Table of Contents

    By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast

    Links Golf Tune-Up

    We’re just a week away from The 151st Open Championship, and while PGA Tour also hosts an opposite field stateside (here’s my Barbasol preview), the elite in golf and the smartest travelers are already overseas being acclimatized and adjusted to links golf conditions at the Genesis Scottish Open. The popular move as of late has been to get over there a week early, play a week of golf in Scotland and get you and your clubs set for The Open, and then lock in for a major championship week. Or in the case of Rickie, JT, and Jordan – take in the action at Wimbledon and the pubs of London.

    On the heels of a quirky Sunday at the John Deere Classic, my streak of picking the outright winner came to an end but not without a fight. Sepp Straka grabbed win number two on his career and he was a true “feast or famine” type of player that feasted on Sunday with a 62 to win going away. Now, the field from the John Deere hopped on the charter flight overseas and we’re ready to officially welcome links golf season.

    Having a Renaissance

    As the Scottish Open has gained lots of worldwide momentum and even gets network broadcast billing, the other Renaissance occurring is with the host course itself which is set to be the event course through 2026. The Renaissance Club is an ideal transitional venue between golf in the U.S. and the upcoming run of links golf on classically constructed courses. The layout was built around forest land, but also has howling winds and seaside links golf club features that give you the chance to hit lots of different flights and shots all week. Creativity begins to show its hand quickly on this track, and it’s sure to produce a sturdy champion if conditions become adverse like we all know so well.

    Past champions like Xanderr Schauffele (2022) and Min Woo Lee (2021) are in the field, and the most notable absence from play is Jon Rahm. Outside of that, the world’s best from Rory to Scottie and recent champ Rickie Fowler to Patrick Cantlay. More locally, top Euro names like Tommy Fleetwood or Tyrell Hatton would love to win an official PGA Tour event on their side of the pond this week.

    Forecasting The Scottish Open

    It’s an interesting mix of names at the top of the board, as you don’t normally see Tom Kim or JT next to names like Rasmus Hojgaard or Arian Meronk on the betting lines. The mix of fields creates unpredictability, but this event has shown to yield a certain group of players that consistently play well here the week before The Open. Surprisingly, I look at birdie-buster players despite the dicy links golf conditions.

    1. Who’s hot and trending – recent high finishes, top-10 streaks, and consistent play are never a bad thing.

    2. Horses for courses – players love certain courses and course familiarity and experience are invaluable in a field of the world’s best.

    3. What the numbers tell you this week – while I’m far from analytical, there’s always a tournament darling or two scattered across the golf talk stratosphere that stuns on paper.

    4. Intangibles – while this allows for theater of the mind, there’s a mysterious optimism surrounding that feels “due” or if the price looks just right for buying.

    At The John Deere Classic in the Quad Cities, it was a circling of my picks around page one, but Adam Schenk and Denny McCarthy fell short again on Sunday and we were winnerless on the week. No three-peat here, but with four of my six picks in the top 25 it’s a solid team effort before Links golf forecasts are the new norm. I’ll give the picks a B- overall.

    The Picks

    (Wanna start a Pick-X pool with your friends? Learn more here! Or, if you’re looking to start your own PGA One-and-Done pool, check those out here) (Hint: the main difference between the two is how many players you’ll pick each week)

    1: Rickie Fowler – Though I’m not seeing another trophy lift, he’s won the Scottish Open before and should be feeling good vibes off of the win to continue his strong play. 

    2: Tommy Fleetwood – Top five here last year. And he’s the most overdue player for a win I can think of in a long time. Feels right this week.

    3: Tom Kim – Another American that has enjoyed early success on links golf tracks, he should rekindle the beginning of his 2022 here again this year.

    4: Robert MacIntyre – I’m a sucker for picking Lefty Bob, the hometown kid in this spot, but last week’s play in Denmark was an intriguing buildup for him.

    5: Matt Fitzpatrick – Quiet lately,  but with top 10’s in the last two Scottish Opens he;’s going on my card automatically. 

    6: Lucas Herbert – Going a bit off the board with an Aussie who has played well in past events on this part of the globe, a bit of a flier.

    RYP One and Done Pick: Tommy Fleetwood

    The Deets

    Where to watch: This is a Golf Channel broadcast Thursday and Friday, and the weekend gets center stage on CBS during midday hours. Cue the bagpipe music and blimp shots.

    Why to watch: The Scottish Open is the official tune-up for the world’s best playing The Open next week, and it’s a great introduction to the links golf season.

    What to eat: Scottish Meat Pies for all!

    Purse: $9 million 

    Winner’s Share: $1.6 million

    Golf FAQs

    How do PGA Golf Majors Pools work?

    In PGA Golf Majors Pools, member select six golfers to compete on a roster over the course of an event. The member with the best combined score from the six golfers wins.

    Can you include all four majors into one pool?

    Yes, but your commissioner can also customize these setting with RunYourPool. Pools can include up to all four majors, repicking golfers each time or adding bonus points for finishing positions

    How do I assemble a roster?

    Golfers are broken up in to six tiers, as members select one golfer per tier to be on their Major roster.

    What happens to golfers who miss the cut?

    Any PGA Player who does not make the cut will be given the highest score of Round 3 and Round 4, respectively.

    What are the four golf majors?

    The Masters is the first major of the season, in April. The PGA Championship and the U.S. Open follow, with the British Open ending as the final major.

    How do PGA One and Dones work?

    Members in a pool select one golfer to win a tournament, but can't pick that golfer again for the rest of the season. The member with the best score at the end of the season wins.

    What is a PGA One and Done pool?

    A PGA One-and-Done Pool is a contest similar to Survivor Pools, in which members can only select a golfer one time per season for events.

    Which tournaments are played for PGA One and Dones?

    Pool commissioners can set up the season for as many or as few tournaments as desired. Go crazy and do all of them! Or dial it back for the major events. As commissioner of a RunYourPool contest, you decide which events to play in!

    How to run a weekly golf pool?

    In order to run a golf pool, you must first crown yourself as Pool Commissioner. Begin by picking a game type like One and Done or Pick-X Pools. You'll want to establish rules before inviting friends, family, and colleagues to join. As commissioner, you make the rules and also need to enforce them equally and fairly.

    How do golf Pick-X Pools work?

    Members select a certain number of golfers per tournament, set by the pool commissioner. The member earns the total winnings that their selected golfer won for the tournament. Whichever member earns the most winnings over the duration of the season wins.

    What is a golf Pick-X Pool?

    A Pick-X Golf Pool calculates tournament winnings rather than strokes gained when deciding a winner. This amplifies the big name events that feature a higher prize purse.

    How to run a golf pool?

    How you decide to run a golf pool varies greatly depending on the game type. In each case, however, you'll want to determine the rules and settings before you begin inviting members to join you. You'll want to clearly establish how score will be kept, how tiebreakers work, and how winners are decided before anything else.

    What is a prop bet?

    Prop bets are any sort of pick or wager on a game that has nothing to do with the score or the final score outcome. Props can range from game types, to team types and even player types - such as who will score the game's first and last touchdowns? Other props, such as novelty or exotic, feature bets on things such as the coin flip or the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

    How do Masters Prop Bets Pools work?

    Pool members simply fill out a wide range of prop questions, each question worth a different value. Commissioners decide on the point value for each question, along with the amount of questions. Whichever member earns the most points based on corret answers wins the pool.

    When is the Masters?

    The Masters is typically in April and the first major of the golf season. The 2023 Masters is set for Thursday, April 6 and will run until Sunday, April 9.

    Where is the Masters played?

    The Masters is annually held at the Augusta National Golf Club located in Augusta, Georgia, USA.


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    About Author

    Alex Lauzon

    Lauzon is a podcast host, live broadcaster, analyst and betting extraordinaire for the Course of Life brand. After earning a degree in broadcast journalism at Quinnipiac University, he worked in ESPN and ESPN radio newsrooms. He has interviewed athletes and celebrities from all walks of life who often love to play golf. When he's not playing golf or talking about the game on Course of Life, Lauzon enjoys time with his wife and dog, checking off the next island vacation destination or counting down the days to the next Dell Match Play in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

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