at Hamilton, Jim Furyk, are both in the field this week. The 2003 edition was won by Bob Tway and, well, Kevin Tway is in the field at least.

Others finishing in the top 25 in 2012 that are also in the field: Scott Stallings, Bud Cauley, Ryan Palmer, J.B. Holmes, Brendon Todd, Brian Harman, and Josh Teater

Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.