The Masters Course and Winning Score
Course > par 72 and 7,435 yards > Years ago it was easy to literally spray the ball about Augusta and still manage to have a chance of a par or even birdie, but the course has been tightened up a fair bit with a few holes having tees moved and letting some trees grow a bit. It is a surprisingly undulating course so you can get a lot of ball run on some holes and you don’t need to be a prodigously long hitter to do well here. You do however need to have a great short game as good approaches can often end up off the green and also the infamous greens are tricky to say the least – very fast with plenty of subtle borrows and swales
The 15th is a good example of an easy birdie hole which is now not so easy to score under par on – the long drivers should reach in 2 but the shorter hitters still have the chance of a pitching wedge close for their 3rd shot so it is still a good fair challenge but not the guaranteed 4 that it used to be. The 17th hole will no longer feature the Eisenhower tree due to weather damage this winter
Have a look in detail at the course here on the 2014 Masters website, it really is a terrific example of how to show a course off!
Scoring > usually depends on the weather, how fast they make the greens and whereabouts they stick the pins – it’s possible to score really well sometimes (most consecutive birdies has been 7 and most in a round was a huge 11) but equally if you are off your game or your short game is struggling you can easily rack up bogeys or worse
Not so long ago, Augusta was capable of being tamed but now there are less easy holes where birdies are fairly common and many more holes where you are thankful to get a par
These days the winner is not so much whoever has the game for the course (the players who draw the ball rather than fade used to do well here, plus the long bombers used to dominate the course as it was so wide open) but more whomever is playing at the peak of their powers; you have to drive really well and putt well obviously but also stay positive and ignore the inevitable bogey – the mental side of the game is massive anyway but more so in a major and especially here – the solution is to play the sensible shot when it matters and not go for broke on the par 5s unless you are flushing the ball – accuracy is important as if you are in a poor position off the tee then it often makes going for the pin impossible and you have to play safe and further away meaning less birdie chances
You have to expect around 8-10 bogeys over the week usually for the tournament winner – Mickelson had just 6 in 2010 which was very low, Scott and Westwood both had just 6 also last year; normally you have to expect at least a couple of bogeys per round. Birdies are readily available (the most has been 25 by Mickelson in 2001) and there are of course eagle opportunities on the par 5s (Tiger had 4 in 2010 and was -15 on the par 5s!)