Augusta National has long had a reputation as a course ruled by bombers who demolish the par 5s by going
for them in two and making easy birdies
and the occasional eagle. Ten years ago,
however, Mike Weir won the Masters
with a decidedly different philosophy—
one that called for a heavy reliance on
his wedge game.
“Going for it in two is not always a
bargain depending on the pin position,”
said Weir. “There are places where you
can get a wedge closer than you can a
long putt on those greens.”
In 2003 Weir hit the par 5s in two just
once (actually, zero times technically
as the one instance he went for it in two
the ball ended up on the fringe). Still, he
played the holes in 10 under for the week.
Among the key shots was one on No. 15
in the final round when he laid up short
of the water and knocked a sand wedge
to four feet, leading to a critical birdie.
At the Masters wedge play takes
on a new dimension and importance.
Sure, the scoring clubs are always
critical, but when the field hits just
60. 1 percent of the greens in regulation
(as it did last year—12th fewest of all
the courses on tour), making sure you
have clubs that work around and into
the greens is critical.
Short clubs, big rewards
DRIVERS GENERATE A LOT OF PRE-MASTERS BUZZ, BUT WEDGES CAN BE THE UNSUNG HEROES
Accordingly, players have been ready-
ing their wedges for Augusta National
for weeks. But unlike past years, there
has been less grinding work done on the
clubs. “We’ve been seeing more players
looking for new wedges that match their
current gamers, but with fresh grooves,”
said Mike Taylor, Nike’s master model
maker for wedges. One reason is the
Masters used to present significantly
different conditions than other tour lay-
outs. Now more courses have tight, firm
turf so the need to modify grinds is less.
But since the groove rule was adopted in
2010, players have been looking for fresh
grooves more often.
The Ping Anser is one of golf’s most enduring putter designs. Just ask D. A. Points. At the Shell Houston
Open, Points returned to an Anser putter made in the 1980s that he said he originally took out of
his mother’s golf bag when he was 11 or 12. According to Ping, Points sent the putter to them seven
or eight years ago to be refurbished, including the addition of tungsten weights in the heel and sole
areas to make the club heavier and more balanced.
“It’s just a really good-looking putter, and I brought it with me this week because I just had been
putting so bad,” said Points after an opening-round 64. “I thought maybe I’ll pull this old putter out
of the garage and maybe it will have some magic in it.” The club had plenty of magic during Points’
opening-round 64, when he had 23 putts. For the week Points ranked 10th in strokes gained/putting
en route to his second PGA Tour victory. As for whether or not Mom will be asking for the club back,
Points said, “She might now. I’ve had it for a long time. I think she’s been praying so badly for me to
make some putts, she’s probably happy for me to have it.”