The PGA Tour heads to California for the 2023 American Express on Thursday.
After a few weeks in Hawaii, the PGA Tour mixes things up with one of the feature pro-am events of the year. The American Express is one of the most interesting tournaments of the year as the field will be played across three different courses over a span of four days.
The 2023 American Express is a full-field event with 156 golfers competing for a share of an $8 million purse. The field will feature five of the top 10 players in the world, led by PGA Tour Player of the Year Scottie Scheffler.
American Express 2023 Format
The American Express is one of the longest-tenured PGA Tour events, marking the 64th edition this season.
Despite being a pro-am event, the tournament will be played at different courses, PGA West Stadium Course, PGA West Nicklaus Course and La Quinta Country Club. Each golfer will play two rounds at PGA West Stadium Course, one round at PGA West Nicklaus Course and one round at La Quinta Country Club.
With different courses lined up for the tournament, the changes will reward only the most resourceful golfers in the field.
La Quinta Course Country Club Course Preview
The field will be playing all three courses this weekend over the first 54 holes. While all three courses are a par 72, the PGA West Nicklaus Course measures at 7,159 yards and the Quinta Country Club measures at 7,060 yards. The Stadium course is the longest course at 7,187 yards.
With that being said, the courses are relatively short for a Par 72 and are typically easy with very low scores.
However it wouldn’t be a Pete Dye design without a risk-reward Par 5. The PGA Stadium Course, like at TPC Sawgrass, features an island-green par-three and water-lined par four in the finishing stretch. Dye described these three holes and some of the most difficult finishing holes he’s ever built.
The American Express will be another tournament where distance off the tee isn’t going to be the determining factor. On all three courses this week, players with a strong iron tend to do well.
Despite being the three easiest courses on the field, golfers will need to score very low for a shot at the title. They will need to be creative and will need to make birdies from 15 feet.
Another advantage will be the ability to win on a Pete Dye-designed course. Two of the four rounds will be played on his tracks. Players that are comfortable and have a good history with Pete Dye-designed courses tend to be on top of the golf leaderboard.