The BWD Tournament Hole of the Week: April 20 – 23, 2017. The 1st at TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks Course), Home of Valero Texas Open.

Tournament: Valero Texas Open – TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks Course), San Antonio, TX
Hole: 1st – Par 4, 454 Yards
Architect(s): Greg Norman – 2009
Player Consultant: Sergio Garcia – 2009

Architectural Summary:
The opening hole at TPC San Antonio’s AT&T Oaks Course is a demanding par 4 measuring 454 yards. The hole, while rather straightforward, plays into the prevailing wind and requires an accurate drive to ensure competitors find the fairway, measuring just over 30 yards wide at the landing area. Should tee shots miss the fairway, competitors will find trouble among the native grasses, underbrush, and mature trees of the Texas hill country. In order to achieve the optimal angle into the green, players will favor the left side of the fairway to set up their long- to medium-iron approach. The well-guarded green features a small, but deep front bunker positioned below the elevated green as well as a 56-yard-long greenside bunker curving along the left-rear portion of the green. The ideal miss on the approach will be to the right where competitors will find a generous collection area. The green itself is in the shape of a “teardrop,” measures 29 yards deep and slopes from left-to-right and back-to-front with small undulations throughout the surface. The putting surface falls off on all sides, requiring precision on the approach shot to hold, and will leave difficult up-and-downs for competitors not successfully finding the green on their approach. A plateau is located at the narrow front section of the green, nestled between the two greenside bunkers, where the most difficult pin locations will be found. Overall, competitors will look to walk away with a par on the opening hole of their round.

Statistical Analysis:
In 2016, the 1st hole was the sixth most difficult hole of the tournament playing to a scoring average of 4.10 (1 Eagle, 70 Birdies, 284 Pars, 94 Bogeys, 10 Doubles, and 1 “Other”).

Fun Facts:

  • TPC San Antonio is consistently one of the most difficult courses played on the PGA Tour year-after-year. Based upon combined strokes over par, the Oaks Course ranked as one of the top five most difficult courses on the Tour in 2016.
  • The course underwent several modifications during a 2012 renovation. One change was to the green on the first hole. The right side of the green was raised in order to provide additional pin positions and to be more receptive.
  • The Oaks Course features only 100 feet of elevation change throughout the entire course. In general, the course’s downhill holes play into the prevailing wind, while the uphill holes play downwind.