Masters 2011: The Weekend Warriors Guide to Playing a Round of Golf at Augusta

Thomas ConroyCorrespondent IApril 11, 2011

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 10:  Charl Schwartzel of South Africa celebrates a birdie putt on the 18th green en route to his two-stroke victory as K.J. Choi of South Korea looks on at the 2011 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2011 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

The more you learn and become hooked on the game of golf, you quickly realized that it’s every golfer’s dream to play a round of golf at the Augusta National Golf Club. The course is a perfect fit for players that enjoy taking a risk all afternoon long.

The weather is usually warm, so you won’t need a 3-iron or any type of hybrid club. And due to the length of the course, players like Phil Mickelson usually carry an extra driver in their bag during the course of the Masters. The longest iron you’ll probably need is a 4-iron.

Your first observation while heading towards the first hole is how the fairways are extremely wide, but the rough isn’t as deep as it appears on the television. So, you can negotiate through the course if you get a lengthy tee shot and follow that up with a decent iron shot near the pin. But, an errant drive isn’t that punishable, as the wide-rolling fairways encourage an aggressive second shot approach.

You need to get off to a good start on the front nine, as your confidence will be challenged by the hazards that lie ahead on the turn. Also, you’ll notice a slight change in elevation that leaves the ball uneven on the fairway. This will make club selection very difficult for inexperience players, and could begin the collapse of your game.

It’s very difficult to chip onto the greens, as the tightly-mowed turf surrounding the holes leaves little margin for error. Often, golfers will falter under the pressure of trying to execute the perfect shot. Augusta caddies will tell first-time players to picture the shot and then proceed to hit your spot.

Experts have remarked that reaching the green is easy, but putting the ball in the hole is an entirely different process. Trying to navigate the speed of the greens will be a challenge, but if you putt the ball to the wrong spot then you’ll stay busy all round long.

You don’t have to be the best putter in the world to master Augusta’s tricky greens, but converting 8-to-10-footers is essential to score par.