How To Win The Masters

There Is More Than One Way To Come Out On Top

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Trevor Immelman, 2008 Champ
Score: 280, eight under par
Margin Of Victory: Three shots over Tiger Woods
How He Won: Found the right location on the greens, and that set up aggressive putting opportunities
His Shot: The well-struck iron

1. Set Your Posture
First, get into a strong spine-angle position. I like my players to bend forward so that their spine and shaft are at a 90-degree angle to each other at address. A chest that’s too tall is up and away from the ball and will lead to a “retreat” when you swing. Lean over, get engaged with the turf into an “attack-driven” posture and you’ll be in a position to create maximum pressure on your golf ball.

2. Do the logo drill
Once your posture is set, it’s all up to the arms to create your golf swing’s shape. Get your arms to swing around your torso by smashing your golf shirt’s logo on the backswing with your left arm. On the followthrough, swing your right arm back across your chest, replicating the path you traveled with your left. With a solid posture and this simple tip, your swing will always be on a reasonable plane and yield consistent results.

Conclusion: With bunkers, water and nasty slopes guarding the green (not to mention some of the longest approaches in golf), every Masters champion needs a rock-solid iron game. Take a page out of Trevor Immelman’s arsenal and you’ll be on your way to your own awards ceremony!

Stats Corner
How They Ranked

2009 Masters Champion, Angel Cabrera
(276, 12 under par)

After two years of abuse from Mother Nature, Augusta National returned to its placid spring conditions. “El Pato” not only hit a lot of greens (70.42%), but also made putts when it counted, averaging 1.58 strokes per hole for a total of 112 putts over the four-day tournament.

2008 Masters Champion, Trevor Immelman
(280, eight under par)

The South African not only won by a decisive three-stroke margin, but also dominated the statistics leaderboard. Immelman was first in driving accuracy (hitting 48 of 56), second in GIR (51 of 72), fourth in driving distance (287.5 yards) and fourth in overall putts with 112.

2007 Masters Champion, Zach Johnson
(289, one over par)

As the mercury plunged into the low 40s on Saturday, and the wind gusted, Johnson remained cool and composed. While hitting 61% of his greens, the native Iowan dominated the par-5s, shooting an impressive 11 under on those holes. He always putted the lights out. Johnson averaged 1.56 putts per hole and 112 total.

Editor’s Note: It doesn’t hurt to hit the ball long and straight at Augusta, but when you look at the past three winners’ stats, it’s clear that you need a hot putter to win a green jacket. Consider that all three men took the same number of strokes with their flatstick, 112. That’s 32 fewer over four days than if they had two-putted every green.

Jeff Ritter, PGA, teaches at the ASU Karsten Golf Academy in Tempe, Ariz., and is the author of Golf by Design. Visit


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