The Masters – how tough is Augusta?

MASTERS amen corner


Whilst sitting here in the confines of my front room, wine in hand and a belly full of steak watching Sky Sports coverage of The Masters, I felt compelled to write a post!

Two things I’ve observed: Firstly, WOW! What a beautiful looking golf course. Secondly, it doesn’t look very forgiving!

When watching tournaments on the TV, I always wonder (as I’m sure you all do too), what average club players like me would score on said course if we had go. Tonight, it got me thinking ‘what sort of score would I get’ if I ever played Augusta National, home to The Masters?

Now, that is highly unlikely unless a) I suddenly get really good at golf and become a very highly rated pro or b) I befriend a member and beg for an invite. Neither are very likely.

But, what score would we shoot? Yesterday, we all saw big Phil Mickelson put two 7’s on his card. So far today McDowell is having a total nightmare. We all remember Rory McIlroy’s complete meltdown on the final day in 2011 don’t we?

For sure, nothing about Augusta looks easy, even for the best golfers in the world. The greens look ridiculously fast and your course management has to be better than fantastic.

It’s so tough, did you know (a fact from The Masters incoming!), no winner has ever shot four rounds in the 60s. Not even Tiger Woods during his record-breaking 18 under in 1997. He had a 70 on day one.

MASTERS - Tiger 1997


Getting back to us, Mr (and Mrs) average golfer and our score. This article in Golf Digest suggests it should be a scratch Par 78, meaning an 18 handicap golfer would have a handicap of 22 and shoot an average of 103. I reckon it would be much higher than that!

I’ve been very fortunate to play some lovely golf courses around the world, including Sandy Lane in Barbados. When I played that with my father-in-law (who actually ripped it up!), it was the week before the 2006 World Golf Championship… and it was REALLY TOUGH! The rough was impossible to get out of and the greens were so quick it was like putting on glass. With that in mind, I think my score around The Masters Augusta home, I’d be looking at a score in the 120’s… and that’s if I played well!

Sandy Lane Barbados

So, Augusta… it’s a tough cookie, even for the golfing greats like Rory, Poults and big Phil. In terms of the Masters this year and who we all think is going to be wearing the green jacket on Sunday – how do you begin to predict that one? I think it’s kind of similar to the Grand National (except with golf clubs and not horses), it’s a little bit of a lottery. I’m not even sure form counts for that much around Augusta?

For what its worth, I stuck some money on Sergio. Surely it’s time for him to claim a major? I also had a little flutter on good ‘ol Rickie Fowler. Not just because of his flamboyant golf and golf attire, but he was also a very attractive 60/1!

MASTERS Rickie Fowler

The thing is, for most of us Augusta is a course we’ll never, ever, ever get to play. So, we’ll never get to see for ourselves how tough it really is. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all…