Henrik Stenson decodes the hardest shot at the Masters
Ever wonder what's going through a major winner's head during the most challenging shot at Augusta National? We sat down with Henrik Stenson to review his thought process.
Released on 3/29/2018
When I'm standing on that 12 tee box,
you just feel in that moment a little bit more,
cause you know how crucial that shot is.
When you're standing around on 11
putting a lot of times you will see
where the guys ahead will end up
and get a feel for what they're hitting
and how far the hole is playing.
Standing on the 12 tee box I think
the swirling winds is normally the biggest
distraction because it's not a very long shot,
but you gotta be precise.
It's a small target, you got the bunker
in front of the green, you got the creek
running across and going long is not a great place
to be either.
So, it's really the wind conditions,
is what makes it really tough.
It's not a super long shot.
It's a nine iron pitching wedge, eight iron,
depending on far it plays.
When you're not knowing if you got downwind
or into the wind, and how that's going to affect your ball
if you put too much spin on it;
it's going to climb, it's coming up short.
You just gotta be committed when you hit it,
and sometimes you feel like you want to go up there
and hit it quickly cause you got the right conditions,
but at the same time you don't want to stress or rush.
If you're standing too long you can have perfect conditions
for that club, and then all of a sudden
it start changing again, and now the club
is back in the bag again.
You're pulling out another one and you're waiting
and I've seen players standing there for
two, three minutes easily before they pull the trigger.
If you're playing partner is hitting an eight iron
and it comes up short in the water,
and you're thinking eight, and you pick an eight
and you hit it short in the water as well
you're going to kick yourself all the way down there,
why didn't I take a seven right.
So it's really a difficult shot.
Because the green sits at an angle
and for a right-hand golfer if you pull it
you're more likely to over the green in trouble.
If you curve, you're more likely to come up short
So it's really that 45 degree angle green
makes it a little bit easier for the left-handed players
like Bubba and Phil.
If they were to pull a shot,
then you're getting more distance.
If you're curving it to the front drive
you're still kinda making it safe.
If you wanna get close you gotta hit a good shot
there's no way two ways about it.
The player ultimately gotta have the final say
and go with his feeling, his intuition
on which club to hit.
Then I'll pull the club, I'll look at my targets,
I take a couple of practice swings.
I guess I've already, without thinking about it,
already see my flight from the tee
landing where I want it to land,
and once the ball is in the air
I guess it's up to the golfing gods.