Copperhead! If you got that answer correct, then I’m sure you’d get a top score in the PGA Tour SAT test if there existed such a thing. And if you didn’t put Copperhead down as you’re answer, take solace in the fact that there isn’t a PGA Tour SAT test. The explanation however, is that the Valspar Championship is begin played on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort this week.
First some music if you’re so inclined, otherwise skip and go right to what to watch for!
No Actual Copperheads
I was curious how the course got the name Copperhead, when the other courses at Innisbrook are named Island, Highland North, and Highland South. Clearly it’s after the copperhead snake (the giant snake statue pictured above, and the Snake Pit nickname for 16-18th holes, see below). What I wasn’t sure about was where the copperhead snake exists in the wild, if only to be sure that I wouldn’t accidentally run into one here in the midwest.
If you’re looking for the 2016 preview, click here.
From the Blue Monster, the PGA Tour moves to the Copperhead course at Innisbrook Resort! No, not Lincoln’s copper head on the penny, we’re talking ’bout the snake! According to wikipedia (the source of pretty much all information you see here on this site), the copperhead isn’t too venomous, and doesn’t bite too often. That has nothing to do with golf, but we could all use some snake safety tips once in a while.
About the Sponsor
This week’s sponsor breaks the streak of car sponsored tournaments at 2 in a row, and starts the streak of paint company sponsored tournaments. I’m guessing that streak will be a short one. Founded in 1806, Valspar has a current market cap of $7 billion. Compared to the recent valuation of Snapchat at $19 billion, which was founded in 2011, I’ll say Valspar is lagging a little. That $7B valuation puts Valspar as the 6th largest paint company in the world. Given that Valspar is the title sponsor of a PGA Tour event, this leaves me wondering when the Akzonobel Open is going to be. Or maybe that’s already a European Tour event since Akzonobel is a dutch company. While we’re at it, when’s the Snapchat Open? Maybe that already took place, but nobody remembers it because all of the scores disappeared 10 seconds after the player holed out.
After another successful week for me at the Cadillac, we move on to the Valspar Championship. Decent field for a relatively under the radar tournament. As always in 50/50s, gotta pick guys who make the cut.
Daniel Berger ($8,400) — Only missing one cut since October, Berger’s been consistent. Four times in the top 15, twice in 10th, and then the playoff loss at the Honda. Really good pick here I think. Especially if you’re playing tournaments, since there aren’t many $8,400 players that can win.
Ian Poulter ($8,600) — After being on the Berger train for a few weeks, I came to my senses. How is a 21 year old unproven rookie basically the same salary as Ian Poulter? Sure, Poulter hasn’t won a stroke play tournament on the PGA Tour, but no reason to pick the young guy over Poulter. Come on Jack, get it together. Luckily, I realized this before the picks were due and changed it. Unluckily for everyone else, I updated this after the tournament ended. My bad.
While scrolling through the tv guide earlier, which seems to be the case every night recently, I saw that the Golf Channel had an hour long show with the title “PGA Tour Golf”. Considering it’s Wednesday, I assumed that it was a repeat of last year’s Valspar (Transitions) Championship final round since I’ve seen the Golf Channel do that before. Well it turns out that the Golf Channel made the great decision to actually show some of the pro am!
I only caught the last 15 minutes of it, but I caught a few interviews and a few shots from the players. Even with the short time frame, the announcers focused on talking about learning from what the pros were doing, rather than the standard commentary. They had a segment with Stewart Cink before he was about to tee off on a long par 3 (where apparently he’s had 2 aces during tournament play). Cink talked about how to approach a longer par three, and hit is tee shot, which was a little pull that missed the green to the left, and then dropped some knowledge when he noted that golf was all about managing your misses. The whole thing was sort of a mini playing lessons with the pros. The difference being that it was way more organic.
Now I doubt that many people are going to learn from what Cink had to say since everything that could be said, has been said a hundred times over. But being able to see the pros with their guards down is a way better use of air time than showing “School of Golf” or “Bagger Vance”, each of which sandwiched the hour of coverage. I really hope that the Golf Channel decides to expand their coverage of the pro ams in the future since it’s bound to be a ratings hit.
If you’re looking for the 2016 preview, look here.
You just finished watching a WGC event with a top tier field at a decently historic venue. There were tons of top players near the top of the leaderboard with Tiger drama all of Sunday. Considering the finish at the Honda Classic two weeks ago, let’s face it, you’ve got a golf hangover. And unfortunately for you, The Valspar Championship isn’t exactly the Gatorade that you’re looking for. But hey, it’s another PGA Tour event and by the end of the week, another millionaire will be a million dollars richer!
First off, what is the Valspar Championship. Turns out that Transitions ditched sponsoring an event, and Valspar paint swooped in and signed a 4 year contract last fall. Good for the Tampa / St. Petersburg area. The tournament is played at Innisbrook resort’s Copperhead (think snakes) course, which actually turns out to be pretty solid. According to Golf Digest, the Copperhead course is ranked 9th favorite by PGA Tour players, ahead of Congressional and TPC Sawgrass. That alone is probably one of the reasons that the field isn’t terrible, despite not being an A-list event. So checking it out on tv is definitely worth your time.
I planned on ignoring the fact that the media is trying to build up the course and tournament by naming the final stretch of holes. Naming a difficult stretch on a course has to be the golf marketing equivalent of all those stupid articles online with clickbait titles. It’s just an awful practice but when not much else about the tournament or course is known to the general public, I guess they do what works.
Well the Copperhead course at Innisbrook is apparently home to the “Snake Pit.” And as much at the golf channel and NBC can try to promote by talking about the “Snake Pit”, there aren’t too many mentions of it online. Sometimes naming holes does work. The Honda Classic a few weeks ago featured the Bear Trap, PGA National’s final 4 holes. Augusta National is home to Amen Corner. The difference is that I don’t have to use quotes when I mention them. In fact, it is so unknown that when I was googling for information about it, the second result is for Copperhead tracer wire. Good try NBC / Innisbrook Resort, but right now, it’s just an annoying gimmick. Maybe this article can help cement the “Snake Pit” as a thing.