Tiger Says “No” to 59 at Augusta

by | Apr 10, 2024 | Pro News

A 59 at Augusta?

Tiger Woods’ scoring average across 96 competitive rounds at the Masters is 71.10. The five-time Masters champion, who this week is making his 26th start at Augusta National Golf Club, has shot low rounds of seven-under 65 twice in his career – in 1997 and 2005. Woods, by the way, won each of those years.

Nick Price (1986) and Greg Norman (1996) share the single-round record at nine-under-par 63.

Given today’s superior equipment (and arguably superior players from top to bottom), is a 59 possible at Augusta National?

“If we played the old yardage and the old tee boxes, I would say, ‘Yes,’’’ Woods said following a Tuesday practice round with Fred Couples and Justin Thomas. “Not at 7,600 (yards).’’

Actually, Augusta National’s length this year is officially listed at 7,555 yards, but you get the idea.

“The ability for this golf course to get longer… I mean, when we played, when I first played here, the fairways were more cut-down grain. Now they’re into the grain. The overseed has gotten thicker.’’ Woods said. “The golf course just plays stickier, in a sense. I know they sand-capped all the fairways, but the roll-outs are not what it used to be. So you just can’t sneak down there.’’

For some context, Price shot 63 on a 6,903-yard layout a ANGG; Norman’s 63 was at 6,925 yards. When Woods won his first Green Jacket (1997), ANGC played again was listed at 6,925 yards. Woods finished at 18-under par – 12 shots in front of Tom Kite.

The “Tiger Proofing’’ of Augusta National would begin shortly thereafter.

“JT (Thomas) has heard this a bunch of times,’’ Woods said. “I was talking to the (Masters Chairman Fred Ridley) about when I played here (as an amateur) in ’95. It was raining… I had a 60-degree sand wedge into 1; I had 8-iron into 2; I drove in the crosswalk on 5; I had 5-iron into 8; I drove it into the crosswalk on 9 and 17.

“There were a lot of 60-degree sand wedges. I had pitching wedge into 15. That doesn’t exist now.

So, I don’t think that’s a reality anymore just because we’re so far back.’’


About the Author

<a href="https://golfonemedia.com/author/steve_pike/" target="_self">Steve Pike</a>

Steve Pike

Steve “Spike” Pike is a lifelong journalist whose career covers Major League Baseball, the NFL, and college basketball. For the past 26 years, Spike has been one of the more respected voices in the golf and travel industries, working for such publications as Golfweek, Golf World, and Golf Digest for The New York Times Magazine Group. In 1998, Spike helped launch the PGA.com website for the PGA of America. As a freelance travel and golf writer, Spike’s travels have taken him around the world. He has played golf from Pebble Beach to St. Andrews, walked the Great Wall of China, climbed an active volcano in the Canary Islands, been on safari in South Africa, and dived with sharks off Guadalupe, Baja California.