TOUGH SHOTS

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - 2017 Masters -

“Over the first green might be the worst spot on the course that is not in wa­ter or trees. It’s easy to go there when it’s into the wind. The first 10 yards of the green are ba­si­cally un­us­able. The ball just rolls back off the front. So you have a choice some­times of com­ing up short or go­ing over the back. That’s hard to deal with men­tally on the first hole: The best spot is 25 yards short of

the pin? But it is.” . . . “The drive on 2 is tough. So is the sixth hole when the pin is up on the right. Seven is a tough drive. So is the ap­proach to 11. And the drive at 13. And the pitch to the 15th, from short of the wa­ter or over the green. And the drive on 17.” . . . “There are car­di­nal sins, of course. You can’t be short on 5 when the pin is up in the front. It’s like try­ing to land a 6-iron on the roof of a car to get close there.” . . . “The one shot I never want to hit at Au­gusta is the sec­ond shot on 11. It’s hard be­cause you’ve seen the shot so many times that you’re just pet­ri­fied to hit it in the wa­ter. So you bail out, some­times way too far – I’ve seen balls on the 12th tee – and that’s not an easy up-and-down for par. Ev­ery­one makes it into a par 4½. They’ve made that hole so long now that it’s the least-ex­cit­ing hole on the golf course. If guys had 7-or 8-iron in their hands more, it would tempt them to go at some pins, and it would be more ex­cit­ing. Now, though, it’s so long and un­invit­ing – who’s go­ing to aim at the green? No one. That’s an ex­am­ple of over­com­pen­sa­tion for how far the ball goes. So now it’s a bor­ing hole be­cause it’s a su­per-hard hole that no one plays prop­erly. Ev­ery­one takes the risk out, so there’s no drama. Crazy.” . . . “The tee shot at 12 is the hard­est shot there. With the wind swirling, the shal­low­ness of the green – there’s no good bailout there. The way the hole sits, it sets up for a fade, and your eye says it sets up for a fade, but you saw what hap­pened to Jor­dan Spi­eth.” . . . “The 12th can be the eas­i­est hole on the course, but it can be a beast. And it’s harder with the mod­ern ball. The ‘Pin­na­cles’ they play with can take off through the wind and one-hop into the garbage at the back.” . . . “The most dra­matic hole is 12, fol­lowed by 13, and they’re two of the short­est holes on the course. So what does that say?”

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