Under the condition of strict anonymity, we quizzed some top caddies to find out more about what it really takes to win the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. As you might expect, they weren’t shy with their opinions.
Today’s Golfer’s 2023 Major coverage is brought to you in association with TaylorMade.
What’s the toughest hole at Augusta National Golf Club?
“The 1st is a sneaky, difficult hole. If you’re long, you’re dead.”
“The 7th green is built to receive wedge shots, not 6-irons.”
“The 11th is f***ed up now because of those stupid trees on the right.”
“The wind on 12 is a nightmare.”
“The 4th. Wind, elevation and every pin is so hard.”
“It’s 5 or 12. The 5th is longer now and the green isn’t made for a 5-iron. The 12th is all about the elements and it depends on the wind. It makes your ass pucker more than any hole out there.”
“The beginning of Amen Corner. There’s really nowhere you can miss.”
What’s the easiest hole at Augusta National Golf Club?
“No. 2. Just hit the fairway and it’s an easy birdie.”
No. 2. There’s nothing complicated about it.”
“No. 2. The fairway is wide and if you miss the green with your second it’s an easy chip and putt.”
“No. 15. Statistically, it’s the easiest, but a lot of tournaments have been won and lost there.”
“No. 8. It’s a blind second shot but that front pin has a bowl that feeds the ball to the hole. It’s an easy birdie.”
New Tiger Woods vs Old Tiger Woods over the last nine holes in The Masters at Augusta… Who wins?
Old Tiger: 30 votes.
New Tiger: 0 votes.
What do you say to your player if he is leading down the stretch in the Masters on Sunday afternoon?
“I’m talking to him about the hot girl in the crowd. Anything but golf.”
“Nothing about golf.”
“Be patient. You don’t need spectacular because guys always make a bogey coming in.”
“Stay in the present.”
“Every joke I know.”
“Stay calm for f**k’s sake.”
“Keep doing what you’re doing.”
“You can spot the winner by the way he behaves, so let’s behave like the winner.”
THE MASTERS: Tiger’s historic first victory relived
What is your honest opinion about those white overalls you have to wear at the Masters tournament?
“They are cool.”
“Sh*t, it gets way too hot in those.”
“They’re obnoxiously uncomfortable. I get the tradition, but come on.”
“Hate them. I’m not a painter and decorator.”
“I prefer them. It’s easy. I’d wear them every tournament.”
“I like it for one week a year.”
“They’re uncomfortable and heavy and you stink after wearing them all day.”
THE MASTERS: Augusta Icons: The story of Amen Corner
From a caddie’s perspective, what’s the secret to winning at Augusta National Golf Club?
“Hitting it high.”
“Leaving uphill putts and not short-siding yourself.”
“A local caddie told me to stick with the forecast re the wind direction. But he lied to me.”
“Preparation and patience. Just plod along.”
“Distance control. You have to be in the right spot on the green.”
“Miss in the right places. It can be easier to chip than putt sometimes.”
“Avoid silly mistakes.”
“It’s a second-shot golf course.”
THE MASTERS: Inside Augusta National’s clubhouse
Of the four men’s Majors, which is the easiest to win?
The Masters: 14 votes
US PGA: Nine votes
US Open: Two votes
The Open: Five votes
What special notes do you have in your Augusta book that is not in others?
“In the caddie lounge, there is a map of the course. Each green has a dot marking the lowest point. Vital info.”
“I write, ‘Never say ‘good shot’ until the ball stops moving.”
“Work out where the creek is in relation to your ball.”
“Uphills and downhills.”
“When Faldo won, Andy Prodger wrote on every opposite page: ‘smile.’”
“I have yardages from unusual places.”
“It’s just the extent of the notes.”
“I have a red dot on every green to show where the creek is.”
If you were Rory McIlroy’s caddie for the Masters tournament, what special advice would you give him?
“Get the pace right on the greens.”
“Don’t turn up until Tuesday evening.”
“Be the best lag-putter you can be.”
“Go for position off the tee.”
“Practise your wedges non-stop for a month before.”
“Just be yourself. You’re good enough to win there.”
“Block out the past.”
Will Rory McIlroy ever win the Masters?
“Yes. He’s just quality.”
“Yes. He’s a superstar.”
“I don’t know. He’s got the game but the longer he goes without winning, the tougher it will get.”
“He’s the best player, so it’s just a matter of time.”
“Only if he putts well.”
“If he clears his head.”
“He hits it too long off the tee to not eventually get one.”
“It’s hard to believe he won’t.”
About the author
Today’s Golfer Contributor
John Huggan is a vastly experienced and respected golf journalist and was a long-time columnist and writer for Today’s Golfer‘s sister-title Golf World.
The Scotsman is contributing editor to Golf Digest and Golf World (US), writes for a host of UK newspapers, and has co-authored numerous golf books, including The Golf Swing and Faults and Fixes (both with David Leadbetter), The Faldo Formula, and Golf for Dummies.
He hates slow play and regularly vocalizes his disdain for the impact modern equipment has had on the game’s classic courses.
You can follow ‘Huggy’ on Twitter.