Throughout time, La Quinta, California, has been a destination for golfers from all walks of life to find their games in the heart of winter. It's a fact that includes PGA TOUR membership as it descends on the Coachella Valley for the 60th edition of the Desert Classic.
With receptive greens tipping at a friendly 11 feet on the Stimpmeter, the TPC Stadium Course at PGA WEST, the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA WEST and La Quinta Country Club will be co-hosting another shootout. Scroll beneath the ranking for information about the courses, the tournament format and other details.
Zach Johnson, Si Woo Kim, Pat Perez, Joaquin Niemann and Daniel Berger will be among the notables covered in Tuesday's Fantasy Insider.
The Desert Classic hosts the first of three 156-man fields on the West Coast Swing. Fields are maximized to yield playing time for members deeper in the overall pecking order. To accommodate membership at this latitude in mid-January, multiple courses are utilized for each.
Every professional is paired with one amateur this week, and each duo is grouped with another pro-amateur pairing for each of the first three rounds. Every foursome will play each course in the rotation one time before the 54-hole cut of low 70 and ties. If more than 78 pros survive, only the low 60 and ties will tee it up in the final round on the TPC Stadium Course. (In that situation, those who survive the cut but finish outside the top 60 will receive FedExCup points and official earnings.)
This is the fourth consecutive edition of the Desert Classic that has utilized the current trio of courses. All three are stock par 72s. Unlike previous combinations, La Quinta Country Club is now the easiest of the set; in fact, it was the easiest among all par 72s on the PGA TOUR in each of the last two seasons. Last year's scoring average was 68.831. The Nicklaus Tournament Course slotted second-easiest at 69.445.
The TPC Stadium Course checked in at 71.181 last year. Because only host courses are lasered by ShotLink technology, it will be the only course this week that will measure distances that contribute to statistics such as distance of all drives, proximity to the hole and all strokes-gained data.
There haven't been any modifications to any of the courses and all returning participants can rely on consistent overseeding on all 54 greens. Two-inch primary rough also will be framing the targets on each.
After the threat of inclement weather moves out on Thursday, conditions will improve to the proverbial golf-in-a-dome experience. Light winds the daytime highs flirting with 70 degrees are forecast.
ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.COM’s Fantasy Insider Rob Bolton recaps and previews every tournament from numerous angles. Look for his following contributions as scheduled.
MONDAY: Rookie Ranking, Qualifiers, Reshuffle, Medical Extensions, Power Rankings
TUESDAY*: Sleepers, Fantasy Insider
WEDNESDAY: One & Done
* - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf presented by SERVPRO, which also publishes on Tuesdays.