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US Masters – The Augusta Course / Scoring


The Masters Course and Winning Score

April 11th-14th, Augusta National, Georgia

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

Have a look in detail at the course here on the 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; 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!)

A lot of players will be looking to shoot around par ie 3 birdies and 3 bogeys perhaps and take a good round if it’s there, you don’t normally get too many 65s here; anyone who sprays it around will no doubt have to have an immense short game to escape with decent scores
Also depends a bit on the weather of course but more so on the green speed and the pin placements – the greens will be their usual speed probably and the pin placements are the main defence that the course has – all the usual spots with Sunday being the hardest as always (bar the 16th where there is a decent chance of an ace)


About Author

* UK born, now live in sunny Australia * Specialise in golf & football but also dabble on the nags, cricket, US sports, AFL, etc * Always looking to go against the flow and tend to trade most of the time

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