6 min read


Hello Golfers,

Japan called in sick yesterday. Yes, the country. We received a note from their doctor stating that their allergies were triggered by the cherry blossoms blooming.

We're slightly suspicious from the empty sake bottles but will not be investigating any further.

via Fox Sports

His Driver had two degrees more loft than a putter!

Bryson DeChambeau teased the golfing public that he was testing out a “secret weapon”. It didn’t help, unless he “secretly” won the Masters.

He probably should have had a fairway seeking driving iron or a set of scoring clubs that actually, well, helped him score. His secret weapon:

  • A driver tweaked down to 4.2 degrees
  • Two 3 woods, one of which was 10.5 degrees another just 3 degrees loftier
  • 6-W Cobra King Forged Tour One Length
  • No information on his wedges….his GIR stats are starting to make sense now

On the flip side of this flat faced driver lunacy, was Justin Rose sporting a bag found in most bargain bins. Albeit a really good/expensive bargain bin. The positives of not being under an equipment contract.

Justin Rose’s “secret weapons”:

  • TaylorMade M1 440 driver (released in 2017)
  • His new by comparison Mizuno MP-20 irons (circa 2019)
  • Titleist Tour Balata TaylorMade TP5

Think about this; Rose had a putter with 2 degrees of loft, while Dechambeau’s driver had 4.2 degrees. You don’t have to partake in LSD recreationally to trip out on that information.

The results speak for themselves (Rose vs. DeChambeau)

  • Fairways - 37/56 (68%) vs. 31/56 (55%)
  • GIR - 50/72 (69%...nice) vs. 44/72 (61%) even though he was hitting in with shorter clubs...way shorter clubs
  • Putting - 1.65 putts/hole (4 three putts) vs. 1.69 putts/hole (5 three putts)
  • Driving Distance - 292.3 yards (longest drive - 323 yds) vs. 322.8 yards (longest drive - 345 yds)

Final Position - 7th place vs T-46 (no matter if it is playing as par 72 or a par 67...sick burn)

This is a course known to be a second shot course, yet there is an unrelenting need for DeChambeau to try and bludgeon Augusta National and submit it to his scientific method of golf.

There is something to be said for experience around certain tracks and using one’s feel.

There is an exception to every rule...enter Will Zalatoris. No experience. Yet he strutted the fairways of Augusta with a Mick Jagger-like swagger.

Note to self: explain to Will who Mick Jagger is.

Share to:


Pull these nuggets of knowledge out on the first tee.

  • Only 12,000 patrons attended the 2021 Masters compared to the roughly 45,000 during a "regular" year (looked like they had lots of room to roam...not jealous!)
  • Augusta sells $850,000 worth of merchandise an hour as per Golf Digest in 2015 (sounds eerily similar to the numbers in The Starter Shack shop).
  • Pros receive $10,000 even if they miss the cut as per Golf.com (even adults get participation trophies).
  • CBS has televised the Masters for 64 straight years (who else feels like Nick Faldo has also been there for 64 years?).
  • Practice round tickets ranged between $16-$21 the year Tiger won his first Masters (1997).
  • According to Golf.com, a membership is estimated to be roughly $40,000 and only a few thousand dollars a year in dues (We're not asking to be members, but we're open to an invitation).
  • Members are given only ONE green jacket (now this is going to be a problem, especially when I eat my post round chalupas).

via Masters.com and us

2021 Masters: One Rocket Ride To The Moon, One Parachute-Free Base Jump

As usual, the Masters delivered, both with storylines we knew were coming, and the pleasant surprises that arrive throughout the week, like finding a twenty spot in your old jean jacket.

Entering from the last article, Will Zalatoris. In case you watched the Masters on mute; a quick recap:

  • 2004th in the OWGR in early February 2019 (that’s not a typo, that's two-thousand and fourth)
  • currently has no status on the PGA Tour, relying on sponsor’s invites
  • parlayed a great US Open finish at Winged Foot into a Masters invite
  • nearly made Brandel Chamblee look like the genius he imagines himself to be

After his outstanding 2nd place finish, let us re-recap:

  • he is currently ranked 27th in the OWGR (up 1,977 spots)
  • $1.242M payday to soothe his chapped ass for the time being
  • a year’s worth of memes, social media cache, and notoriety that money can’t buy
  • still not a member of the PGA Tour
  • unable to collect FedEx Cup points (where he would currently be 13th)

As meteoric as this charge up the world of golf is for Zalatoris, we would be remiss to not mention what happens when the opposite happens, like the yodeller on The Price is Right falling over the cliff.

Jimmy Walker was previously one of the PGA Tour’s “it” guys.

  • 2016 PGA Championship winner
  • 2014 Ryder Cup & 2015 President’s Cup
  • top 10 on the money list from 2014-16, top 20 OWGR throughout this
  • published astrophotographer
  • and all-around good guy

After a serious issue with Lyme Disease that he contracted in 2017, Walker has not been the same:

  • after a MC this past week, he resides at 536th in the OWGR
  • finished 180th on last year’s money list, currently at 195th in 2021

His bout with Lyme Disease is perhaps the most consequential bug bite since a radioactive spider bit Peter Parker. Hopefully, he relocates his form and continues adding to his $25M in career earnings.

Regardless of what happens, it seems as though the proverbial torch has been passed to the next up and comer; professional golf is and always will be a meritocracy, bug bites be damned.

Share to:
via masters.com

No. 18 | Holly | Par 4 | 465 Yards

Hit it towards the fairway bunkers with a baby fade. Hit it again up 45 feet to the green. Two putt par. Bob is your uncle.

Pfff, so easy. Augusta's 18th hole seems pretty straightforward, it has tee boxes, a fairway, four bunkers, and one green, as per usual.

Let’s dig a little deeper into the numbers:

  • Elevation change: 75 feet (that's about 5 stories all uphill)
  • Driving chute: roughly 70 feet wide (wasn’t always this way)
  • Green is: roughly 5,346 sqft (it used to be way bigger)
  • Green has: 6 feet of drop from back to front

The historical scoring average is 4.23.

It’s not the toughest closing hole nor is it the toughest hole at Augusta. That credit goes to holes 10 & 11, respectively, at a 4.3 scoring average.

via Golf Digest

In 1934, the 18th was the 9th. In 1935 it became and has stayed the 18th. (Golf Digest)

  • 1934: It had a fairway cross bunker 100 yards short of the green. It didn’t have the fairway bunkers at the elbow of the dogleg.
  • 1938: A large tongue was eliminated from the front of the green.
  • 1967: The fairway bunkers at the elbow were built
  • 2001: Tom Fazio moved the tees as far back as he could—45 yards.

When Augusta was first built our pull-going-hard-left-dear-god duck-hook gentle draw would’ve played fine but in 1975 the club planted trees down the left-hand side. In fact, a lot of trees have been added to both the right and left side creating what looks like a narrow chute to tee off into (above graphic compared to below). This chute used to be 75 yards wide, now a mere 70 feet.

Not the toughest but definitely one of the most memorable closing holes.

It didn't start out this way. It's taken 87 years to get to where it is today. And knowing how Augusta likes to tweak it's design, it's probably not done.

Share to:

If you're enjoying The Starter Shack share with a friend....we would appreciate it as much as a members bounce.

Did a smart good-looking friend share this? Want to read more?

Today's email was brought to you by: Nolan Filipenko & Colby Johannson