Aggressive tee shots? How you can be rewarded with an aggressive tee shot like Matsuyama in Card Golf Tour

The Genesis Invitational | Nick Sahrmann

In order to score well on the course, a golfer must understand their odds of hitting a successful shot. The same can be said at the card table. A player must be able to recognize the situation they are in, and how they can maximize each of their turns based on their odds.  
You can play the odds in Card Golf Tour just like you can play the odds on the golf course. From week to week, we will share examples of pros playing the odds during the week’s professional golf tournament. Then we will review how you can play similar odds during your next round of Card Golf Tour.  

Pro Example
This week’s edition of Playing The Odds highlights the 10th hole at Riviera Country Club – host of the Genesis Invitational. As a 304 yard par 4, the strategy on this hole in terms of whether to go for the green with the drive or layup from the tee box has evolved over time. For a great analysis of the hole, check out this blog post from Letzig and the team at Using data from the professional tour from 2006 – 2023, they found that players who go for the green averaged 3.9 strokes on the hole. While players who laid up from the tee averaged 4.02 strokes on the hole. 
Hideki Matsuyama played these odds all 4 rounds during the Genesis Invitational by going for the green with his drive in each round. It paid off for him as he birdied the hole twice and pared the hole twice – on his way to scoring 17 under par for the tournament to win by 3 strokes. 
Below is a view, courtesy of PGA TOURCAST, of Matsuyama 10th hole during the final round. He strategically decided to go for the green from the tee box – leaving a 37 yard chip and a 10 foot putt, that he sank for a birdie. 

Card Golf Tour Example
Here is what Matsuyama’s hole could have looked like in Card Golf Tour. As a par 4, he had 6 cards in his hand. Flipping over two cards of his choice as his drive on the par 4, resulted in a -2 point driver and a 0 point hybrid.    

The rules of Card Golf Tour allow for players to rearrange their face up cards to improve their score before Player One takes their first turn from the draw pile or discard pile. A strategy to improve your odds as a player when you have two good cards on your drive (like a driver and a hybrid) are to rearrange the cards into one column. The basis for this strategy is that these two cards are not going to be matched during the hole because the point values are -2 and 0 – which don’t need to be matched to reduce points down to zero because they are already at zero points (or -2 points in the case of the driver). Deploying this tee shot strategy results in Matsuyama’ Card Golf Tour hand becoming:

As Card Golf Tour play proceeds on the 10th hole, Matsuyama’s chip gave him a good birdie chance – as though he matched two green 6 irons (for a total of zero points in the middle column). And he drew a 1 iron to give him a total of -1 point with one card remaining.

On his next turn, Matsuyama drew a driver from the draw pile to finish with -3 points and a birdie – just like he did at Riviera. Matsuyama played the odds by not laying up on the hole by strategically rearranging his cards at the beginning of the hand and was rewarded with a birdie in the end.                       

Join us next week as we play the odds at the Mexico Open at Vidanta in Vallarta, Mexico.

Related Posts