The Seaside Course is the headline course but in 2015 the Plantation Course entered the rotation. Those teeing-it-up at the RSM Classic will play the Plantation Course on either the Thursday or Friday. After the cut the field will be reduced to 70 players (+ties) and they will play the Seaside Course over the weekend.
The Plantation Course was designed by Walter Travis and opened for play in 1928. The layout was extensively renovated by Rees Jones in 1998 and he referred to the course as a “parkland by the sea” for its magnificent vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and its lush natural scenery.
The Plantation Course unfolds among a forest of oak and cedar, with danger lurking for the wayward in its tidal creeks and lakes. The fairways are wide and the 10th wanders along the Saint Simons Sound before turning inland. It is a scenic introduction to a solid back nine that finishes at a risk-reward Par 5.
From the championship tees the Par 72 classical layout can stretch to 7,058 yards. The redesign combined the best of parkland features with the windswept beauty of a links course. The strategic nature of the design is evident at the 12th hole. The hole plays through trees to a well bunkered green with the Atlantic Ocean as a back-drop.
The Seaside Course is the host course and was originally designed in 1929 by Harry Colt and Charles Alison. The course was updated in 1999 by Tom Fazio and plays firm and fast in the tradition of Scottish links. The layout places a premium on careful shot selection, scrambling and putting.
Located right on the southern tip of St. Simons Island this sea-side links style course is susceptible to windy conditions. At a little over 7,000 yards length is not important and the fairways are relatively easy to find. The green complexes are large for a Par 70 layout.
Accurate iron-play will be rewarded with Birdie opportunities however the greens are tricky and fast. Both Par 5s (Nos. 7 and 15) are gettable and annually rank among the easier holes. An ability to manoeuvre the ball in blustery conditions could be important if the wind gets up.
By Tour standards, both the Seaside and Plantation Courses are easy but still manage to deliver a fair test in both course management and creativity around the greens. Being resort courses expect scoring to be low.
A number of PGA Tour players reside near Sea Island including Davis Love III, Harris English, Brian Harman, Chris Kirk, Zach Johnson, Patton Kizzire and Russell Henley. Davis Love III is the host of the RSM Classic which benefits the Davis Love Foundation.
Last year, Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes secured his first PGA Tour title at the RSM Classic. He prevailed in a five-man playoff with Blayne Barber, Billy Horschel, Henrik Norlander and Camilo Villegas. Two extra holes were played on Sunday before poor light forced a suspension until Monday. Horschel bowed out after missing a short par putt at the first playoff hole.
When play resumed on Monday, Hughes rolled in his par putt from just off the green at the third playoff hole to claim the victory. He finished the week 1st for Strokes Gained Around-The-Green and 3rd for Strokes Gained Putting. He was also T11 for Driving Accuracy, 57th for Driving Distance, T50 for GIR and 1st for Putts per GIR.
In 2015, Kevin Kisner won by six shots over runner-up Kevin Chappell finishing on a score of -22, a tournament record. On his way to victory he shot back-to-back rounds of 64 over the final two rounds. He squared only two bogeys for the week and finished T1 for Birdies racking up 22 in total. He finished the week 2nd in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, T9 in GIR and 1st in Putts per GIR.
In 2014, Robert Streb held his nerve in a playoff beating Will MacKenzie and Brendon de Jonge to win his first PGA Tour title. Streb can thank his victory to a stellar week with the putter finishing T2 for Strokes Gained Putting, 1st in Putts per Round and 1st for Birdies scoring 22 in total. His return on the two Par 5’s for the week was an eagle, four birdies and three pars.
The 2013 RSM Classic champion, Chris Kirk, finished the week T5 in Proximity to Hole, T11 in Strokes Gained Putting and 5th in Scrambling. He also ranked T2 in Par 5 scoring with six birdies and two pars for the week.
Kevin Kisner 16/1, Brian Harman 18/1 and Matt Kuchar 20/1 are the Bookmakers favourites for this week’s RSM Classic
RSM Classic Betting Tips 2017