What a 15 handicap would shoot at Augusta National, according to Masters champs

A split image (from L to R) of Larry Mize, Jose Maria Olazabal and Mark O'Meara.

Augusta National provides one of the more unique tests in golf. Here's how three Masters winners think an average golfer would fare there.

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The Masters may not have the reputation as the most difficult major championship, but that doesn’t mean Augusta National is a cakewalk to the game’s best players.

From wild elevation changes to massive slopes and demanding contours around the greens, Augusta poses one of the more unique tests to the Masters field each year.

But, given the uber-private nature of the club, the course presents a test we rarely get to see average golfers take.

So, we asked some Masters winners how a 15-handicap golfer would fare given the chance to play Augusta National in Masters conditions.

Both two-time winner Jose Maria Olazabal and 1998 winner Mark O’Meara laughed.

“A 15 handicap at Augusta National, from where these kids play today for sure would not even have a chance of breaking 100,” O’Meara told GOLF’s Claire Rogers. “That’s how difficult the course is. That’s how much slope there is and speed in the greens. An average player would have a very difficult time getting around Augusta National in less than 100.”

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Larry Mize agreed with O’Meara’s assessment.

“They would have a hard time breaking 100, they really would,” the 1987 green jacket winner told GOLF’s Zephyr Melton. “Playing there for the first time, you’re just going to be so excited. It’s going to be hard to focus in on your game. It’s just the nerves of playing there for the first time.

“And then maneuvering those greens, the average amateur does not play greens like that. They may get some contours similar to that but the speed is pretty unusual — they’re pretty quick.

“I think a 15 handicap, because they’re normally shooting mid-80s, something like that? They would have to play really really good to break 100.”

Olazabal echoed his colleagues thoughts about amateurs having a “hard time” breaking 100.

So if you are ever lucky enough to score a round at Augusta National, you better lower your expectations and bring your A-game.

Jack Hirsh

Golf.com Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at jack.hirsh@golf.com.



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