Justin Rose’s secret sauce for the Masters? His trusty yardage books

PGA player Justin Rose explains how his yardage books help him prepare for what shots to play at Augusta National during the Masters

Justin Rose relies on his trusty yardage books to help him prepare for the Masters.

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Justin Rose is preparing to play the Masters for the 18th time in his career, so it’s safe to assume that he knows his way around the course better than many of his peers.

In addition to his 17 previous starts, Rose has finished in the top 10 six times, giving him an advantage over other players who don’t quite have the same experience at Augusta National. Does that mean the 42-year-old is going to win his first ever green jacket this week? Not necessarily. But it does mean he knows what shots to play to his advantage — and it’s all thanks to his trusty yardage book.

How reliant is Rose on his yardage book at the Masters? In a fun video, the English golfer took to Twitter to describe his approach to Augusta, admitting that a lot of his previous success comes from the notes he’s taken over the years.

Justin Rose describes his yardage book for Augusta

Rose says that each time he goes to Augusta, his note-taking is a critical point of emphasis for him.

“Note-taking is something that I’ve loved to have done at Augusta,” Rose says. “Every time you go there, you take a local caddie and always learn a new nugget.

“They’ll give you something. They’ll say, ‘from this sprinkler head, it actually goes right.’ So, whatever little nugget that a caddie likes to give you, I always tend to make notes.”

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While getting caddie tips is important for Rose to understand the different nuances at Augusta, he admits that the most important part of his game that his yardage books help with is putting at the Masters. That’s because the greens are so tricky that he looks for ways to set himself up for as straight of a putt as he can in his approach shots.

“The greens are so slopey that they can really only put the pins in certain sections. Through the years, I’ve tried to really understand where my straight putt is to each pin placement. From there, I learn what angle of my maximum break is — because I’ve always been an aim-point guy.”

Although Rose says that the yardage book comes in handy, he admits it’s not an exact science — since Augusta undergoes numerous changes lots of years, making the course play differently during each Masters tournament.

“For me, it’s just a ballpark read, but it kind of gives you an idea, and it starts the visualization process of the putt.”

He adds, “You putt a lot from memory at Augusta as well, so there are certain sections of a green that I pay attention to, and sort of get my eye back in — because you know that those putts are particularly fast.”

So for any golfer looking to gain a leg up on their competition, take it from a major champion: Utilize a yardage book for courses that you often find yourself playing. As it does for Rose does at Augusta, it will provide some notes that allow you to visualize and plan each shot prior to hitting it.

Nick Dimengo

Golf.com Editor