Pete Cowen: Mastering Augusta: how the major names plan to dodge the dogwoods

The coach to world No 2 Lee Westwood reveals his insider's guide to tackling the difficult National course


Use the slopes

That's the whole thing about Augusta – using the slopes. Let's take the 10th. You need to fly it that little bit further to make sure you hit the downslope to get down to the bottom of it. It's the same on the ninth. It makes the course so much easier if you use the slopes properly. People always go on about the need to draw the ball here. It's not the case. Jack Nicklaus won six Masters with a fade. Yeah, he could have drawn it if he wanted to. But he knew it was all about finding those slopes and getting it in the right places.

Tip for the amateur How do the pros fly the ball that little bit further? They simply get a little leverage in their swing by getting a little bit more stretch in the body. This gives you a little bit more height in the flight. We call it "over flight" and this is what the new technology allows. High launch and low spin makes the game so much easier.

Chips with everything

It's hardly a secret that you need to chip your lights out here. It's all about seeing the shot, knowing what this slope will do, how that slope over there might affect the ball, knowing where to land it, having the feel to realise how strongly or softly you need to hit it. If you watch the good players around Augusta they are the ones who use the slopes on the greens more efficiently than anyone else. Phil Mickelson is the perfect example. He is aware of the nuances of every green out there.

Tip for the amateur There's no hard and fast rule about being a good chipper. The bump and run, the flop shot... whichever way you see it and feel it. The visualisation is as important as the technique. Imagine the shot in your mind first. I'm going to land it there and the ball's going to do this. Have a plan.

The one-bounce check

It's the shot you need at Augusta. They talk of the necessary high ball-flight and that's true, but what you don't want is massive backspin on it. Backspin is too difficult to control. So what they're after is holding spin – one bounce and then check. Lee [Westwood] can do this up to a five-iron and that's why he can do well round here. This ability means he can hold the ball on the right level on the greens. It's so important to be on the right level. Players like Lee and Mickelson will be practising this for weeks in advance. They are the lucky ones. Not all the pros here can do this, not with some of the middle irons anyway.

Tip for the amateur It's all about the pressure you apply to the iron and, in truth, is beyond the capabilities of all but the very best amateurs. I will say this. Be careful what you wish for as backspin might look good but it is hard to control.

For more information about the coach of Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen and Henrik Stenson and his golf academies log on to www.petecowen.com

Amen Corner: Kaymer walks you through the turn at Augusta

Martin Kaymer, the world No 1, gives his guide to conquering golf's most famous three-hole stretch:

11th White Dogwood: 505 yards, par four

This is a very long hole, only five yards shorter than the par five 13th, and you have to play it smart with the lake on the left of the green claiming lots of balls. But you have to be brave as well, and take on the flag even when it is on the left of the green. It is so easy to bail out to the right and leave yourself a chip and putt, but I prefer the more aggressive play. Birdies here are like gold dust.

12th Golden Bell: 155 yards, par three

For such a short hole, usually just a flick with an eight or nine iron, it is amazing how many balls end up in the water in front of the green. The reason is simple. The wind always seems to be swirling around, and dying or gusting on that part of the course, so there is a lot of guesswork in the tee shot. You do not want to be long because it is a scary chip from the bushes towards the water, which is why a lot of balls come up short.

13th Azalea: 510 yards, par five

One of the must-birdie holes on the back nine, and you see a lot of eagles here too, so it provides a lot of drama, especially on the final day. But it is no pushover. Rae's Creek runs around the front of the green, and if you do not hit a perfect drive and are on the limit of going for it in two, it is a dangerous shot. If you can hit it right to left off the tee you can cut a big chunk off the yardage and leave yourself a low-iron approach, and that is a shot I have been working on a lot.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the Jurassic World trailer
film

Video: The official full-length trailer for the Jurassic Park sequel has dropped – two days early

Environment
The plant ‘Nepenthes zygon’ was donated to Kew in 2004
environment
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer snapped celebrities for 40 years - but it wasn’t all fun and games
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital