The majority of players in Delaware for this week’s 2022 BMW Championship aren’t too familiar with the layout at host Wilmington Country Club. According to Patrick Cantlay, those who competed in last year’s event in Maryland will notice some similarities.
Cantlay, the tournament’s defending champion who then went on to win the FedEx Cup, compared Wilmington Country Club to Caves Valley Golf Club in the sense that it’s “extremely distance biased,” noting players have to go long down the fairways, even though they’re more narrow than last year.
“I don’t think there’s too much strategy to this golf course. I think it’s pretty right in front of you and similar to last year,” Cantlay said ahead of his title defense. “The venues between last year and this year are actually really similar, I think, in style of golf.”
Measuring in at 7,534 yards, the par-71 course features three front nine par-4s that are 490-plus yards, while the two par-5s on the back are more than 600 yards.
“I think it’s really long. I think it’s also strange to me that we play so many golf courses that all they do is add length to the golf courses. It’s so surprising to me that the golf courses that none of the guys who hit it far, they don’t go to Hilton Head, they don’t go to Colonial, they don’t go to the short, small, dogleggy tree-lined golf courses,” Cantlay explained.
“The way we combat the distance, the way these architects seem to think they want to combat distance is by taking all the trees out and playing it 7,600 yards and put the tees way back and all the par-5s are at 600 yards. I don’t think that makes any sense.
“I’m surprised every time I come to a golf course where they say it’s recently been redone and then there’s no real shaping of golf shots. It’s just how far can you hit it and grab your driver on every hole and hit it as high and hit it as far as you possibly can. If you can hit it 315 yards, you’ve taken out all the bunkers, and you’re maybe in the rough, but it’s way better in the rough with a 9- or 8-iron than it is maybe in the fairway with a 5-iron if you were to lay up to the fat part of the fairway before the bunkers.”
“I’m so surprised that they haven’t figured it out, and it just seems like we’re getting more and more of the same bomb-it-as-far-as-you-can golf courses week after week.”