What the top pros’ caddies really think of Augusta National

Under the condition of strict anonymity, we quizzed some top caddies to find out what they think of Augusta National and what it takes to win The Masters. They weren’t shy with their opinions…

Five-time Masters winner Jack Nicklaus famously said that a good caddie does three things: show up, keep up, and shut up. Professional caddies are often tight-lipped, knowing they have little to gain but plenty to lose by saying the wrong thing to the wrong people at the wrong time.

So we gave some of the game’s top caddies the comfort of anonymity to let them say what they really think about Augusta National and The Masters. The results were fascinating…

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.”

The caddies think old Tiger would beat new Tiger.

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.”

“Anything entertaining.”

“Keep doing what you’re doing.”

“You can spot the winner by the way he behaves, so let’s behave like the winner.”

What is your honest opinion about those white overalls you have to wear at the Masters tournament?

“They are cool.”

“It’s tradition.”

“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 caddies have different opinions of the Masters overalls.

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 caddies believe The Masters is the easiest of the four Majors to win.

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 are 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.”

A Masters win would give Rory McIlroy the Career Grand Slam.

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.”

“Walk slow.”

“Practise your wedges non-stop for a month before.”

“Just be yourself. You’re good enough to win there.”

“Block out the past.”

Can Rory McIlroy overcome the demons and win The Masters?

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

John Huggan is one of golf's most experienced journalists.

John Huggan
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.

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