Seaside Course Key Fantasy Stats

The RSM Classic

November 21st – 24th, 2019

Seaside Course

Sea Island, GA

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,005

Purse: $6.6 million

with $1,118,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Charles Howell III

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:

This is based on the most vital stats from the Seaside Course at the Sea Island Resort based on data from last year’s RSM Classic and using data from all the players in the field with stats from this year.
The Seaside Course at the Sea Island Resort has been the home of the RSM Classic since the tournament was started in 2010. It’s one of those gems that has been around since the early 1930s and renovated in 1999. It’s a true Scottish Links that is close to the Atlantic with plenty of ocean views along with windy conditions that give the players something that isn’t experienced much on the PGA Tour. In order to get a full field of 156 players with limited daylight this time of year, in 2016 the tournament used the neighboring Plantation Course for one of the four rounds, so 54 of the 72 holes are played on the Seaside Course. For this statistical look, we will use just stats from the Seaside course. The course has bermudagrass all through it with a 72.3 rating and a slope of 137.

Last year the course played to a 69.84 average score (a quarter shot under its par 70) and was the 33rd toughest course of the 52 courses used last year. (the plantation course, used for one round played to a 70.45 average but since it’s a par 72, it was a shot and a half under par and was the 45th hardest course) the wind is an important factor if the course will play tough or not, in 2017 the course played to a 68.89 average, the lowest the course has ever played, one of the reasons is the benign conditions due to the lack of wind. In 2014 when the wind blew, the course played to a 70.25 scoring average the hardest it has ever played. Conditions for this week are calling for very little wind on Thursday and Friday but picking up over the weekend to 11 mph with showers on Saturday.

This course is a lot like British Open rota courses. Just like at Royal Portrush over the summer, each day had wind of 10 to 18 mph which made the course play tougher. But the summer before at Carnoustie the wind was up but not bad and the year before at Royal Birkdale, lack of wind helps make the course a bit of a pushover for players since the fairways are very generous with very little rough. So with the yardage being short, the greens are easy targets as a lot of birdies are made on a course that only has two par 5s. In looking at the nine winners of this event one thing is striking, before last year’s winner Charles Howell III the previous eight winners weren’t long hitters and weren’t very straight off the tee. Example of that was 2018 winner Austin Cook, he was 88th in Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee as he ranked 130th in driving distance and 22nd in fairway accuracy The same for shotmaking, of the eight past champions there isn’t one that you can say is repeatedly a great ball striker. But that changed last year as Howell was T-49th in Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee and was 32nd in driving distance and 88th in fairway accuracy. The same for shotmaking, Howell is probably one of the great shotmakers. Still despite Howell breaking the mode a bit last year if you look at some stats that do stick out of the champions around and on the greens, we think that this is still important so below is a look at the last six winners and how they ranked in those key stats on or around the greens for the week:

  • Scrambling
    2014 – Chris Kirk was 5th
    2015 – Robert Streb was 25th
    2016 – Kevin Kisner was 3rd
    2017 – Mac Hughes was 2nd
    2018 – Austin Cook was T-1st
    2019 – Charles Howell III was T-70th
  • Strokes gained putting
    2014 – Chris Kirk was 11th
    2015 – Robert Streb was 2nd
    2016 – Kevin Kisner was 3rd
    2017 – Mac Hughes was 3rd
    2018 – Austin Cook was 13th
    2019 – Charles Howell was 24th
  • Overall putting average
    2014 – Chris Kirk was 10th
    2015 – Robert Streb was T-1st
    2016 – Kevin Kisner was 3rd
    2017 – Mac Hughes was 1st
    2018 – Austin Cook was T-12th
    2019 – Charles Howell was T-54th
  • One-putts
    2014 – Chris Kirk was T-27th
    2015 – Robert Streb was T-1st
    2016 – Kevin Kisner was 3rd
    2017 – Mac Hughes was 1st
    2018 – Austin Cook was T-8th
    2019 – Charles Howell was T-45th
  • Putting inside 10 feet
    2014 – Chris Kirk was T-33rd
    2015 – Robert Streb was T-6th
    2016 – Kevin Kisner was T-8th
    2017 – Mac Hughes was 26th
    2018 – Austin Cook was T-34th
    2019 – Charles Howell was T-53rd
  • The average distance of putts made
    2014 – Chris Kirk was 10th
    2015 – Robert Streb was 3rd
    2016 – Kevin Kisner was 5th
    2017 – Mac Hughes was 1st
    2018 – Austin Cook was T-17th
    2019 – Charles Howell was 17th
  • One other stat that we feel is important is something that is rarely looked at but should on this course, Strokes Gained Total which basically looks at all the number of strokes for the player on the same course and event
    2014 – Chris Kirk was 1st
    2015 – Robert Streb was T-1st
    2016 – Kevin Kisner was 1st
    2017 – Mac Hughes was T-2nd
    2018 – Austin Cook was 1st
    2019 – Charles Howell was T-13th

So, unfortunately, Howell has broken things up a bit, but that happens in golf and you have to believe that what has happened so many times in the past will happen again this year.

So in looking at our four categories, we are putting a lot of efficiencies in those stats around and on the greens. I would love to use the average distance of putts made, but that and all of the Strokes Gained stats are incomplete since half the courses played this year didn’t have full stats. So we are sticking with some conventional stats for this week, our first stat is overall putting average because this is the most important stat that everyone has figures on showing who is putting the best. last year on the Seaside Course it ranked T-6th on the PGA Tour. Our 2nd stat is scrambling because again the past winners showed the importance of this stat and it ranked 17th best on the PGA Tour last year. The third category that we are using is greens hit, this shows the importance of making sure to hit greens, it ranked 43rd last year. Our last category is birdie average because it’s important to make a lot of them last year the Seaside course averaged 3.77 birdies per round and ranked T-28th last year.

*Overall putting average: Average number of putts when you divide total putts by total holes played.

*Scrambling: Who gets it up and down the most of anyone in the field

*Greens in Regulation: How many greens are hit from the fairway.

*Birdie Average: Who averages the most birdies per round

148 of the 156 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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