I firstly apologise for being at least 24 hours if not 36 hours late due to snow (yes snow, here in Southern France) and spending a whole day at Nice airport yesterday all to no avail and having to come back again this morning Anyway engine is now fixed, still got snow and Her Majesty finally packed off to San Diego to visit the kids.
Now I understand that there have been some comments expressed about presentation of this section (lets say maybe lack of information), well I knew/was aware of that. This is because I deal with over 30 sets of PGA Tour statistics and have the fundamentals of the course at my disposal. If I was to translate that into a blog you would be reading page after page…as in 1 of 100!!
We also know that there are Statistics and Damn Lies
Of course I take into account such imponderables as poa anna grass as compared to bent, neither of which is as important as it used to be with the amount of over seeding that’s going on. By the same token neither is the green-in-regulation stat, although highly commendable as an annual check but completely irrelevant here as you can hit the green with a banjo they are so large (biggest tournament greens in the world and nowhere is less than 41 feet 4 inches from the pin), but if you don’t hit the right banjo to the right spot on the green you can end up 300 feet away. Being Fred Funk like and zoom it straight down the fairway, then playing a heavy ball and watch it slide casually almost back behind you, are both the wonders and terrors of Hogans Alley
However I also have my current inside info, admittedly not as good as it was when I was a “true insider” but good enough to know what’s going on. The other piece of real info I have is who uses what ball . A ball is a ball you might say but, with Titleist making over 40 different balls from Pro to Hacker there has to be a reason and, as it’s the only piece of golf equipment you use all the time during a round of golf, I would suggest its important if you know who hits a zoomer (heavy ball Tiger style, short trajectory but long runs on ground) and who hits a floaty (long high loopy back spin that’s stops pretty much as it hits the ground a la Matt Kuchar) and Rod Pampling hits it so high it comes down with ice on it!
When your talking Riviera, it’s a floaty style course and that’s the single most important stat you need, along with a tournament track record.
Hogans Alley takes confidence with uphill and downhill shots to perform, play and perfect, that the camera completely flattens out.
Never forget it’s the second most difficult par 71 in the world. So a) its not a place for rookies, b) track record counts, along with c) rolling confidence that’s current,
Therefore with that in mind here are my handicap picks …. not tips
A…. No place for Rookies
Dead right didn’t pick one
B…. Track Record
Matt Kuchar by a mile! Seven from seven cuts @ 33/1, Yer man Bo van Pelt has good form round here and he had a week off (gardening apparently), we will see @ 40/1
C…. Rolling Confidence that’s current
Snedekar , Charlie Swartzel , and Webb Simpson. The Sned`s not playing so guess who`s at 22 /1, with Webby at 35/1 !!
D…. My Golden Oldie did me proud last week The Goose at 100 and 80/1
To be honest at about 4.30pm last Sunday I received an E-Mail from Ron wishing me all the best because I had Webby , Billy Horschel and The Goose sitting 3rd, .4th and 5th….funny how things change!
But take a look at the chief floaty of all time Ernie Els @ 70/1 (130 on Betfair!) = masterly value!!
Best of luck to West Van 34 BC darts with 1453 points in the fantasy league and before anyone says it I don’t pick theirs and they don’t pick mine
All the best !