Golf Digest Videos

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

Transcript

00:00
When I'm standing on that 12 tee box,
00:01
you just feel in that moment a little bit more,
00:04
cause you know how crucial that shot is.
00:13
When you're standing around on 11
00:14
putting a lot of times you will see
00:16
where the guys ahead will end up
00:18
and get a feel for what they're hitting
00:19
and how far the hole is playing.
00:24
Standing on the 12 tee box I think
00:26
the swirling winds is normally the biggest
00:30
distraction because it's not a very long shot,
00:32
but you gotta be precise.
00:34
It's a small target, you got the bunker
00:37
in front of the green, you got the creek
00:39
running across and going long is not a great place
00:43
to be either.
00:44
So, it's really the wind conditions,
00:46
is what makes it really tough.
00:49
It's not a super long shot.
00:50
It's a nine iron pitching wedge, eight iron,
00:53
depending on far it plays.
00:55
When you're not knowing if you got downwind
00:57
or into the wind, and how that's going to affect your ball
01:00
if you put too much spin on it;
01:01
it's going to climb, it's coming up short.
01:03
You just gotta be committed when you hit it,
01:05
and sometimes you feel like you want to go up there
01:08
and hit it quickly cause you got the right conditions,
01:10
but at the same time you don't want to stress or rush.
01:14
If you're standing too long you can have perfect conditions
01:16
for that club, and then all of a sudden
01:18
it start changing again, and now the club
01:20
is back in the bag again.
01:22
You're pulling out another one and you're waiting
01:23
and I've seen players standing there for
01:25
two, three minutes easily before they pull the trigger.
01:28
If you're playing partner is hitting an eight iron
01:30
and it comes up short in the water,
01:31
and you're thinking eight, and you pick an eight
01:33
and you hit it short in the water as well
01:34
you're going to kick yourself all the way down there,
01:36
why didn't I take a seven right.
01:38
So it's really a difficult shot.
01:41
Because the green sits at an angle
01:43
and for a right-hand golfer if you pull it
01:46
you're more likely to over the green in trouble.
01:48
If you curve, you're more likely to come up short
01:50
in trouble.
01:51
So it's really that 45 degree angle green
01:54
makes it a little bit easier for the left-handed players
01:56
like Bubba and Phil.
01:59
If they were to pull a shot,
02:00
then you're getting more distance.
02:01
If you're curving it to the front drive
02:03
you're still kinda making it safe.
02:06
If you wanna get close you gotta hit a good shot
02:08
there's no way two ways about it.
02:10
The player ultimately gotta have the final say
02:13
and go with his feeling, his intuition
02:14
on which club to hit.
02:15
Then I'll pull the club, I'll look at my targets,
02:19
I take a couple of practice swings.
02:21
I guess I've already, without thinking about it,
02:23
already see my flight from the tee
02:26
landing where I want it to land,
02:27
and once the ball is in the air
02:30
I guess it's up to the golfing gods.
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