Norton, MA—This week’s Deutsche Bank Championship, being played in the greater Boston area, is the second leg of the 2014 FedEx playoffs. The TPC Boston original course opened for play in 2003 and was designed by Arnold Palmer. In 2007, the layout was upgraded through the combined efforts of Gil Hanse—the man designing the golf course for the 2016 Summer Olympics—and PGA Tour player Brad Faxon.
TPC Boston is situated on rolling land in the town of Norton, roughly 25 miles southwest of Boston proper. The land features wooded areas which call upon sound driving skills. Water does come into play at a number of strategic points during the round.
The course can be stretched to a max of 7,241 yards with a course rating of 77.0 and slope number of 152. A number of course changes have been made to stiffen a few holes so that enhanced shot-making is called upon.
Four holes have been highlighted that will play a major role in determining what player walks away on Labor Day with victory in the FedEx playoffs second event.
Par-4 5th / 466 Yards
Players will need to get off to a quick start because matters can change quickly when they arrive at the 5th tee. The hole turns left in the drive zone and a well-positioned fairway bunker on the left side needs to be avoided. The approach will need to land correctly on the three-tier putting surface which is protected both right and left for any misplays that occur. Securing a par here will be earned.
Par-4 6th / 465 Yards
There is no rest as you leave the 5th green and come to the 6th. Players will hit out of a slight chute over mounds—two bunkers guard the right side of the fairway and heavy rough awaits those who pull their tee shots. Even after reaching the fairway the approach will be over a pond that hugs snugly along the green. This is a hole that needs to be handled with great care. Making a par here will require four well-played shots.
Par-4 14th / 495 Yards
This is TPC Boston’s longest par-4 and it requires a careful marriage of distance and accuracy from the tee. Bunkers that were previously on the left side of the hole have been removed—large mounds covered in natural fescue grasses are there now. These are to be avoided at all costs. The green is quite small for a hole of this length and those who find the fairway will need to hit one of their best approaches if birdies are to be considered.
Par-5 18th / 533 Yards
The closing hole at TPC Boston brings into play the fullest range of score outcomes. Eagles can be made here—as can double-bogeys or more. The hole turns slightly right in the drive zone and the putting surface is protected by wetlands. Those going for the green need to have their tee shots placed in the left center of the fairway. In past events the putting surface was large enough to handle just about any approach play. That has since changed and the available putting acreage is now much smaller. No event is ever done here till the final putt is holed.