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'The ultimate gruelling test': Why Billy Foster loves leaving the Masters

‘The ultimate gruelling test’: Why Billy Foster loves leaving the Masters

Billy Foster would love to win at Augusta but, as he told NCG’s From The Clubhouse podcast, the Masters is “far from being an enjoyable week…”

 

Billy Foster has “never been a massive fan” of the Masters.

The experienced, major-winning caddie says Augusta National is a place he “loves leaving” each year while also emphasising its quality as a “great tournament.”

It would be in the Yorkshireman’s top three tournaments to taste victory, but the punishing nature of Augusta takes its toll after the pin is in on the 72nd hole.

Foster, who has carried for Matt Fitzpatrick since 2018, spoke to NCG’s From The Clubhouse podcast about what is the most mentally demanding week on his calendar.

“It’s a place I love leaving, to be quite honest,” he told NCG’s Matt Chivers.

“I’ve never been a massive fan of it. It’s just such a tough week. And listen, it’s a great tournament, atmosphere is great, you’d love to win there, but as a caddie, you just love to get that pin back into the 18th hole on the 72nd hole of the tournament and still have a job.

“It’s the ultimate gruelling test – it’s very undulating and really difficult week physically, walking, but mentally it’s the most demanding week of the year.

“The elevation change and the swirling winds, the firm greens, the undulations in the greens itself – every green’s got different big, severe tiers, and if you miss that level section – the same two shots, one will finish 2 feet from the hole, and the other one will finish 80 feet from the hole because the tiers are so severe.

“You might miss your target by a couple of feet and it just rolls off to the left edge of the green, 80 feet away. 

“So, so, so demanding – If things don’t quite go right, the players’ first call is his caddie and give him a roasting. And you might be right.

“It might still be a good shot and you get punished for it, which is tough to take at times around Augusta – It wouldn’t be my favourite week. I understand it’s a great tournament, and yes, it would be in your top two or three to win, besides The Open Championship.

“It’s far from being an enjoyable week.”

billy foster masters

A Billy Foster Masters guide to the 12th hole at Augusta National

Having been working on tour since 1983, there is no one better to ask than Foster on how to tackle the toughest points of the golf course at the Masters.

One of which is, of course, the par-3 12th hole where the hopes of even the best players have died in tournaments gone by.

“It’s the easiest hole in golf until you play it,” Foster added.

“Everybody watching on TV says, look here, how easy is that? It’s 150 yards, it’s a 9 iron, it’s an 8 iron, I’d make a three there. You’d make a 33 there if you went and played it.”

Francesco Molinari and Jordan Spieth come to mind as players of recent times to kiss their Masters chances goodbye on this devilish hole.

With water short and bunkers surrounding the pin, Foster talked us through the advice he’d give anyone tackling the 12th:

“Twelve’s only 150, 160 yards. On average, it’s probably an 8 iron. But you’ll know where the wind is coming down 10. You always try and gauge where the wind is as you’re coming down 10, 11, because you go massively downhill, into the bottom of the bowl.

“You’ll have your wind map out, you’ll have your compass points out, knowing where the wind should be. But you’re standing on that 12th tee, I don’t care who you are, they’re a liar if they say they know where the wind is.

“It’s your best-educated guess every time you play it. So what I always say is, try and bring your ball flight down and just never hit right of the front bunker.

“Try and hit it over the middle of the front bunker and try and bring your ball flight down. Chip something into – so it doesn’t start stalling in the wind if you got a gust against you.

“That’s the only thing I’d say. But it’s always your best-educated guess. It’s one of the toughest holes in golf. The green runs diagonally across it. It’s not more than 12 yards deep at any stage.

“If you get a little gust and you’re a half a club out, you’re in serious trouble. Tiger Woods made a 10 there, that says it all, doesn’t it?”

NOW READ: Billy Foster: Team USA were ‘in trouble’ before the Ryder Cup began

NOW READ: ‘The game has been destroyed’: Billy Foster has no doubts distance is ruining golf

Listen to caddie Billy Foster on the From The Clubhouse Podcast HERE!

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