Charles Schwab Challenge 2022 Overview
Colonial CC is in the same category as Torrey Pines, Riviera Country Club, Augusta National, and Muirfield Village, but it’s a much tighter affair from tee to green.
At 7,209 yards, this Par 70 designed by Bredemus and Maxwell cannot be underestimated. The tree-lined parkland course features pure Bentgrass greens with average sizes of only 5,000 square feet. Birdies are difficult to come by at Colonial, and the two par-5s are among the most difficult on Tour to birdie or better.
Colonial is short by today’s standards, however it has very narrow fairways some of the narrowest on tour, tee shot target areas are extremely small putting a real premium on driving accuracy and strokes gained off the tee. Errant drives are caught by tough Bermudagrass rough, and the majority of the fairways on the property are tree-lined, ensuring plenty of blocked approach shots for those who deviate off the tee box.
As with most classical courses, there is no single right or wrong game shape that dominates the list of champions. On this Texan classic Colonial layout, both short game specialists Na, Kisner, Spieth, and ball-strikers Berger, Rose, Adam Scott have all succeeded. All game types have an equal chance of winning here on this beautiful track. I’m personally favour finesse over power this week.
There are several tree-lined holes and doglegs, starting with the ‘Horrible Horseshoe’ at holes 3, 4 and 5. Driving distance is mostly irrelevant at Colonial, not often we say that on the PGA Tour. As the driver is neutralized which I have highlighted in the Skill Set Required section below. The ability to shape shots and manage your golf game with solid ball striking sets you up for success. Strength around the green is a big plus we will touch on more later. Despite following a Major the field for this week is world class with Speith, Hovland, Scottie, Morikawa all teeing it up. We are in for a magnificent week.
Key Skills Set Required
- SG T2G – Very much like week this test will put huge emphasis on the players T2G game. This course requires players to shape the ball off the tee both ways to hold this doglegged fairways. Then on approach the greens are tiny to aim at, and require precision and shot shaping both ways. The world best ball strikers should rise to the top of this leaderboard come Sunday.
- Driving Accuracy– Very seldom do we putt up driving accuracy as a key skill set, however, Colonial is one of those traditional classical tracks that does bring this stat into play. Some of the hardest fairways to hit on the whole of the PGA Tour tell the story.
- GIR gained – All the data points to the importance of hitting GIR, approach play will be key this week. The players who hit the centre of the green consistently and give themselves putt’s out towards the green edges on these tight and tucked pins will hold the edge.
- SG Around the green – We can see from the data short game expertise is a must here at Colonial. Small green to aim at on what is already a tough driving test means you can guarantee plenty of missed greens. The players who scramble best and protect their scorecard are at a distinct advantage. Looks for player with proven short game expertise over the last 36/50 rounds not just over the past few weeks.
- Par 4 Scoring 400-450 yards – 7 Holes fall over this distance each day. Players who excel on medium to short par 4’s should be considered. Lots of wedges in hand for players this week on the classical layout and therefore I want players onside who are dominating this stat area.
- Bogey Avoidance – We can see from this winning scores previous that Colonial is no push over despite its lack of length. Players must avoided mistakes and paying attention to those who make very few mistakes could prove fruitful.