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Keys to the Year’s First Major – Shaping Iron Shots

There are a number of keys to unlock a victory at the first major of the year, and playing at Augusta, you need to have all of them.

The first key to success is a sound short game. The greens run unbelievably fast on the stimpmeter and areas around the greens (fringe and longer cuts) are a challenge in themselves with a number of run-off areas and even keel mix of tight and thick lies (players would be lucky to get a clean lie in the rough anywhere around Augusta). Simply put, if anyone in the field finds themselves just off the green or in any of the green-side bunkers, they will need to have an incredible amount of touch to get it close, save par, and prevent any ugly numbers on their scorecard.

The second key to success is finding the fairway. Unlike what you may see on T.V., Augusta is a very up and down course in terms of terrain (and scores too). One will need to play to the right spots of the fairways to avoid danger, have a level lie, be able to attack flags, and put themselves in the correct positions to shoot lower scores. Let it be known that players will need to take some risk to shoot lower scores but one misstep on cutting the corner at hole 13 can lead to unflattering numbers on their scorecards.

Last but certainly not least is iron play. Players will need to be extremely precise in their iron play, requiring them to work the ball in all directions from various lies in order to find the putting surface and put themselves in position to shoot low scores. Which brings us to this weeks Play Better Golf tip.

In this segment, Callaway Staffer and Tour pro in the field at Augusta, Phil Mickelson, shows us a few tips on how to work the ball in both directions, something he will certainly implement as he battles it out amongst the Tour’s best players at the first major of the year.