Among the age-old truisms in the game of golf is the idea that a right-hander playing a draw is the best-suited player to win the Masters. In other words, Augusta National’s course layout is designed to favor that shot shape.
If you’re a fader of the golf ball as a right-hander, moving the ball from left to right, it’s simply more difficult to find the fairway off the tee. Famous faders like Lee Trevino and Johnny Miller struggled accordingly…heck even Ben Hogan’s Masters record is less than overwhelming.
In the second clip from David Feherty’s chat with leather-clad Phil Mickelson, golf’s most successful left-hander argues that Augusta National is a very favorable layout for left-handers not only because of what happens off the tee, but that with the slope of several fairways, it’s easier to keep the ball in the short grass with a left-handed draw.
With six of the last 13 Masters winners swinging from the south side, Mickelson’s claim that the left-handed fader is the ideal ANGC golfer might hold water. Note: Phil Mickelson won 3 out of those six times, Bubba Watson won twice and Mike Weir won once.
New meaning for PGA – Phil Gets Analytical. #Feherty
— David Feherty (@Fehertwit) March 14, 2017
Phil the Thrill specifically mentions No. 10, 13, and 14 suggesting a “big, rounded cut” by a left-hander is an easier shot than the right-to-left draw for right-handers. However, he does mention the par-3 16th as an exception to his rule, stating that the water left of the green is much more in play for left-handers.
Below, take a look through these graphics of the par-4 and par-5 holes at Augusta National (courtesy of Augusta.com). You can clearly see Mickelson’s point. Imagine a left-hander hitting a left-to-right shot on each hole. At the very least, a left-hander hitting that shot shape isn’t going to be any worse off than a right-hander. And in many cases, it’s an easier shot, as Mickelson told Feherty.
With Phil Mickelson set at 30/1 odds and Bubba Watson at 40/1, there is a chance that a left-handed player could win the 2017 Masters.