BMW Championship Overview
Caves Valley Golf Club is a member-owned non-profit organisation located in Owings Mills, Maryland. Caves Valley is a remote region with rolling topography and dense forests surrounding the border of this 962-acre property. The golf course, which debuted in 1991 and is recognised for its quick greens, rolling fairways, and water, is 30 years old. Fazio has created almost 200 courses, 46 of which are among Golf Digest’s top 200 in the United States. On the front nine, the woods have been thinned out somewhat, which helps frame some holes but isn’t as punishing as the heavily forested routings found in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere. The back nine has denser woods and more elevation changes, making for some spectacular holes.
The signature hole is the 12th hole, which is 179 yards long. Par 3 – A downhill par three with an all-carry to a green guarded by three bunkers and backed by a hill. This exciting tee shot is significantly easier to hit to a front right pin location next to the chipping area than it is to a rear left pin placement, which requires more carry and a smaller landing area. This is one of the reasons why the run of holes from #9 to #14 is one of Caves Valley’s greatest.
5 Key Skills Set Required
This week, we visit Caves Valley Golf Club, a brand-new PGA Tour venue. It was planned by Tom Fazio and has held a handful of professional big tournaments, including the 2002 Senior U.S. Open. It hosted the International Crown team event on the LPGA in 2014 and the Constellation Senior Players Championship on the Champions Tour in 2017, where Scott McCarron triumphed.
It’s hard to anticipate how difficult Caves Valley will be this week, but based on the 2017 Constellation Senior Players Championship, I believe we’ll witness another low-scoring encounter.
Looking at the tracks it appears water is on play on plenty of holes and that the fairways are tighter than average on the PGA Tour. That said it may be that the rough isn’t too troublesome to this week’s elite field. Lots of guesswork this week with no previous data to go from so here goes;
- SG Off the tee – the fairways are fairly narrow according to course reports here, and those that are gaining strokes off the tee on a course that presents 3 par 4’s circa 350yards will surely hold an edge.
- Proximity to the hole – Given the larger green complexes this week it seems prudent to consider proximity to the hole stats, very little data to review. As mentioned, the feeling is this could be a low scoring event and the player who is dialed in close to those pins will have a district advantage.
- Birdie or Better percentage – I expect a low scoring affair this week and therefore it makes sense to consider birdie or better percentage.
- Par 4 Scoring 350 – 400 Yards – With 3 very short Par 4’s on offer to the players this week, I want to look for players who have bullied short Par 4’s in the past.
- Overall SG T2G – This is a long and demanding course and without a solid T2G game , players will struggle to challenge the top of the leaderboard.