It’s very rare the PGA Tour goes to a new venue, but Congaree Golf Club—the new Tom Fazio design in Ridgeland, S.C., about 45 minutes from Hilton Head—will host the displaced RBC Canadian Open as the 2021 Palmetto Championship.
Congaree—ranked 39th on Golf Digest’s 2021-2022 America’s 100 Greatest ranking—will test the world’s best players unlike most tour venues do. This will be the most firm and fast course on the PGA Tour schedule this year, as the TifGrand Bermudagrass is maintained impeccably by John Lavelle, David Barrett and staff. Players are used to seeing their approach shots stop on a dime on greens. Most often, players will have to strategize how to use the surrounding bumps and slopes to control their golf ball—as Fazio designed this course ala an Australian Sand Belt course—encouraging shots around the green to utilize the ground.
Though the setup will play as long as 7,655 yards as a par 71, the amount of roll these fairways can produce—and how players will cut corners over enormous oak trees—will not necessarily play that long. The true challenge will be in navigating these putting surfaces and green surrounds. Deft touch will be needed if you miss any of these greens slightly—and creativity will be needed to use some of these undulations to get the ball close.
South Carolina native Dustin Johnson is the co-favorite with Brooks Koepka at William Hill Sportsbook in a field that has depleted with a handful of players withdrawing Sunday night and Monday. Though Congaree is a great examination of a player’s complete game, it appears some are opting not to play a venue with as much fairway width as any other tour course—and no rough—as a test for next week’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. We won’t be surprised if more competitors opt to skip this week, though they’ll be missing out on a great course.
Very few players have experience at Congaree—we do know Kevin Kisner is one of a dozen or so players who visited the lowcountry, sand-based site—before this week. Luke List, who’s currently 80-1, held the course record as of last month. Hudson Swafford (300-1) also spent some time preparing for Congaree in recent months.
Here’s a complete list of odds for players currently in the field at the 2021 Palmetto Championship.
(Odds courtesy of William Hill, as of Monday afternoon)
Matthew Fitzpatrick: 18-1
Padraig Harrington: 125-1
Kiradech Aphibarnrat: 300-1
Sebastian Cappelen: 500-1
Richard S. Johnson: 1,500-1
Parker McLachlin: 1,500-1