First Tee to Last Call: Over the Hill & Saying I do
We are back! It’s been a great (not so off) season and I am excited to get back into the swing of things with my true love – golf.
Speaking of true love, a lot has changed for me since my last column. I switched jobs twice, leaving the liquor industry and coming back. I turned 40 years old. (Yes, it does feel as old as it sounds.) And most importantly, I got married!
My wife and I have been together for about 7 years, living together almost the entire time. Somehow, she’s has managed to put up with me all of the years. The biggest thing people ask the second they discover you’re newlywed is, “So… Does it feel different?”. The answer is absolutely it does, but not in the way people often think or infer.
The act of getting married was more about the party and bringing all of our friends and families together. We have been together and living together for so long at this point that there isn’t a whole lot left to discover about each other. There aren’t any surprises or skeletons in our closets that we don’t know about. The fact that we know each other so well is really the cornerstone of our relationship. Right, wrong or indifferent, for better or worse, we are who we are and we accept each other for those traits and flaws.
That being said, “Does being married feel different?”. It does. The actual act of getting married felt like a complete affirmation of how much we do love each other. The acknowledgment of finding someone who I intend to spend the rest of my life with and committing to that was the most exciting and emotional thing I think I’ve ever done. There is an indescribable feeling about saying, or in our case hearing our vows being read that still makes me tear up.
The verbal affirmation that we are both in this crazy life together and will do our best to get through it together no matter the obstacle is both terrifying and reassuring. So while we aren’t any different as people or a couple, we are closer than ever and ready for whatever life has in store for us. My best advice is to find someone to love who you can also call your best friend. I consider myself to be the luckiest person on earth to have found someone who embodies both.
Over the Hill
On a less emotional note, I also turned 40. Yeah. it hurts my soul to say it, especially considering I’m the eldest in most of my friend groups. Saying you’re 40 feels a lot like admitting that you can no longer act like an idiot.
I should have my stuff together. Home projects on the weekend and planning my retirement. Upping my life insurance policy. Abiding by a more regular and rigorous checkup process with my doctor. Not getting drunk and partying with my friends (as often).
If you aren’t new to my content, you know that I like to have a good time. I love having a busy social schedule and I will not let old age get in the way of that. I’m aware 40 isn’t that old, but it just feels like I should be more responsible by social norms. One day I’ll grow up, but for now, you’ll get to keep hearing about my antics.
I had an amazing turnout for my surprise birthday party. My wife truly surprised me. There were about 40 people there that came from all over the midwest. It was humbling to see how many friends I have.
We live in South Dakota and I’m a huge golfer. We reserved our entire indoor golf simulator bar and tore it up for a few hours. Then it was onto our favorite local bar. If you watch our NFL DFS YouTube Series, “The DFS Tailgate” you’ve seen my broadcast live from it many times. Needless, to say we had a blast.
The next day was the Super Bowl, so of course, we continued party/bar hopping to celebrate my old age. Valentine’s Day is my actual birthday, and my wife has always been gracious enough to make it about my birthday and not about the Hallmark Holiday. We did lunch, dinner and drinks with a smaller group of friends.
We then flew to South Carolina to spend the rest of the week with my family playing golf every day and drinking on the patio at night. Like I said, not ready to skip a beat quite yet.
Another year older and another year wiser!
Now, let’s just hope that mantra translates to my DFS golf picks this season. I learned a lot last year, having some big hits and big losses along the way. Most of all, I refined my process and with any luck, it will help us all win a little more money this year!
Onto the Green: Honda Classic 2022
PGA National Resort Course Breakdown
• Par 70
• 7,125 yards
• Bermuda Grass
Palm Beach Gardens plays tough and usually has low double-digit under-par scores, if not single-digit. It is home to the world-famous “Bear Trap” 15,16 and 17, which is the fourth-most difficult three-hole stretch on tour.
Players will be happy to escape the trap with a score even to par. Birdie streaks are most likely to happen from holes No. 18,1 and 2. Florida golf can often see heavy winds and I would make sure to check the weather and tee time splits closer to lock.
Having spent the last few days golfing in that part of the world I can attest to how brutal the coastal wind can be. We saw gusts over 20 mph one of the days. Water is a huge defense on this course with it in play on 15 of the 18 holes. Palm Beach Gardens is also littered with bunkers, totaling about 65 in play.
Having a strong approach game is important here with most approaches coming from the 150-200 yard range. I think bombers may have an advantage in mitigating some of the longer approach shots, although it is risk vs. reward with so much water and sand in play. Historically, this tournament has seen shorter, more accurate players rise to the top.
• 2021: Matt Jones (-12)
• 2020: Sungjae Im (-6)
• 2019: Keith Mitchell (-9)
• 2018: Justin Thomas (-8)
• 2017: Rickie Fowler (-12)
• Bogey Avoidance
• Driving distance/accuracy
• Approach from 150-200 yds
Honda Classic Picks
Daniel Berger ($10,400)
Daniel Berger fits this course perfectly. He has all the tools to play tough tracks well. I love his approach and iron play. He leads this field in shots gained, tee-to-green and approach over the last 36 rounds. He is third overall for bogey avoidance which is critical here. Just making par will go a long way in this historically modest scoring event.
He was far and away my No.1 ranked golfer this week. I do have some worry about his back holding up with his recent withdrawals, but I am going all-in on Berger anyway because if he tees it up he has a very good chance to win.
Shane Lowry ($9,400)
I love Shane Lowry but I rarely get him right. He plays well at tough courses with less than optimal conditions. The Irishman has shown his ability to rise to the challenge. He has a great approach game and is also in the top 10 for bogey avoidance.
I do anticipate getting a lower roster percentage on him too, which we always like. If the wind kicks up his value only increases. I will be rolling Lowry out either way and suggest you build him into at least a few lineups this week.
Cameron Young ($8,600)
Cameron Young is someone I was early on over the last few tournaments and it paid off last week. I am going to keep rolling with the hot hand here. He doesn’t necessarily fit the course, but he is showing a lot of great talent that may work here.
His driver accuracy was excellent last week and his distance is in the very top tier of the tour. Though I don’t love his around-the-green game, I do anticipate that getting better the more he is in contention. Though Young’s driving distance may be mitigated a bit this week, his approach game with shorter irons from the key distances may prove to be a massive advantage.
Other Golfers I like this Week
• Louis Oosthuizen ($10,800)
• Joaquin Niemann ($10,600)
• Brooks Koepka ($10,100)
• Matthew Wolf ($9,200)
• Russell Knox ($8,100)
• Mark Hubbard ($6,900)
• Satoshi Kodaira ($6,600)
• Luke Donald ($6,400)
“Last Call” Dart Throw of the Week
• Chris Kirk $7500
Thanks for reading, and good luck this week!
Conor Coughlin (@Cough_DFS)