PGA National Key Fantasy Stats

Honda Classic

February 28th – March 3rd, 2019

PGA National Champion Course

Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,125

Purse: $6.8 million

with $1,224,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Justin Thomas

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:

This is based on the most important stats for PGA National Champion Course, based on data from last years Honda Classic, and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2019. What we do is take their rank for each stat and then add up the four categories.
The scoring average of the field at PGA National in 2018 was 72.30, making it the 2nd hardest course to score on in 2018. In 2017 it played at a 70.56 average, almost two shots a round easier and that is because of the wind, Thursday through Saturday had gusts up to 30 mph with gusts up to 25 mph on Sunday. This makes sense compared to other years of high winds, in 2016 the course played to a 71.77 average, fifth hardest and in 2015 it played to a 71.83 average, 4th hardest. In looking at PGA National, the wind is what protects the course to low scores. This year players will get a break from the wind as it won’t get over 10 mph on any of the days as the course will be playing fast and dry all week. So look for lower scores this year.

In looking at the stats for PGA National last year Greens hit, Rough Proximity to hole and Scrambling are essential. Last year the course ranked 4th in greens hit with a 57.05 average. Winner Justin Thomas was T-14th in greens hit, but in 2016, winner Adam Scott was 1st in greens hit. Now hitting fairways isn’t that important, the course ranked 23rd last year while Thomas was T-60th in fairways hit (Thomas led in driving distance and was 1st in Strokes Gained – Tee-to-Green). But the importance comes when you miss the fairways, the course has very tough Bermuda rough with perennial ryegrass is some of the hardest to get out of, last year the course ranked 9th in getting it close to the hole from the rough, while Thomas had a tough time ranking 46th. Our third stat is scrambling last year PGA National was the 8th hardest on tour while Thomas shined on this stat as he was the best of anyone in the field in scrambling.
Last we pick Par Breakers because in the past it’s hard to make a lot of birdies and eagles. Last year PGA National had 1,102 birdies and eagles for the week and averaged 14.07. Only one course had a worst birdie/eagle average, Shinnecock Hills with a 10.92 average. In comparison, Keene Trace which holds the Barbasol was the easiest course in making birdies/eagles with a 25.21 average. As for Thomas last year he was T-4th in par breakers making 15 birdies for the week. So in looking at why Justin Thomas won last year you can see why and that is some of the traits in looking for a winner this year.

Now in looking at our chart of all the players, remember that this week they are moving from the west coast to the east coast (via Mexico which the course had the characteristics of the West Coast swing ) with entirely different conditions and grasses, so even though some players didn’t do well in the last eight weeks, things will be entirely different the next four weeks.


*Greens in Regulation: Since the greens average 6,400 square feet normally they would be easy to hit. But since there is a lot of undulation, hitting it to the perfect place is important. Last year on the PGA Tour, the greens of PGA National were the 4th hardest to hit, while in 2017 they were the 15th hardest and in 2016 they were the 12th hardest to hit. This has been the norm for PGA National, in 2015 it ranked 6th, in 2014 it ranked 18th, but in 2013 5th, in 2012 11th and 6th in 2011. So a player that hits lots of greens will have an advantage.

*Rough Proximity: How close you can get the ball on the green when your in the rough off the tee, last year PGA National finished 9th while the year before it was 8th and in 2016 it was 3rd in this stat.

*Scrambling: No matter how good your game is, missing greens always happens so it’s important to salvage par. Last year PGA National ranked 8th hardest while last year it was the 15th hardest. In 2016 it was 5th hardest in scrambling while in 2015 it was 7th hardest so it’s a hard stat for players on this course.

*Par Breakers: The course is so demanding that making a lot of birdies and eagles aren’t possible. So players that are able to make a lot will do well on this course which ranked 2nd last year. In 2017 it ranked T-18th, it was 8th in 2016 and 5th in this stat on tour in 2015.

132 of the 144 players from this year’s field with stats from this year:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

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