Golf News

Who did players ask for Augusta practice round?

2017 Players Championship

Nick Price recalls joining up with 73-year-old Sam Snead – and being outdriven twice. Gary Woodland changed his strategy off the tee at Augusta National’s 18th thanks to a tip from fellow Kansas guy Tom Watson. Matt Kuchar always practices on Wednesday before the Par-3 Contest thanks to advice from Phil Mickelson, who alerted him to the different way the grass is cut each day.

From Mickelson to Tiger Woods to Bernhard Langer – yes, Bernie, of all the possible Green Jacket guys popped up most – winners of the Masters have been opening their notebooks and dishing from their years of experience during practice rounds to the next generation.

One of the cool things to note each year is which legends of the game get asked by rookies and amateur champs if they can join them for a practice round or sometimes simply fortuitously slip into a game. Here’s who some of the pros have called on to lend a hand in efforts to learn the famed Alister MacKenzie layout and some of the tips passed down along the way.

Billy Horschel and Vijay Singh. (Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images)

Vijay Singh and Lucas Glover.

2018 Sony Open In Hawaii

Brian Harman and Zach Johnson. (Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Zach Johnson. He has such a good short game and just the way he uses the hills to his advantage when he gets out of position is interesting.

2022 Masters

Bubba Watson and Cameron Young walk on the 13th hole during a practice round ahead of the 2022 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. (Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

My first year I was too shy to ask anyone, but I played with Bubba Watson. He played with such freedom.

Gary Player and Vivienne Player

Gary Player and Vivienne Player at Wimbledon at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 9, 2016 in London, England. (Photo: Adam Davy/Press Association/Pool/Getty Images)

Most of the advice I received and took came from my late wife, Vivienne. She was a talented golfer herself and knew the swing well.

2023 Masters

Tom Watson looks out from the clubhouse balcony during the first round of the 2023 Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club. (Photo: Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports)

Tom Watson, Kansas guy. I asked him for a practice round and he just helped me with places where to miss it and pointed out where he got in trouble. I cut a perfect driver on 18 and he’s like, “No, Nicklaus hit 3-wood, you need to hit 3-wood.” I hit 3-wood all…


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