Course Rater Confidential: What would average golfers shoot at Tiger Woods’ home course, Medalist?
GOLF’s Top 100 course panelists are among the most respected and well-traveled course evaluators in the game. They’re also keen to share their opinions. In this GOLF.com series, we’ll unlock their unvarnished views on all questions course-related. The goal is not only to entertain you but also to give you a better understanding of how to understand and appreciate golf course architecture. You can see GOLF’s latest Top 100 Courses in the World ranking here, and meet all of our Top 100 panelists here.
Golf fans get to see Medalist on TV for Sunday’s Tiger Woods/Peyton Manning vs. Phil Mickelson/Tom Brady match, but few will ever get to play it. On an average day, what would an ordinary weekend golfer shoot from the tips at Medalist (also Tiger’s home course)? Same question for a scratch player.
Jeff Lewis (Panelist since 2003; has played 97 of the World Top 100): We have a stroke-play tournament once a year for one round. Usually a handful of golfers break par net out of 100. 50th place is usually about 80 net. That’s playing real golf, not “pick it up” golf. It’s a funny course because a bogey golfer can have a great day and shoot a good number or just go completely south. Fairways are wide. Based on slope and rating a bogey golfer would shoot mid- to high-90s.
Christian Faergemann (Panelist since 2013; has played 65 of the World Top 100): If the weekend golfers play from the tip tees not listed on the scorecard (the “Tiger tees”), I am not sure they would be able to get off the 1st tee — the carry is probably 275 yards. Otherwise breaking 100 would be an achievement. For the scratch player, aiming to break 80 would be good, but it would take a serious A-game day with a good putter.
Adam Messix (Panelist since 2015; has played 100 of the World Top 100): From the back tees the average player could not break 110 because some of the carries off the tee are too onerous. From the members tees the course is manageable. Despite losing a few balls, an 18 handicap at a typical course will probably break 100 but barely. A scratch player will likely not break 80 from the tips unless they are a long and straight driver of the golf ball. The penalty for a wayward tee shot is severe and there will certainly be a couple of hiccups attempting to recover from missed greens.
Paul Rudovsky (Panelist since 2015; has played 100 of the World Top 100): The average player from the tips literally might never finish their round, so no score available as they would still be hitting drives into the lakes when the sun goes down. A scratch player from the back, average winds, 78-80 sounds right to me.
Okay, you’re a Vegas oddsmaker. What’s the over/under for the number of water balls for Peyton Manning (6.4 handicap index) and Tom Brady (8.1)?
Lewis: Brady and Manning have the benefit of not having to worry about their own ball staying on the grass, so they will probably play OK. Water is not the issue as much as the scrub, which has been cleaned up in a lot of places. The interesting thing to watch will be Phil’s wildness with the driver. The course is extremely wide, but there are places where missing is extremely bad. There are also lots of tempting spots for him to try to drive greens on 4s or reach 5s in two. Should be fun.
Faergemann: It should be a different mental challenge that they face in the NFL, so a few nerves will probably not assist them.
Messix: It depends on how far back they are playing, but given the nature of playing skins with the addition of pressure and the need for aggressive play, it’s not hard to see them depositing quite a few balls in the marsh if they are playing the tips.
Rudovsky: From the tips, I would guess two and five, respectively, assuming they reload after a first water ball.