PGA Championship betting tips & predictions – the PGA Championship is organised by the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) of America and is the season’s final major. It is an official money event on the PGA Tour, European Tour and the Japan Golf Tour.
PGA Champions are automatically invited to play in the other three majors for the next five years and are exempt from qualifying for the PGA Championship for life. They also receive membership on the PGA and European Tours for the following five seasons and invitations to The Players Championship for five years.
Bellerive Country Club began in 1897 in north St. Louis as a nine-hole course. It was some years later before another nine were added. In 1910, the club moved to Normandy and was renamed the Bellerive Country Club.
In 1959, the club moved again, this time to its current site in the suburb of Town and Country. Robert Trent Jones designed the course and the “Green Monster of Ladue” opened for play on Memorial Day in 1960.
In 1965, Bellerive became the ‘youngest’ course to ever host the US Open. South African Gary Player won the event by defeating Ken Nagle in a playoff to complete the career grand slam. Both players finished +2 in regulation play. Player donated his winning cheque to cancer research and junior golf.
The golf course then underwent a $9.5 million renovation in 2005-06. Rees Jones, son of original architect Robert Trent Jones Sr., was tasked with the project.
“He was taking care of one of his father’s greatest works, so he had a level of personal interest during which he was dedicated to maintaining the traditional character of the course while bringing it up to match the standards, speed and power of today’s game”
Jones relocated fairway bunkers and hazards closer to landing areas. Bunkers around the greens were enlarged, cut deeper and placed in strategic positions to catch errant approaches. Tees and greens were re-grassed. Greens are all bent-grass and fairways are zoysia grass that is more resistant to heat and humidity.
In 2008, Bellerive hosted the BMW Championship, as part of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, in which Camilo Villegas had his first career tour victory.
The PGA of America returned to Bellerive with the 74th Senior PGA Championship in 2013 making Bellerive the third club in history to host all four men’s Major Championships (US Open, PGA Championship, US Senior Open and Senior PGA Championship).
Bellerive is a long course and will play as a 7,316 yards Par 70 for this year’s PGA Championship. It has six Par 4’s that measure over 450 yards the longest of these is the 4th hole which will play 521 yards. Two of the Par 3’s will play at 200+ yards. Water hazards come into play on 11 holes and the course is known for its large and undulating greens.
The greens average 8,200 square feet and Rees stayed true to his ‘green-within-a-green’ concept or targets within a larger target. It requires a properly placed approach shot to the green to avoid a difficult 2-putt. Players will need to be on the correct side of the contours making approach shots key this week.
To put the ball in the proper place on the large greens, you need to be playing out of the fairway
It will be important to keep the ball on the short stuff from the tee this week to set up a reasonable chance of a scoring opportunity. Even though the greens are large, putting will be extremely challenging if you fail to hit the proper target on the green.
History tells us that excellent Current Form is key this week. Bellerive will require excellent course management and like Firestone Country Club, it suits a player with superior ball-striking skills. Since 2006 the PGA winner has always played in the WGC Bridgestone Invitational and has finished in the Top 30 for the tournament.
Last year, Justin Thomas won his first major at Quail Hollow the week after finishing T28 at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. In 2016, Jimmy Walker finished T16 at Firestone just a few weeks before his PGA Championship victory at Baltusrol. Similarly in 2015, Jason Day finished T12 the week before his victory at Whistling Straits.
Bellerive is perceived as a long course where long hitters should thrive, but it will be the players who keep the ball in play who should have the greatest success
Like with all the Majors, it is worth holding back some wager money to have a bet in running after 36 or even 54 holes are completed.
PGA Championship Betting Tips 2018