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PGA Course Preview – Dell Match Play 2023

Dell Match Play Course Preview – Austin Country Club


Mar 27, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Scottie Scheffler plays his approach shot on 14th fairway in the final round of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Nestled in the heart of the scenic Texas Hill Country lies the renowned Austin Country Club. With a history spanning more than a century, this picturesque club is known for its world-class golf courses, fine dining, and unparalleled hospitality. Austin Country Club is also the destination for 64 of the top golfer’s in the world as they embark on their own version of March Madness with the Dell Match Play. Join me, Josh Thomas for a course preview, and discover what golfers will need to do to be successful this week and in turn help you select the players for your DFS lineups to help you win big!

The Course:

Austin Country Club was founded in 1899 as a social and recreational club for the city’s prominent citizens. The original location was in a building on Congress Avenue and over the years has been at three separate sites.

Throughout the years, the club has hosted many notable events, including professional golf tournaments and political fundraisers. In 1928, the club hosted the Texas Open, which was won by golf legend Walter Hagen. The tournament returned to the club twice more, in 1930 and 1931.

Noted golf professional and teacher Harvey Penick was the head professional there from 1923-1971 and then was professional emeritus from 1971-1995.

Austin Country Club’s has been at its current location on Lake Austin since 1984. The course is a Pete Dye design and was renovated by Ron Whitman in 2015 to prepare it to host the Match Play in 2016. The bunkers were also completely renovated in 2019.

Tournament Set-up: 

Par: 35-36—71
Yardage: 7,108 (unofficial)
Stimpmeter: 12

Course Statistics

Average Green Size: 5,500 sq. ft.
Number of Sand Bunkers: 110
Number of Water Hazards: 5
Number of Holes Water is in Play: 7

Turfgrass Greens: Poa trivialis overseed .100”
Collars: Ryegrass overseed
Approaches: Ryegrass overseed
Tees: Zeon zoysiagrass .375”
Fairways: Perennial ryegrass / fescue blend overseed .400”
Rough: Tifway 419 bermudagrass 2”

Additional Notes

Average fairway widths in landing areas are 25 yards.

An ice storm in early February damaged more than 1,200 trees on the property.

A December freeze resulted in covered greens for six days.

Links to DFS Army Tools

Keys to Success 

There are multiple ways to find success at Austin CC but some of the key features are challenging elevation changes, tricky fairways, and heavily undulating greens.

Strokes Gained Metrics:

  1. Off the Tee: Austin Country Club has narrow fairways and hazards on both sides, making accuracy and distance essential off the tee (though we’ve seen short hitters do well here when they hit it in the right spots and get run out).

  2. Approach shots: The greens at Austin Country Club are fast and slopey with challenging hole positions. Golfers who can hit precise approach shots and control their ball flight will have an edge.

  3. Putting: Greens at Austin Country Club are small and undulating, so putting will be a significant factor. Familiarity on these greens tends to lead to success.

  4. Scrambling: With challenging fairways and fast greens, golfers who can recover from poor shots and save par will be at an advantage. Scrambling ability will be crucial for success at Austin Country Club.

Overall, the course requires a mix of skills, including accuracy, power, creativity, and shot-making ability. The player who can execute their shots with precision and capitalize on opportunities to score will have the best chance of winning the tournament.

Quotes about the Course:

  1. “The Austin Country Club is such a fantastic course, with breathtaking views, challenging terrain and impeccable greens. It’s always a treat to return to this amazing venue.” – Zach Johnson

  2. “The Austin Country Club is a special place, filled with history and tradition. The course itself is a gem, with every hole presenting a unique challenge for golfers.” – Jordan Spieth

  3. “Being a member at the Austin Country Club is an absolute privilege. The course is always in pristine condition, and the staff are friendly and helpful. It’s a golfer’s paradise.” – Steve Stricker

  4. “The Austin Country Club is one of the best courses I’ve ever played. The variety of holes and the beautiful surroundings make it a true joy to play every time.” – Adam Scott.

  5. “The Austin Country Club is one of the toughest courses I’ve played. It’s challenging, with a lot of water hazards, bunkers, and uneven lies.” – Pete Dye, golf course architect
  6. “The Austin Country Club is like a puzzle. You have to figure out which shot to play and where to hit it. It’s a mental challenge as much as a physical one.” – Jordan Spieth, professional golfer
  7. “The Austin Country Club is a golf course that demands respect. You have to be precise and accurate on every shot, or you’ll pay the price.” – Bill Coore, golf course architect
  8. “Playing the Austin Country Club is like walking a tightrope. One false move, and you’re in trouble. It’s a course that tests every aspect of your game.” – Ben Crenshaw, professional golfer and member of Austin Country Club
  9. “The Austin Country Club is a beast. It’s a tough challenge for even the best golfers in the world.” – Rickie Fowler, professional golfer.

DFS Winning Strategy

Past Results:

  • 2022: Scottie Scheffler defeated Kevin Kisner 4-3
  • 2021: Billy Horschel defeated Scottie Scheffler 2-1
  • 2020: The tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 2019: Kevin Kisner defeated Matt Kuchar 3-2
  • 2018: Bubba Watson defeated Kevin Kisner 7-6
  • 2017: Dustin Johnson defeated Jon Rahm 1 up
  • 2016: Jason Day defeated Louis Oosthuizen 5-4

As you can see, history here definitely matters as guys like Kevin Kisner and Scottie Scheffler consistently show up in the final match and both are in the field this week. We’ve also seen a variety of skill sets get it done at this course, from bombers like Jon Rahm to short hitters like Matt Kuchar be in the mix.


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Final Thoughts:

Austin Country Club is a fantastic venue and while some don’t love the Match Play, it’s one of my favorite DFS events of the year outside of the majors because of the strategy involved. What strategy you might ask? Become a DFS Army VIP and you can find out the trick that we’ve used in lineup construction the last 3 years to help us win big at this event every year!