2013's PGA Tour Courses By The Numbers

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2013's PGA Tour Courses By The Numbers

September 25, 2013

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Photo By: Courtesy of PGA National

Photo By: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Photo By: David Cannon/Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Photo By: Chris Condon/PGA TOUR/Getty Images

Photo By: Michael Cohen/Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

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Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Photo By: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Photo By: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Toughest course: Merion Golf Club

Remember when people wondered if Merion would be able to stand up to the modern player? Turns out there was nothing to worry about. This year's U.S. Open course played the toughest on tour with an average score of 4.546 shots over par. In fact, the four major championship venues came in Nos. 1-4, with Muirfield (+3.478), Oak Hill (+1.996) and Augusta National (+1.318) following Merion.

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Toughest course (Non-major division): PGA National

That scary "Bear Trap" you always hear golf announcers talk about? Well, it's actually pretty intimidating. PGA National's three-hole stretch of 15-17 was a big reason why the course played to an average of 1.318 over par. Other courses that played over par were Muirfield Village, Innisbrook, Congressional, Firestone and Quail Hollow, which rounded out the top 10 courses in terms of difficulty.

Photo By: Courtesy of PGA National

Easiest course: PGA West (Nicklaus)

The Humana Challenge, formerly the Bob Hope Classic, has always had the reputation of being a birdiefest so it should be no surprise that the three courses used in the tournament -- PGA West (Nicklaus), PGA West (Palmer) and La Quinta CC -- were the three easiest courses on tour this year. What might be a surprise is it was the Nicklaus track that was easiest by far with an average of exactly four shots under par. This, despite the fact it was the Palmer course that yielded 10 scores of 64 or lower during the final round, including three 62s.

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Toughest par 3: No. 4 at Muirfield GL

The 226-yard hole played to a stroke average of 3.398 and it had company. The Open Championship host had three of the toughest nine par 3s in 2013.

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Easiest par 3: No. 7 at PGA West (Nicklaus)

The tour's easiest course in 2013 also had its easiest par 3, with the 140-yard hole played to an average of 2.718. Named "Meadow," it's description on PGATour.com reads: "A wide open look at a simple par three hole that plays slightly downhill." Sounds about right.

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Toughest par 4: No. 18 at Merion

Merion's most well-known hole played as difficult as ever 63 years after Ben Hogan famously made a par there to get into a playoff he'd ultimately win at the 1950 U.S. Open. This time, Justin Rose's clutch par on the same hole, now 521 yards long, wrapped up his first major. But Merion's fourth hole (504 yards) also averaged 4.706 shots and the course had five of the six toughest par 4s of the year. You win, USGA.

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Easiest par 4: No. 4 at TPC Boston

At 298 yards, the driveable (with less than a driver) hole played the easiest with a stroke average of 3.588. Of non-driveable par 4s, No. 14 at PGA West's Nicklaus course (of course) played the easiest with a 3.654 average.

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Toughest par 5: No. 4 at Merion

Merion's punishing par 4s received most of the attention, but its par 5s were no pushovers, either. The 628-yard hole played to a 5.23 average. Merion's only other par 5, No. 2 (think Steve Stricker's OB shank) came in at No. 4. The only other course with two par 5s in the top 10 was TPC San Antonio, which hosted the Valero Texas Open.

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Easiest par 5: No. 1 at Riviera

Let's just call this inviting opening hole that played to a 4.296 stroke average what it is: a long par 4.

Photo By: Chris Condon/PGA TOUR/Getty Images

Most birdies: TPC Deere Run

The host of the John Deere Classic saw 1,930 birdies racked up over four days. No wonder Zach Johnson likes playing here so much.

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Most eagles: Glen Abbey GC

The Canadian Open returned to this Jack Nicklaus design after four years. And after 61 eagles during the week, including 20 on the par-5 18th (left), we have a feeling players wouldn't mind seeing this course in the mix more often.

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Most bogeys, double bogeys, etc.: Merion

Again, you win, USGA. Merion produced 2,075 bogeys, 373 double bogeys and 77 "others." Fun!

Photo By: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Longest drives: TPC Deere Run

The John Deere Classic course led the way with an average drive traveling 306.3 yards. To put that in better perspective, that's the exact same number that the PGA Tour's longest driver during the season, Luke List, averaged and no other course on tour averaged more than 300 yards per drive. Funny, not what we expected at a track where non-bombers like Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson tend to dominate. Even this year's winner, Jordan Spieth (left), only ranked 80th for the year in driving distance.

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Shortest drives: Oak Hill

This one makes more sense. Players tended to play it safe by keeping driver in the bag and averaged just 260.1 yards off the tee during the PGA Championship. Did you see that rough?

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Toughest greens to hit: Harbour Town

Another somewhat predictable one due to the small greens of the Pete Dye design. Players only found the putting surface in regulation 57.15 percent of the time this year. Of course, super windy conditions over the weekend didn't help that number this year.

Photo By: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Easiest greens to hit: PGA West (Nicklaus)

Our favorite easy course makes another appearance. Why did players average shooting 68 on this track? In large part because they found themselves putting for birdie 75.64 percent of the time.

Photo By: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Toughest to scramble: Merion

As if hitting fairways and greens at the U.S. Open wasn't hard enough, it only got more difficult for golfers trying to recover from a mistake with players only getting up-and-down for par 38.48 percent of the time. Conversely, players saved par 66.07 percent when missing a green in regulation at La Quinta CC during the Humana Challenge (surprise!).

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Toughest greens to putt: Monterey Peninsula CC

One of three courses used for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-am, this Mike Strantz design produced the highest overall putting average (1.756) and putts per round (31.60). It also had the lowest one-putt percentage of any course on tour this year at 30.02 percent.

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Easiest greens to putt: TPC Blue Monster

Remember when Tiger Woods had the "greatest putting week of his life" on his way to winning the WGC-Cadillac Championship? Certainly, his total of 100 putts was impressive, but it isn't as otherworldly when you consider the field averaged 27.74 putts per round and an overall putting average of 1.541, with both of those numbers being the lowest on tour. The course also produced the highest percentage of one-putts for the season at 44.25 percent. In other words, the greens at TPC Blue Monster aren't very scary.

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

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