The Shots You Need to Win the Masters

The Shots You Need to Win the Masters

Peter Kostis believes that chips from tight lies, approach shots from awkward lies and short wedge shots are the shots you need to win the Masters.
Dennis Murphy/D2 Productions

I start working with the guys I coach on the specific shots
they need to play well at Augusta National months before
the event. But while everyone knows you need to turn the
ball right-to-left with certain tee shots and putt well on those
super-fast greens, we also work on a few shots that you might
not know are just as important to play well at the Masters.

1. Chipping Off Really Tight Lies: Players never see tighter
lies on chip and pitch shots than they do at Augusta
National. During Masters week you know you’re going
to face a number of shots where the lie is so tight that
you’re afraid you can’t get the clubface under the ball, so
we’ll work on making a more shallow chipping swing.
We’ll even chip off putting greens to practice. You’ve
heard about how hard putting is at Augusta. Chipping
can be even more difficult.

2. Approach Shots From Awkward Lies: We talk so much
about length at the Masters—and it is important—but Augusta
National is still a second-shot golf course where you have to
land your shot plus or minus one or two yards north, south,
east or west to score. Augusta National doesn’t reward good
shots, only great ones. The
difficulty is that the vast
majority of the time players
are going to be in situations
where they have to
control their balance and
ball position to play from
an uneven lie. One of the
reasons Jack Nicklaus was
so successful here was because
he had such strong
legs and could maintain his
balance and get the ball high from uneven lies. Players with
active leg action in their swings, like Greg Norman, have more
difficulty with the uneven lies.

3. Half-Wedge Shots From 125 Yards and In: The most
dangerous shot at Augusta National might just be a little
half-wedge for your third shot on 15, because players don’t
appreciate just how downhill the lie is. Why do you think
you see so many balls go into the water? No. 13 is another
hole where you need this shot, especially with a back-tier
pin that makes you lay up. Players need this half-wedge shot
to make birdies on these holes, but they also need it if they
get into trouble with their tee shots on 10 and 11, pitch out
and need to save par. These shots just might be the difference
between winning a green jacket and finishing in the
middle of the pack.