PGA DFS Core Plays - DraftKings & FanDuel: PGA Championship

Top-ranked DFS player, Notorious, breaks down his favorite PGA DFS plays at various salary ranges for the coming week’s golf tournament. Who should you be building around? Find out below.

PGA Championship

As a golf fan, there are few things better than the week of a major championship. We have the year’s second major on tap this week with the PGA Championship. If you are new to PGA DFS, this tournament changes venues each and every year. This year’s stop is Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We aren’t exactly sure how the course is going to play, but it is going to be warm and it is going to be windy.

The Champions Course at Southern Hills is a Par 70 that measures 7,365 yards. There are only two par fives on the scorecard and I doubt we will see many golfers going for these greens in two since the holes measure 632 and 656 yards. One of the major storylines of the course is the width of the fairways. Most PGA Tour stops have fairways that average between 26 and 33 yards wide. The fairways here are 40 yards wide on average. The only venue that comes to mind with larger fairways is the Plantation Course at Kapalua.

Based on early reports, we shouldn’t expect the rough here to be anything like the rough we expect at the U.S. Open. It’s expected to be around 2.5 inches and based on the winter (I’m not an agronomist, so don’t ask me why), they haven’t been able to make the rough as penal as they would like. With this being a long course that features wide fairways and playable rough, the bomber narrative will get talked up all throughout the week. I am personally placing a big weight on strokes gained off the tee and a small weight on driving distance. The fact that there are only two par fives and that most of the field won’t be reaching them in two does negate the distance angle a little.

The fairways are technically tree-lined, but it’s nothing like some of the venues that we see regularly on tour. In fact, they have removed a lot of trees since Tiger Woods won the PGA Championship here in 2007. I personally expect the water hazards to play a much bigger role off the tee than the trees. Based on my count (going hole-by-hole on the PGA Championship website), water appears to be in play on seven of the tee shots and on 13 of the approach shots. The fairways might be wide, but a lot of the streams run right through or alongside many of the holes. For those wondering, the rough and the fairways are both made of bermudagrass.

The greens themselves are small on average (5,200 square feet) and feature pure bentgrass. They are expected to be fast and many feature steep run-off areas. Many have already noted how difficult the greens will be to hit and scrambling will be no easy task this week. If you miss in the wrong spot and your ball catches one of those run-off areas, you’ll be faced with 30-50 yard pitch shots. Does this increase the value of a good short game or does it level the playing field when it comes to around the green play? Only time will be able to answer that question. The greens are also surrounded by deep bunkers, so golfers will have to be precise with their irons.

Ultimately, it’s never a bad idea to target golfers that are solid in all aspects of the game. It’s also never a bad idea to target golfers that have a good track record in majors and golfers that tend to play difficult courses well. Bogey avoidance should be critical this week, as scoring is expected to be difficult. The good news is that with such a strong field, it’s hard to build a lineup that doesn’t look great on paper. As always, I will be around all week to answer any and all questions. Feel free to shoot me a direct message on Twitter or in Discord.

Noto’s Downloadable and Customizable Model for the PGA Championship

Tournament Info

Field Size:

  • 156 golfers

Cut Rule:

  • Top 70 and ties

Key Statistics for the Week

  • Strokes Gained Approach
  • Strokes Gained Off the Tee
  • Strokes Gained Around the Green
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • Experience in Majors

Weather Forecasts

Hole Yardage Specialists (based on holes at Southern Hills)

  • Jon Rahm
  • Collin Morikawa
  • Scottie Scheffler
  • Patrick Cantlay
  • Sungjae Im

PGA DFS Core Plays

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About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.

  • pkliefoth

    Who are the best “Strokes Gained: Wind” players?! Tough to pinpoint stats on that but i heard (a while back) Brandel on the golf channel talk about how Rory is pretty mediocre in the wind b/c he hits it so high. Do you have a feel for who the good wind players are?

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