It's a new season on the PGA Tour and, for the eighth time in nine years, the action tees-off in California.
However, this week's event in the Napa Valley has a new sponsor, with the multi-national corporation Fortinet taking over from supermarket chain Safeway.
Silverado Resort and Spa is once again the location, and is a course which first appeared on the PGA Tour schedule during the late 1960s.
Over the past few years, Silverado has not been a course where hitting fairways off the tee appears to have been overly important.
In the five years from January 1 2016 thru to December 31 2020, the tournament average for Driving Accuracy - for those completing all 72 holes at Silverado - was 52.92%.
This is around 10% lower than the overall Tour average for Driving Accuracy.
With regards to the same period for Greens in Regulation, the tournament average at Silverado is 70.73%. No other regular venue on Tour had such a wide disparity as this - 17.81% (70.73 - 52.92).
Last year's champ Stewart Cink illustrated this as much as anyone. In 2020, he found just 55.4% of fairways during the tournament, yet still went on to hit 84.7% of greens.
A year earlier, winner Cameron Champ was 53.6 (DA) and 73.6 (GiR), while Kevin Tway was 51.8 (DA) and 72.2 (GiR) when he held aloft the trophy in 2018.
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This suggests that greater accuracy is demanded for approach shots, than it is for those played from the tee, although Silverado's tree-lined fairways do not mean complete freedom with the driver.
However, as a footnote to this, the last three winners at Silverado all finished inside the top 30 of the Driving Distance chart on the recently-ended 2020/21 PGA Tour.
On the tee
The headline acts this week are three of this year's four major winners: Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama and Phil Mickelson.
Along with Mickelson, the leading Americans teeing-up are those who failed to make it onto Steve Stricker's Ryder Cup team, including Webb Simpson, Kevin Na and Will Zalatoris.
Na has been in excellent form throughout much of the summer and, at the recent Tour Championship, fired the joint-lowest 72-hole total alongside world No 1 Jon Rahm - who will be representing Europe at next week's Ryder Cup.
Na, who turns 38 on Wednesday, was runner-up at Silverado six years ago which will give hope to the Tour's shorter-hitters, of which Simpson is one.
Outside of this top group of players is Harold Varner who completed the regular season in reasonable shape and has had three top-20 finishes at Silverado.
Located around 50 miles north-east of San Francisco, and 60 miles west of Sacramento, Silverado is a resort course where the weather remains fairly hot most of the year.
The North Course, on which the tournament is played, opened for business in 1955 before being re-designed by Robert Trent Jones junior 11 years later.
It underwent another, less rigorous, upgrade less than a decade ago when two-time major winner Johnny Miller added approximately 250 yards to its length, widened a few fairways and repositioned a number of bunkers.
These more recent changes prepared the course for its return to the PGA Tour schedule in October 2014.
The North Course had previously been part of the calendar between 1968 and 1980, when it hosted the Kaiser International Open which later became the Anheuser-Busch Classic.
It is largely a flat, parkland layout, with a few changes in elevation and there are plenty of trees.
The Bentgrass/Poa Annua putting surfaces are usually quick and undulating, while water is only an issue on a couple of holes.
Note: Tour Championship positions relate to 72-hole total, not position after handicap.
Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive
MC* - Missed Additional 54-Hole Cut
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