Genesis Scottish Open Key Fantasy Stats

Genesis Scottish Open

July 11th – 14th, 2024

The Renaissance Club

North Berwick, Scotland

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,237

Purse: $9 million

with $1,620,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Rory McIlroy

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:

This is based on The Renaissance Club’s key stats, using combined data since the course was first used in 2019. The history of the Scottish Open is fuzzy; it was first played at Gleneagles in 1935 and won by Percy Alliss, the father of ABC Sports and BBC commentator Peter Alliss. It was played again in 1936 but was sketchy afterward. When the European Tour was formed in the early 70s, one of its original events was the Sunbeam Electric Scottish Open, played in Downfield and won by Neil Coles. It moved to St. Andrews in 1973 but wasn’t played again until 1986 when it resurfaced at Haggs Castle. In 1987, it moved to Gleneagles and played there til 1994, when it moved to Carnoustie for two years and then Loch Lomond between 1999 and 2010. Between 2011 and 2018, it was played at Castle Stuart, Royal Aberdeen, Dundonald, and Gullane. It moved to The Renaissance Club in 2019. In 2022, it became a co-sanctioned event with the PGA Tour, so we have significant data on the event in 2022 & ’23 and some data from the European Tour from the 2019 through 2021 events.
Now, the charm of the course is that it is very playable when the wind doesn’t blow, but when it does, it’s tough. An example is that in windless years, the winners played the course in 22 under 2018 and 18 under in 2021. However, in windy, cold conditions in 2020 (the event was played in October because of COVID-19), Aaron Rai’s winning score was 11 under par. In 2022, windy conditions made the course play tough as Schauffele was 7 under par. The following year, the winds weren’t as bad on Thursday and Friday, but they blew at 20 mph on Saturday and 30 mph on Sunday, with gusts of 40 mph. Rory McIlroy won with a score of 15 under. So that is the nature of Links Golf and The Renaissance Club. It is very attainable in no wind, but in windy conditions, it is a really tough test.

Renaissance stats when it was just a European Tour event:
It’s a modern links course, and the winners must play all the shots in any conditions. In the 2019, ’20, and ’21 stats, the most important stat is not hitting lots of fairways and greens but putting. In fairways hit, 2019 champion Bernd Wiesberger ranked T-22nd, 2020 winner Aaron Rai ranked T-17th, while 2021 winner Min Woo Lee ranked T-56th. Greens hit was important but nothing spectacular. In 2019, winner Bernd Wiesberger ranked T-21st in greens hit. In 2020, winner Aaron Rai ranked T-3rd, while Min Woo Lee was T-31st in 2021. So, how did these three win? Putting. In 2019, Wiesberger ranked T-31st in number of putts. In 2020, Rai ranked T-31st, while Lee was 2nd in 2022. So the point is, The Renaissance isn’t a course for shotmakers or even bombers. It’s a course that the average player can do well on.

Some conclusions on The Renaissance Club
This is a course that you can overpower. You have to make sure to keep it in the fairway, but they are wide and generous. The greens are average length and have undulation in them, but they are very fair and aren’t as fast as many American courses. The fairways at Pinehurst could be almost as fast as the greens at The Renaissance, but this isn’t to detract from the course. With the weather conditions, sometimes having fast greens could be unfair.
Now we have shotlink data of the players and how Renaissance did stats-wise for 2022 and last year. Par for the course is 71, with just three par 5s. The course is not terribly long at 7,293 yards and rolls down to the Firth of Forth. There are some trees that protect some of the holes one to four, but after that, the course is susceptible to winds.
2023 the course averaged 69.68 (one and a half shots under par), making it the 20th hardest course on the PGA Tour. In 2022, the course played to a 71.73 average (three-quarters of a shot over par due to winds), making it the 5th hardest course on tour that year. So we have a lot of good news for the players. It is going to rain every day from today through Saturday. With mostly cloudy skies, Sunday will not be as bad as each day will be just under 60 degrees. But the good news is hardly any winds; Thursday will be ten mph, but Friday will be nine mph, Saturday six mph, and going up to nine mph on Sunday. So, combining wet conditions and not winds will create record-breaking scores for the week.

The Renaissance Club is only that demanding of a course with wind. It will help if a player can hit it hard, long, and straight. In looking at the data for the last two years in 2023, the course averaged 295.4 yards for all drives, the 28th longest course on the PGA Tour. In 2022, they only measured a couple of holes, and the course averaged 299.3 yards, the 25th longest course of the year. In 2023, winner Rory McIlory’s average drive was 316.2 yards, ranked the longest of the field that year. In 2022, winner Xander Schauffele’s average drive was 310.5 yards on the holes measured, and he ranked 16th.
One key to playing well at The Renaissance Club is hitting the greens.

In 2023, the field hit 65.22% of the greens and ranked 24th out of 58 courses ranked that year. Winner Rory McIlroy hit 50 of 72 greens and ranked T-24th.
In 2022, the field hit 59.34% of the greens, making it the 8th hardest course out of 50 for the year. Winner Xander Schauffele hit 51 of 72 greens and ranked 5th.

So here we go with our four key categories. Our first key stat is Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green because you have to do well in this stat to win.
*2023 – The field hit an average of 65.22% of the greens and ranked 24th, while the field hit 52.95% of the fairways and ranked 12th. Winner Rory McIlroy hit 27 of the 56 fairways, which was T-28th. He hit 50 of 72 greens and ranked T-24th. For the week, McIlroy was 1st in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green, gaining 3.169 shots.
*2022 – The field hit an average of 59.34% of the greens and ranked 8th, while the field hit 48.75% of the fairways and ranked 3rd. Winner Xander Schauffele hit 25 of the 56 fairways, which was T-34th. He hit 51 of 72 greens and ranked T-5th.

Scrambling is our second key stat, mainly because of the history of many missed greens and the severity of getting it up and down. At The Renaissance Club, the course is adamant about getting it up and down, and historically, we can see those that do well, scramble well.
*2023 – Only 51.07% of the missed greens got up and down, making The Renaissance the 39th of 58 courses to get up and down on. Winner Rory McIlroy had a tough time getting it up and down as he only got it up and down on 14 of the 22 greens he missed, which ranked 14th.
*2022 – Only 53.62% of the greens the field missed, got it up and down, making The Renaissance the 9th hardest course to get up and down on. Winner Xander Schauffele did much worse at getting it up and down as he only got it up and down on 9 of the 21 greens he missed, which ranked 69th.

Another essential skill for success is putting. For our third category, we chose to make putts inside 10 feet.
That stat was only used in 2023, so we need a historical reference for proving this. The best stat is the overall putting average, which has some things that could be improved since many greens are missed.
*2023, the course ranked 2nd in Putting inside ten feet, as 86.03% of the field made putts in this range. Rory McIlroy was T-48th in putting inside ten feet as he made 60 of 77 putts in this range.
*2022, the course ranked 20th in Overall Putting average and 12 in Putting average. Winner Xander Schauffele took 117 putts (29.25 per round) and ranked T-21st.

Our final category is one in which players must find a way to make birdies and eagles to score well. Birdies and eagles are very dear at the Genesis Scottish Open, so Par Breakers, which is making eagles and birdies, is significant for The Renaissance.
So here is a look at the Par Breakers for the Genesis Scottish Open and winners at the Renaissance:
*2023 – 1,532 birdies were made, making it the 36th hardest out of 58 courses. Now for eagles, 31 eagles were made for the week, the 17th most of the 58 courses. So that meant that the field averaged 18.80% under par holes, and it was the 15th hardest on the PGA Tour for 2023.
Winner Rory McIlroy made 22 birdies (best) and one eagle, playing 31.94% of his holes under par and ranking T-1st in Par Breakers.
*2022 – 1,234 birdies were made, the 21st most of all 50 courses for the year. Now, 27 eagles were made for the week, the 22nd best on the PGA Tour for the year. So that meant that the field averaged 15.16% under par holes, and it was the 3rd lowest figure on the PGA Tour for 2022.
Winner Xander Schauffele made 17 birdies (3rd best) and one eagle, as 25.00% of the holes were under par, ranking him T-2nd in Par Breakers.
So, the winner will have to make a fair share of birdies and eagles.

*Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green: This stat is a great barometer of how players are playing from tee to green, taking a combination of driving distance, driving accuracy, greens hit, and proximity to the hole.

*Scrambling: Which course is hard to get up and down on holes where players miss the greens? Since all the areas around the greens are mowed short and players are left with really hard shots to get it close, scrambling is important. You are not going to be perfect, so you need to make sure you can make pars from some tough spots.

*Putt inside 10 feet: Very simple: count every putt inside 10 feet to see who makes the most.

*Par Breakers: A combination of eagles and birdies made during the week to see who has the most.

80 of the 156 players in this year’s field have stats from 2024. There are a lot of DP World Tour players in the field.

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