One of the truly iconic courses that feature on the European Tour and previous host of the Ryder Cup in 97. This stunning layout of holes across a gorgeous landscape looks like a real pleasure to play but couldn’t be further from the truth.
If not firing on all cylinders and lady luck by your side all day this course will have you pulling your hair out and grinding your teeth with immense frustration.
Even without the 200 odd trees that sit in the most ridiculous places and somewhat shorter playing yardage, this course would be no pushover. Especially when playing firm and fast.
Personally I adore this venue, but I don’t have to play here under the stress of a big tournament. That previously contributed heavily towards keeping or losing your card. But now offers the potential reward of a start in this years Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
Par 71. Measuring 7,001 yards.
Quick, undulating and small bent grass greens.
Fairways are narrow and tough to hit especially with firmer conditions.
Rough is consistent and dense, expect the ball to settle down, leaving taxing recovery shots and a tall order to keep bogey of the card.
The biggest feature of this course is its cork trees, some situated in the most awkward position.. Like the middle of the fairway and the only place you can hit it to have a chance of missing the next one that blocks the green if on the wrong angle..
Its a venue to create drama and this event year on out is an absolute pleasure to view thanks to the challenge this course presents and demand on old school creative golf.
As to be expected for this time of year in Spain the weather is stunning.
Sunshine and a very gentle breeze present all week. Perfect conditions to make good swings and hit great shots. The breeze does get a little stronger but I do mean a little as we head into the weekend.
When taking weather into the consideration for your picks, its certainly not going to have influence on a preferential side of the draw. It will however have an influence on how the course will play and what we can expect to be a better suited style of play or attributes that generally lean towards success.
The greens here compared to most events we see here on the European Tour are small and very troublesome to find. With that being said it will be of paramount importance that players perform well around the greens to keep bogeys off the card and maintain momentum.
The fairways here at Valderamma are extremely narrow in places and hard to find. This will be made even more difficult with the firmer ground conditions this year. The course is most definitely better suited to players that are accurate from the tee rather than big bombers.
Ball Striking and Shot Shaping.
This course requires a bucket load of imagination and the ability to work ball flights to either hit fairways or hit the relatively small and awkward greens to find, or even just to navigate the daftly placed trees that this course is famous for.
Course Form and Course Fit.
Valderamma is very much a venue that you either love or hate. Experience here counts for so much, but if you do want to roll the dice with players low in experience its probably far more beneficial to find players that have performed well at tricky venues such as DLF G&CC in India.
My DraftKings Picks.
Sergio Garcia $11,400 – This is no secret and consequently his ownership is going to be astronomically high, considering his not so spectacular form. However, nobody has better form at this course or possibly form at any venue, than Sergio at Valderamma. Played 12 times, never missed the cut, only been outside the top 10 once, has an average placing of 6th, three times finished in second and his best form has come in recent years where he has won three times in his last four starts (including a win last year).
$9,000 – $10,000
Mike Lorenzo-Vera $10,000
Joost Luiten $10,300
$8,000 – $9,000
Pablo Larrazabal $8,700
Ashley Chesters $8,000
$7,500 – $8,000
Kurt Kitiyama $7,900
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano $7,500
$7,000 – $7,500
Alejandro Canizares $7,300
Thomas Aiken $7,000
Justin Walters $6,600
I have a gut feeling about this pick and probably for all the wrong reasons, but I’m taking a punt at this one, even though so very few boxes are ticked regarding previous form here.
I had the pleasure of walking 18 holes with him whilst he was caddying for a friend, during Regional Open Qualifying on Monday at Wildernesse GC.
Obviously I got a chance to chat to him about this weeks event. Asked him if he was looking forward to it?.. “Not Really”. Asked him why? “Not used to it yet but I’m getting there and close”… Then I found out he’s not flying out until the day before… Bit of a setback, but I like this very laid back, somewhat low expectation approach… Quietly confident and a chance to rest a little after a busy schedule.
Recently Justin has performed amazingly well on two course where hitting greens was essential to playing well. Firstly at his successful attempt to Qualify for the US Open at Walton Heath and then at Pebble Beach where he comfortably made the cut, unfortunately had a disaster or two in Saturdays round and placed much lower down the Leader board he finished come Sunday.
During that week on the smallest of all Targets and up against the best in the world he ranked 7th for hitting greens… Love this stat for this week and love that he knows it going into this week trying to hit these small targets.
Obviously I’m not betting my house on this one but for his price and trusting my run of luck lately im happy to have some ownership and definitely place an e/w bet at the odds offered.
My Betting Tips
Outright Market (e/w 1/4 odds 5 places)
Justin Walter 250/1
Alejandro Canizares 110/1
Mike Lorenzo Vera 30/1
First Round Leader
Joost Luiten 34/1
Ashley Chesters 66/1
Well ladies and gents, in case you didn’t catch my posts on twitter. I have some fantastic news to share with you.
Myself and my good friend Ronan Doyle took part in the UK TopGolf national qualifier on Tuesday and Team Goalby smashed it…
After a shocking start, and very nervy final we somehow managed to hit enough solid shots and score enough points to win an all expenses paid trip to Vegas and a spot in the TopGolf Tour Championship, with a chance to win $50k.
We will be making the trip across on the 23rd of August and competing that weekend. Hopefully we can produce a little magic when it counts and take home the title… The cheque may not make it that far, lets face it were staying in Vegas.
Anyway, thank you to everyone with their kind messages and support so far, were so luck to have this opportunity and believe me your support will be massively appreciated both before and after the big day.