PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club

Read The Line

Masters 2024 betting tips: 10 rules every casual bettor should follow at Augusta National

Editor's Note: This article is published in partnership with Read The Line, a Golf Digest content partner.

April 10, 2024

Ben Walton

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Given golf fans’ intimate knowledge of the year’s biggest event, the Masters offers us an opportunity to have some fun while I describe the skills needed to succeed around Augusta National Golf Club.

To best illustrate how I’m thinking about the skills needed to earn a green jacket, I will take you through 10 of the greatest shots in Masters history and relate those moments to the specific attribute our current field needs to keep up with the contenders.


David Cannon

Phil Mickelson's 6-iron off the pine straw. Mid- and long-iron play is the key to securing greens in regulation down Magnolia Lane. In 2010, Mickelson was facing a 207-yard approach amongst the trees on 13. He launched a mid-iron onto the green off a questionable lie and made birdie. Seventy-three percent of approach shots at ANGC are played from over 150 yards. Approach play is the No. 1 skill needed to win the Masters, as Phil exemplified.

The Best and Worst Value Bets for the 2024 Masters

Jack holes the famous birdie putt on 17 in the 1986 Masters. Nothing substitutes for Masters experience. As Jack once said, "You don't read greens at Augusta National, you remember them."

Larry Mize chips in from an impossible position. Mize won the 1987 Masters in a playoff over Greg Norman by chipping in from off the green on the 11th hole. Augusta National is the toughest around-the-green test on tour. Contenders are required to use imagination (and skill) to score or save par around these green complexes.

Charl Schwartzel holes out from 114 yards on the third. Schwartzel's final round in 2011 is often remembered for birdieing the final four holes. Before that birdie on 15, he holed out on No. 3 for an eagle! Par-4 scoring is an incredible indicator of success at the Masters. Play the par 4s under par for the week, and you'll be in the winner's conversation come Sunday afternoon.


Augusta National

Ben Crenshaw's touch. Crenshaw captured the lead in 1984 when he birdied eight, nine and 10. From the front of the 10th green, Ben dropped a 60-foot bomb. Putting from long range is the most important skill on the greens at Augusta National. You don't have to make them all like Gentle Ben, but avoiding three-putts is crucial.

Bend it like Bubba Watson. Watson went into the woods on hole 10 in the 2012 playoff. From there he hit a gap wedge from 150 yards to 12 feet. He went on to make birdie and win, but the lesson lies in Watson's ability to bend the ball out of the woods. Augusta National is not a linear test. To effectively play some holes, you will need to work the ball to better take advantage of the angles.

"Sandy" Lyle wins from the fairway bunker. Forty-four bunkers are carefully placed across Augusta National. In 1988, Lyle launched a fairway bunker shot on 18 onto the green and made birdie to win. Each contender will be tested from the sand multiple times during 72-holes. Successful scoring from those pristine white surfaces is all part of the challenge.

Gene Sarazen hits the shot heard 'round the world in 1935. Sarazen was battling Craig Wood and holed out his second shot on the par-5 15th hole for an albatross. Par-5 scoring is essential for getting to double digits under par. Make sure your players capitalize on the four holes that historically provide a net return.

Masters Tournament 2005

Stephen Szurlej

Tiger Woods chips in for birdie in 2005. "In your life!" exclaimed Verne Lundquist. Woods wowed the spectators surrounding the 16th hole with the most iconic short-game shot in Masters history. Capturing the green jacket takes creativity. Tiger took home five Masters titles because he used his imagination to see shots others just didn't.

Fred Couples survives a scare along the shores of Rae's Creek. Fred's final round in 1992 will always be remembered for his tee shot on Golden Bell (Hole 12). The shot flew offline testing the edge of the green and the bordering embankment. Couples' ball managed to hold up and eventually led to a par save. Others have not been as lucky. Jordan Spieth lost in 2016 when he rinsed his ball twice on 12. Who could forget the fateful four in front of Tiger Woods in 2019. Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter, Tony Finau and Francisco Molinari all got wet while Woods went on to win his fifth green jacket. The last skill is luck. If the Augusta gods are shining down on you, it must be your time...

No other venue gives us the perspective and history to create such a catalog of characteristics. The predictive nature of ANGC limits the overall list of outright contenders to just a couple of names. Most of which I think we all know…

Free Masters picks from Read The Line:

Outright bets:

Jon Rahm (12-1)
Shane Lowry (55-1)

For a complete list of outrights, placements, H2Hs, live adds and DFS coverage make sure you subscribe to Read The Line!

Keith Stewart is a five-time award-winning PGA professional, a betting contributor and content partner with Golf Digest and founder of Read The Line, the premier on-site live golf betting insights service covering the LPGA and PGA TOUR. Subscribe to Read The Line’s weekly newsletter here and raise your golf betting acumen. Keith's winning content can also be found on Sports Grid, Bleacher Report and The Sporting News. Follow him on Twitter @readtheline_.