The Charles Schwab Challenge

Thoughts on the redesign, bets, weather and course info

I don’t want to spend much time on the PGA Championship. There are plenty of opinions on the course and event out there. So, quick thoughts:

  1. It will forever be an all-time memorable day on the internet when Scottie got arrested.

  2. I hope they skip this course in the future.

  3. I’m so mad that I bet Xander two weeks ago and then didn’t have anything other than a Top 10 price here.

We move on; still lots of great golf to be played this summer. Two more majors, the Olympics, a smattering of LIV events that are actually in a time zone that works for me, as well as what looks like a couple of nice additions to the swing season schedule

This week finds us back in Texas—again. A few weeks back, I may have proclaimed Texas golf over for the year, somehow forgetting about this one. Of the events in the Lone Star State, this is by far my favorite course. On top of that, we’ve made some nice changes to said course (more on that later).

But for now, as always, here are some thoughts on Colonial from Ron’s course preview up at


Colonial Country Club is a par 70 course that measures 7,289 yards. It is an above average-length classical course that has tree-lined fairways, numerous doglegs, and small green complexes. Cut through pecan, walnut, and oak trees, the course features very little sloping and elevation changes. Similar to a Donald Ross design, the routing of the course is very creative as players will tee off in a different direction after each hole. When the Texas winds start to blow, this can cause some challenging decisions on tee shots.

Colonial has a mixture of Bermudagrass fairways and rough along with pure Bentgrass greens. The rough will be grown at 2.5″ to start the week but could thicken up beyond 3″ by the weekend. And because it’s Bermuda, it will present trouble for players who spray it off the tee. As a perennial contender at Colonial, Justin Rose noted that the Bermuda rough is quite unpredictable. “It’s the type of rough here where you catch a lot of fliers, and the greens are small and tricky. So catching fliers into these greens you’ll make a lot of bogeys. I think the rough is tough enough around here if you catch a bad lie it’s hard to get it to the green.” The greens typically run around 12 on the stimpmeter to start the tournament and then are cut lower to a more speedy 13 by Sunday.

Colonial is one of the toughest courses to make birdies on Tour, and because it cannot be overpowered, continues to challenge golfers year after year. It has the third-smallest average landing zones when combining fairway width (27.5 yards) and green size (5,000 square feet).

Jhonattan Vegas summed up Colonial by saying, “This course is all about precision. There is nothing about power around this place. You can drive to the wrong side of the fairway, and still not have a clear shot to some of these holes. It’s about thinking your way around this place. Obviously, all the past winners are guys that are able to do that really well.”

Over the last five years, it has averaged 0.42 strokes over par which makes it the 10th toughest course on Tour. Thanks to only two par-5s, Colonial sees one of the lowest amount of eagles on Tour and the third-highest rate of pars. With the lack of many “birdie” holes, boring golf tends to win here. A lack of recent precipitation combined with forecasted hot temperatures and high winds should allow for firm and fast conditions.

One of the biggest changes to the course is the reduction in bunkers from 84 to 64. Taking down many trees also brings the Trinity River into play on a couple of extra holes. Along with the small greens and thick rough, high winds can also help to keep scores down. This was the case in each of the past two years when Emiliano Grillo and Sam Burns each won with single-digit scores as winds gusted 20-35 mph for multiple rounds each year.

Gil Hanse Redesign

If you haven’t heard yet, they started to tear this course apart the minute we finished up last year. They were able to get a pretty big project done in 11 months, and there’s a ton of great content on the “refurbishing” of Colonial:

As I’ve clarified, I’m a huge Michael Kim fan. If Twitter were just him, Justin Ray, and Claire Rogers, I’d still log on daily.

So, Michael’s takes:

Also, a Good article on the subject from another writer I enjoy, Paul Hodowanic.

There are a couple of good videos (both short enough to watch while taking a quick break from work), including a nice one from the Fried Egg. (Plus one long one)

Lastly, here are some quotes from the course, from the players:

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Not a great week to bet against Burmester! I really thought the course was going to play a little tougher and reward those with better driving accuracy. I was wrong, turns out it was a glorified muni. Stick to Bourbon, Kentucky.

So, while I had some success in the placements markets (Bryson Top 5 +400!!!), I’m just tracking the matchups and we’ll take a loss on Scott over Dean. So, YTD is now down to 10-8-1, +1.26u and looking to rebound!

This Week: Tom Kim > Taylor Moore -110 (DraftKings)

Basically just a look at how I feel about their iron play on a course like this, but also, some key spots that Kim is way ahead on in the model Noonan and I built on the betting show. Big gap in strokes gained on difficult courses, Good Drive %, and Distance from the Edge of Fairway. I like Kim’s accuracy to shine a bit on a shotmakers course like we have here at Colonial.


Not only are we seeing some chances for storms tomorrow (and to a lesser extent Friday onward), but today has apparently been pretty rough with the course looking like it’ll get 1 to 2 inches of rain when it’s all said and done tonight. Perhaps the rock-hard greens will soften up a bit.

I’d say I’d have a slight lean to a PM/AM wave advantage, but it’s likely just going to depend on if the rain slows things down and pushes any rounds into Saturday or not. It's probably a wash with the Friday winds kicking up a bit higher in the afternoon, but also possibly some delays factoring in.

News and Notes

I had forgotten that LIV has two championships. The Chicago-adjacent course got a little heat, but this Dallas track seems to be pretty high-end.

Speaking up updates for future courses, we’ve got our site for NEXT YEAR’S Canadian Open.

I would not have guessed that it had been 40 years for this sort of thing.

and finally shout out Harry Higgs. We fell in love with you in Phoenix and continue to cheer for your success.

As always, bet responsibly, have fun, and pay attention this week. It’s a gorgeous golf course.