Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

The year-long quest to fix my swing at GolfTEC



If golf instructional materials were drugs, call me Tony Montana. I wish I wasn’t such an addict, but it’s too late. I’ve read just about every instructional there is, watched countless YouTube videos and tune in to the Golf Fix regularly. Throughout this fascinating, but tortuous and often trippy journey, I’ve observed two basic constants:

  1. Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons is largely viewed as the Holy Book on golf instruction.
  2. No one agrees with one another.

In fact, I think golf instruction is probably the most complex, highly debated, nonsensical moving target in all of sports training; a subject that is not only mired in an endless black hole of tips, triggers and tricks, but features such opposite opinions on seemingly basic principles that the result of one’s glance into the kooky kaleidoscope of its instructional labyrinth is more likely to yield finished products more akin to Jack Torrance than Jack Nicklaus.

jackRead the books or watch the thousands of YouTube videos yourself, and you’ll see what I mean. The contradictions that exist within basic aspects of the golf swing are so maddening that even the most shameless of flip-flopping presidential candidates would likely cry uncle if forced to offer a harmonious explanation. Swing the club head or the handle? Do the hips lead the downswing or the hands and arms? On errant shots, is it better to keep a positive attitude or act out psychotic fantasies of bludgeoning your golf bag to death and stuffing its decrepit remains into the nearest trash can? For what it’s worth, I can see the latter being a great stress reliever.

In the spring of 2014, I made the foolish attempt to self medicate a swing flaw which, as I now know, has been a more challenging obstacle to overcome than my fraternity hell week. A premature extension of my wrists was occurring prior to impact and producing the hallmark of every doomed amateur: the dreaded flipped left wrist/chicken wing at and after contact. Try as hard as I might, I could not rid myself of this grotesque post impact deformity, despite my clear awareness of the issue. I knew the fault, but literally could not fix it. It was as if my brain was tapping my hands on the shoulder, evading detection, and pulling my hands’ pants down. And the advice I would get from fellow playing partners — my personal favorite, “you’re not making a golf swing, you know?” — was not helping matters either.

The months that followed were a mixture of mystery and misery. The “flippy” release was now in my head. One-hundred-yard pitch shots became a breeding ground for blooper-reel content. Drives were too often finding the wrong fairway, subjecting me to perplexed glares from different foursomes, even occasionally obligating me to explain the reason for wayward tee ball. For what it’s worth, I have found that an exasperated, “Rough night last night,” provides the best way to diffuse of this embarrassing situation.

In July of that year, my friend took me to his member guest, and we proceeded to finish DEAD LAST in the entire event, causing us to be the brunt of countless jokes and even some match fixing accusations from the affected parties in our flight. Thankfully, the bartenders made that weekend a little less painful.

This was no way to live. I solicited opinions from a variety of sources: friends, online articles, psychology journals. Experimenting with psychedelic drugs was considered. One of my friends had suggested I go to GolfTEC. “GolfTEC?” I thought. Sure, I had seen the (overly simplistic, cheesy) advertisements, but my legal training made me skeptical. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I went. And I’m glad I did.

I walked into GolfTec for a swing evaluation in October of 2014 with Wayne Sciscio, a friendly, straight-talking Jersey-Italian who runs the East Hanover, New Jersey, GolfTEC branch. He asked me about my long-term goals, my current misses and overall thoughts on the swing. He then hooked me into a vest of sorts (which measured my hip and shoulder rotation at various points in the swing vs. tour averages) as we took some initial cuts. Wayne explained the features of each GolfTEC hitting bay, which includes a down-the-line and face-on camera view, and the ability to immediately replay each swing in slow motion. There was also a launch monitor to provide us with all of the helpful data (swing path, launch angle, etc.), as well as an accompanying flat screen which simulated my ball flight (essential for any indoor training, really).

flatscreenThe initial consultation uncovered two major flaws: First, I was burying my right elbow deep behind my body on the backswing, thus necessitating a “throw” of the club head during the downswing to get the club “unstuck” and, most importantly, that my brain’s idea of impact needed serious rewiring. For about 20 years, my “squaring mechanism” for the golf club, like most amateurs, was to flip/throw the club head past the hands, as opposed to using lag, a proper pivot, and a descending blow at impact.

“I want you to imagine that the top line [of the club head] beats the leading edge through impact,” Wayne said.

I’d never heard impact expressed that way. Wayne even set up an imaginary finish line a few inches beyond impact, in which the top line of the golf club was to finish ahead of the leading edge. For anyone struggling with impact, I urge you to stop reading this article right now and try this exact move.


2014 (left) vs. 2015 swing position at the top

The entire look of my swing was different. Instinctively, I engaged my core, held the angle of my wrists, and kept the club more in front of me. We spent the last third of the swing consultation doing no-ball, slow-motion swings to reinforce this thought. It was necessary to, as Wayne put it, “create new neural pathways” for my brain to understand correct impact conditions. Side-by-side, before-and-after shots showed an immediate difference. But after my lesson, with Wayne not there to restrain my unbridled stupidity, full speed shots featured that same hideous flip through impact. Still, upon a week’s worth of reflection, I signed up for a 10-lesson package with a 3-month practice pass. Wayne was optimistic that, eventually, I’d realize some noticeable success.


Wayne makes some swing observations, and gleefully questions whether my suede bucks are suitable lesson footwear.

It’s worth taking a moment to acknowledge the dueling cameras I referenced before — undoubtedly one of Golftec’s strong points — and how they allow you to watch your swing immediately after its completion. As someone who uses the V1 App on my iPhone to frequently check my swing, GolfTEC’s video apparatus makes using my smartphone seem like dial up internet. There is no comparison. I could probably take, and watch, about 10 swings in the time it would take me to analyze one swing on my iPhone. And, until I land on the winning end of a plaintiff’s class action lawsuit and install my own personal indoor golf simulator, the GolfTEC set up is more than fine for now. It’s great, actually.


The green buttons allow golfers to watch each swing in slow motion, rewind, and watch again at GolfTec.

For the next several weeks, Wayne put me to work. One week, he’d reach into his tub of swing noodles or gadgets to assist him in making his point, whereas other times, he’d merely express ideas, suggest imaginary targets and reinforce the critical importance of no-ball, slow-motion training. We’d then analyze each swing on Wayne’s nearby computer, and talk about the differences between the early- and late-lessons swings. It was almost like my own version of the Golf Fix or School of Golf, but instead of Holly Saunders and Martin Hall, it featured two Italian dudes from Jersey talking about why the %$#^ I couldn’t achieve proper impact conditions.

A few hours after each lesson, I could watch my video highlights on my GolfTEC personal web page, a helpful feature in keeping a sense of continuity between GolfTEC visits. I could even book follow-up lessons on my iPhone through GolfTEC’s mobile app. Tough to beat.

I now know that the various golf packages offered at GolfTEC, which I initially figured to be a scam, are the only way to go. Golf, at least to me, is really, really hard. If you’re trying to make swing changes, it takes total dedication and appreciation of the difficult journey ahead. What feels right is likely wrong, and what feels wrong is likely right. I recall asking Wayne to recommend to me the best golf instructional to supplement my training, but his answer was a bit different than what I expected. He explained to me that the process of learning new positions and addressing swing flaws is rarely expressed or taught — certainly not in any of the famous swing manuals that we’ve all read — and that what I would learn most from my GolfTEC experience was how to train correctly.

And this, to borrow a cryptic Hogan term, is the “secret” of GolfTEC. It exposes the actual culprit in why we cannot improve at golf: our very own brain. Yes, that same alleged “super computer” that once assured you that streaking the quad wouldn’t attract campus security attention or, more appropriately, convinces you that you can automatically incorporate Sergio Garcia’s shaft lean into your weekend game without any practice whatsoever, is the main governor in your swing’s inability to break through to new heights.

For my specific impact ailments, the difference in what I was feeling versus what was actually showing up on GolfTEC’s cameras was, to be honest, nothing short of mind blowing. I personally had to feel like my golf club was in a state of free-fall for what seemed like an hour before I could actually see any real lag and shaft lean on video. New leaks would also spring up due to these changes, and I occasionally had to use lessons to address unforeseen setbacks. With each lesson, Wayne calmly prescribed a cure and never once seemed to share my sense of panic or despair; even as a couple of months had gone by with inconsistent results. Conversely, Wayne kept on preaching proper practice (again stressing the importance of slow swing or no ball training) and patience (not to mention all of the hands-on instruction, drills, and side-by-side comparisons with tour pros). If I had tried to make these changes by swinging 100 percent during each practice session or lesson, I would have never progressed.

shaft lean

My “flippy” release (top photo, circa October 2014). By March 2015 I’d improved it significantly.

Then, one day in the early spring of 2015, the things that I had been working on started to feel familiar; almost natural. Once foreign motor patterns were more instinctual. On the cameras at GolfTEC, I giggled with childlike wonderment as I witnessed my newly grooved strike in which my arms were fully extended after impact on full swings. On the course, I began taking proper divots, with a penetrating ball flight and a sweet crack that hadn’t been there previously. With my driver, I began hitting a hard push draw by employing a slightly bowed left wrist through impact to stabilize the club face and minimize my natural tendency to flip.


My swing in 2014 (left) and in 2015 (right). Note the slightly bowed wrist, rotated hips and better face control in 2015.

I was then able to apply these newly formed habits toward meaningful golf. Later that year, my friend and I won our flight this time in his member guest, and in the fall, I went on to capture my club’s A-Flight title. This year, I hope to make further progress and qualify for my club championship. My golf IQ has also increased. At GolfTEC, you’ll learn about (and witness the effects of) concepts like gear effect, how to properly diagnose missed shots, and (most importantly for me) why occasional episodes of the shanks creep in to your game and how to immediately fix them. By the way, there is nothing quite as disgusting and motivating as watching in slow motion what happens to your club face, post-shank.

Playing with my weekend group, I now laugh at the various forms of irrelevant unsolicited swing advice being tossed around. You’re not keeping your head down or you need to swing in a barrel are just a few of the nonsensical, know-it-all bits of blabber you may hear from the latest Butch-Harmon-of the-moment mid-handicapper. Now, when that same blowhard tries to rationalize your latest pure draw due to you swinging out to the target, you can politely counter: “Actually, my path at impact was right of the target with a club face that essentially bisected the target line and my swing path, thus putting draw spin on the ball. I even caught the ball a little off-center, toward the toe, thus producing a gear effect impact condition which aided the draw.”

Nuff said.

Your Reaction?
  • 171
  • LEGIT36
  • WOW20
  • LOL12
  • IDHT6
  • FLOP5
  • OB3
  • SHANK37

Lawyer, Bachelor and Golf Nut. John also writes for his and his sister's Italian culinary and lifestyle blog at, maintains an honest GHIN handicap, and is from New Jersey; all of which he is proud of.



  1. MattMcW

    Jun 8, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    For all of those folks who are leery of GolfTec, I am living proof that if you put in the work, you can get the results. I started with GolfTec 3 years ago with an index of 6.9 and my June 1st revised index is 3.5. It hasn’t been easy and I will echo John’s sentiments about being able to actually see what you think you’re doing as opposed to what you actually are doing. To be honest, I’m not anywhere near where I actually want to go, but I have seen a change in the shape/path of my swing, my release pattern, the quality of my strike and the shape of my ball flight. I’ve gone from a classic come over the top pull slice that was caused by an over active upper body at the top, which produced shots high in the air with a lot of spin and great for hitting lots of fairways, but rarely did tee shots get any roll out. Now, I’m seeing shots come off the club with a more penetrating right to left shape to them.

    As for the whole “Stack and Tilt” commenter, GolfTec talks about body positions that all the pros get into during their swings but doesn’t force you into those positions because everyone’s body moves differently.

    Matt McWilliams- I go to the GolfTec in Tysons Corner, VA

  2. Wayne Morris

    Jun 5, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    In my opinion the fact that you claimed to be a 13.6 handicapper prior to starting this golftec experience but looking at those before pictures and those horrible positions makes me scratch my head. Truly your new after positions and knowledge sounds like a more avid golfer, and its more believable that you are a 8 to 10 handicap now not a 5-6. I do agree that high speed video helps pick the flaws to work on, where on the range its always a guess. But golftec does force feed you a certain style which i think is not always the right way for everyone. Belive it or not, with your obvious dedication, and hunger to get better, any instruction would have improved your game but trust me you would have gotten better with a PGA pro than golftec

    • John Iaciofano

      Jun 6, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      Hmm…I am not sure where I claimed I was a 13.6 handicapper, nor did I claim I am a 5. Also, many PGA Pros are also Golftec Pros. In my case, my instructor was a Class A PGA Pro.

  3. JJJ

    Jun 4, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Started up with GolfTEC last July, got a good pro. Little bit lazy with the lessons, usually only 1 or two a month. Was a 17.1 back then, 12.4 now and trending down. The big thing for me is the immediate visual feedback, frame by frame, both in the lessons and in the video practice. What I think I’m doing is so often far from is actually happening. The visual reinforcement of what I’m trying to achieve has been extremely helpful.

  4. Bogeypro

    Jun 3, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    Congrats on the better play, but this really sounds like a plug for a sponsor.

  5. Truth

    Jun 3, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Golftec is garabge. A computer can’t teach you how to feel or how to “swing your swing” as Arnold Palmer put it.

  6. [email protected]

    Jun 2, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Avid or serious golfer never go to GolfTec for any fix of their swing. Most of the pros there are “rookies” who just started their teaching career with limited experiences. They are good for beginners who is trying to get a glimpse of the golf and having a very “programmable” swing.

    If you already have a good taste of the golf swing but would like to get better, find some experienced instructors hosted in nearby golf courses or dedicated learning schools (teaching centers, non-franchised). They normally charge more for a lesson ($100-$250 one hour lesson depends on who you are working with) but deliver more effective fixes that you can see the results immediately when you walk off the lesson. The guys who can survive the teaching competition and root themselves on a golf course normally have something to show around.

    I worked with one instructor for four lessons ($150 per lesson, I visited him once a month) and brought down my scores from mid 90s to low 80s (or even mid 70s) in a few months. But you need to keep educating yourself and keep practicing / experimenting during the learning process. By gluing all the swing facts together, you will find a swing that suits you and your game.

    • John Iaciofano

      Jun 3, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      It all depends on the Golftec. The pro that taught me there is a class A PGA professional and I think has given close to 30k lessons. Not exactly a “rookie.”

  7. Jim

    Jun 2, 2016 at 8:35 am

    One of the best articles about instruction—as opposed to instructional articles—I have read. I particularly liked your emphasis on slow swing/no ball training. If you can’t get into the proper positions in slow motion, you don’t understand what they are and you will never achieve them at full speed. I went to a winter golf school this year and had similar swing faults as you, especially flipping at the ball and contacting the turf before hitting the ball. My instructors are advocates of slow swing/no ball training and it wasn’t until I got serious about this aspect that I saw real improvement. And I think this is true regardless of the system or method of instruction.

  8. Philip

    Jun 1, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Checked out the GolfTec site. Interesting, but it has two issues for me. The first is if the lessons are mainly on fake grass – as I’ve found it can hide too many flaws. Of course, if your swing is good then you can hit off of anything, but that is not their larger market. The second is the use of video – I’ve never found it to be helpful in understanding my swing. It is interesting and useful to understand other swings from a general point of view, but I need to visualize my swing internally from my perspective, and video is external from a different point of view, and other peoples swings is irrelevant to me as I am not them. My best success has been with a golf pro on real grass reviewing my fundamentals to make sure they haven’t gone adrift. The more I understand how setup and address affects a swing by practicing in slow motion, as well as at regular speeds, the better I am able to control the club face and distance.

    • John

      Jun 10, 2016 at 10:35 am

      Philip – I’m sure everyone is different; perhaps video is not your thing and you could be right. I must say however, that in my case, I couldn’t have possibly made progress without video. It’s necessary for me to see my swing faults and be able to see what it feels like when I’m trying to correct it.

  9. Brian

    Jun 1, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    I have to agree with John. I worked with GolfTec for about 18 motnhs. I started as a 12 and went to an 8. Obviously, we all learn differently, but I will not go back to taking lessons on range.

  10. Johnny Muscletown

    Jun 1, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    GolfTec seems to be very polarizing, especially by the armchair pros out there. I had a great experience at GT for over a year. I quit because I had to buy an engagement ring. I took a few other lessons here and there that were not in Golftec from various pros that were very good as well. Bottom line is to find a good teacher and actually do what they say.

  11. Bob

    Jun 1, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    John, how much did GolfTec pay you? I’ve heard more horror stories then good things about GolfTec. The picture you posted does confirm one thing, Golf Tec obviously is teaching the Stack & Tilt. Looking at your before and after picture gives me shivers down my back just as reading about the Stack & Tilt golf swing gives me nightmares at night. Sorry John, but this post of your reeks of “Paid for by” Personally I would not waste my time or money on GolfTec. Sorry John, just don’t buy it.

    • John Iaciofano

      Jun 1, 2016 at 4:20 pm

      Bob – Actually, I did this after my Golftec experience, which I paid for personally. Golftec is likely not teaching the stack and tilt; I personally like to have a bit of a forward move to assist me with proper impact.

      • Bob

        Jun 1, 2016 at 4:57 pm

        John, look at the picture you posted of your after back swing. “Stack & Tilt”

        And yes from what I have been told “Stack & Tilt” is the company teaching policy.

        John like it or not you are now a Stack & Tilter. Scary stuff 🙁

        • John Iaciofano

          Jun 2, 2016 at 10:15 am

          Ha. Never once was Stack and Tilt taught during my golftec experience. Although I would not mind swinging like this!

          • Bob

            Jun 2, 2016 at 10:37 am

            Maybe that’s what they told you but the reality is you are now a Stack and Tilter John. Have fun.
            And as for me, I have better things to spend my money on rather then making the CEO of Golf Tec richer.

            • John Iaciofano

              Jun 2, 2016 at 11:38 am

              I will have fun. Golf has never been more fun. Thank you, Bob.

  12. larrybud

    Jun 1, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    So what’s the bottom line? What’s your GHIN before and after? It’s all about scoring.

    • John Iaciofano

      Jun 1, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      larry I would say i was about a 9-12 and now hover between a 6-8.

      • Ric

        Jun 1, 2016 at 12:57 pm

        The tip you gave” Wayne even set up an imaginary finish line a few inches beyond impact, in which the top line of the golf club was to finish ahead of the leading edge” sounds like what happens when the clubhead overtakes the handle. Am I missing something?

        • John Iaciofano

          Jun 1, 2016 at 1:57 pm

          Ric – it’s the opposite actually. If you have your club’s “top line” (the top of the club) beat the “leading edge” (the bottom of the club) your handle would overtake the clubhead.

      • larrybud

        Jun 2, 2016 at 7:42 am

        You don’t have any hard numbers?

        • John Iaciofano

          Jun 2, 2016 at 11:36 am

          Rarely is my handicap ever fixed or hard; it moves around. At the end of last year my index was a 6.9; which is the lowest it has ever been by at least 1-2 strokes.

  13. Peter d

    Jun 1, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    I did 2 years of golf tec, plus countless other lessons. I see gt as a system of instruction rather than instruction itself, but that system addresses a key fault of “normal” lessons: frequency and long-horizon. I think most people go to lessons to “get fixed” and do not usually keep up with lessons unless they self identify a problem. The gt system addresses this by regular, consistent lessons over an extended period of time, past the initial “fix”.

    That said you still need a solid instructor to actually do the lessons!

  14. cody

    Jun 1, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    I think all instruction is as good as the instructor. Golftec included. All the gadgets and gizmos in the world will not make up for quality instruction. I am sure, that golftec locations, just like golf courses are individual and vary in the “pros” ability and understanding to teach the swing. I dont think that golftec is good or bad. I am glad they exist to try to help players get better, and don’t begrudge them trying to make a dollar at the same time. I say if you are looking for instruction, give them a pass and see if it fits. if not move on.

  15. KangarooLefty

    Jun 1, 2016 at 12:21 pm


    If you mentioned it in the article – I missed it. Do you actually score better?

    While I don’t agree with the masses on the issue of GolfTec: that it is a rip-off/scam/waste; and, that you will never get better. I do believe that fixing an aspect of your swing may not always lead to better results on the course. I know, that statement seems counter-intuitive, but hear me out.

    Most single digit handicappers have either one or both of these parts of their game significantly better than higher digit handicappers: they hit the ball a lot farther; or, they have better than average course management skills. All single digit handicappers are better at yardages under 100 and chipping/putting. GolfTec does not teach you course management and does not teach you chipping/putting. So, while your swing may be getting better – are your scores?

    To most people – the score at the end of the round is more important than the look of the swing or the flight of the ball. A few years back – when I was really devoting time and energy to the sport and had achieved a fairly modest handicap of 4 – I went to GolfTec and had a few lessons. If I had stuck with the entire package maybe my results would have been different, but I immediately felt like my swing wasn’t good enough. I was young and spry and could hit the ball a mile, but my shoulder turn wasn’t maximized and during portions of the downswing I was sliding too much. So off to the range I went with the drills and the thoughts in my head and I started to decline.

    My biggest problem with the GolfTec way is that they only use Professional Golfers as the barometer for your swing. Does your hip rotation match that of Phil Mickelson? Does your shoulder rotation match Dustin Johnson? Here – how does your swing look side-by-side to Tiger Woods in his prime? Are you left-handed – here we can mirror any pro you want to see how you compare. Then – they use averages for shoulder rotation, hip rotation, swing plane, etc to compare your 40 year old swing to that of a professional golfer in their prime. Amateurs that are taking GolfTec lessons will not be able to match those numbers – not anatomically and not physiologically. Therefore, what are you really getting?

    MOST of the time a lesson with a PGA instructor on the range, or better yet, on the course will yield more favorable results than GolfTec – and it behooves me that we keep seeing article after article about experiences with GolfTec.

    I will never take away from a person’s positive experience at GolfTec – it is your money and your pipe dream. If you get better I am happy for you.

    If most high handicappers spent more time on the putting green and chipping area they would reap greater rewards than any full-swing lesson will get them.

    • John Iaciofano

      Jun 1, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      Kangaroo – I definitely improved from golftec; I was breaking 80 with regularity due to the lessons, I think. I am down to about a 6-8 index these days whereas before it was more like a 8-13.

      I personally think that the video lessons are incredibly valuable. If I just went to the range with some tips, I would have not improved. That’s how I always did things prior to golftec; but it took my experience at golftec for me to realize that for me to change an inch, it had to feel like a mile. For what I was trying to do – move my swing bottom forward – I couldn’t have done it without video and Wayne’s guidance. The interesting thing was that my experience was not overly technical. We definitely spent time doing side by side comparisons with tour pros, but it was used as more of a benchmark as to what were working on than a teaching point.

      Actually, one of the things that improved the most was my scoring ability from 100 yards and in. By improving my impact conditions (divot after impact) I was really able to get a more surgical with my pitches and even long chips.

      • KangarooLefty

        Jun 1, 2016 at 7:59 pm

        John – thanks for the response. Sorry my comment was not displayed they way I spaced it paragraph wise. Like I mentioned, I am happy that practicing paid off for you (literally!). I think getting from that low double digit handicap spot to single digits is a great milestone to achieve. As a proper lead-in to any before/after comparison: how did your practice schedule/intensity change? You mentioned that you read every book and you watched every youtube video on golf instruction, so there was obviously knowledge of the golf swing before GolfTec. Was the practice as concentrated and numerous before GolfTec? Or, as you learned to like your new swing/results did your practice sessions become more regular or concentrated?

        • John Iaciofano

          Jun 2, 2016 at 10:29 am

          The practice was definitely quite frequent and concentrated, before. I would bang balls at the range; even using my V1 app frequently. It’s actually possible that I practiced less with golftec, although I definitely took advantage my 3-month practice pass.

          I identified the “flip” due to my own recording with the v1 app, but it was a really hard fix and I enlisted Wayne’s help. I would say the WAY I practiced became much different.

  16. JOL

    Jun 1, 2016 at 8:21 am

    I also signed up for a series of lessons at GolfTec and after 2-3 months never got past trying to get into the “PERFECT” backswing position. In hindsight, it was a waste of time and money.

  17. Snoop

    May 31, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Glad you liked it, but your picture is too perfect for this meme:

    Pays GolfTEC lessons

    Shows up in jeans

    Maybe we should all forget about golf and get some of that lawyer money

    • John Iaciofano

      May 31, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      GT’s cost per lesson is actually pretty reasonable vs. competitors. The way I saw it, I’d probably be paying for 10 lessons anyway in the next couple of years. And the practice pass is nice, too.

  18. Steven

    May 31, 2016 at 3:05 pm


    Great article. I agree that the system at Golftec is designed for improvement. The constant instruction and video is great. Making swing changes does take time, and Golftec does a good job of showing the process for making changes. That learning is critical to long term success.

    My experience wasn’t as good at Golftec because I had 3 different instructors. I was following a similar improvement plan after a year, but then started having to switch instructors. Like you said, everyone has a different perspective, so I struggled with the switches. I think Golftec is great for accountability, but the right instructor (or instruction) is the most important. A good plan with V1 can have similar results if consistent. It sounds like Wayne is a good instructor, and my guess is he would be good anywhere if the student follows the plan.

    Just my thoughts. I know tons of people have great success with Golftec. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the same luck with the instructor.

    Hope your progress continues and you qualify. That is a great accomplishment.

  19. Jay

    May 31, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Nice article – I had experience with GT prior to them offering the ball flight simulator. Would imagine thats a big plus to their (already pretty snazzy) technology

  20. ooffa

    May 31, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    I could have fixed you in two minutes for the price of a cocktail at the 19th hole.

  21. John Iaciofano

    May 31, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Thanks puffy – completely agree with your thoughts. I was very pleased with Wayne’s instruction, and my experience, at Golftec.

  22. Feherty's Large Mouth bASS

    May 31, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Really? Another advertorial for GolfTEC? Poor kid had tons of lessons to fix a post impact problem where the root cause was 100% in the backswing and transition. Probably took more like 10 minutes to discover that and fix it rather than 10 months and thousands of dollars!

    • John Iaciofano

      May 31, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      100% huh? Feel free to enlighten us; this is an educational piece after all.

  23. PuffyC

    May 31, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Great write-up, couldn’t agree more. I’ve been working with GolfTec for over a year and the main thing I tell people is that if you’re taking lessons without video, you’re probably wasting your time. What you think your swing is doing is almost 100% never what it is actually doing, and without the cameras you have no idea.

    • Pe

      May 31, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      Video works for some, not for all. Just like any lesson. And some are just not born for physical activity of any kind, let alone any sport. Don’t encourage those people they can play this sport. They can’t.

      • bruce

        Jun 1, 2016 at 1:07 pm

        i think most people can find their way around a par 3 or executive course (they’re ok from 100 yards and in). and even on “real” courses one can always play from the forward tees (they should remove the gender designation). but, yeah, some people (myself included) don’t have what it takes to play from the tips. for me scoring mostly comes down to pitching, chipping, bunkers and putting anyway (and avoiding complete mis-hits on longer shots).

    • larrybud

      Jun 1, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Depends on how you learn. My wife is all about showing her (like putting her into a certain position) so she can feel that position. Video is nearly useless to her.

      • bruce

        Jun 1, 2016 at 1:12 pm

        for me it’s interesting to see how i’m doing on video but it doesn’t really help me figure out what i’m supposed to “feel” (or think about) during the swing. and if i think too hard about one particular aspect of the swing (like touch your chin to your shoulder on the backswing) it generally kills my tempo and i hit a horrible shot. maybe it’s as much about rhythm, tempo and confidence as anything else (i know i can hit this shot because i’ve done it before). and for me my results on the driving range are pretty much unrelated to how i play (it’s all different when you’re actually playing a course).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

19th Hole

Vincenzi: The 6 biggest takeaways from the 2024 Masters



The 2024 Masters offered up plenty of excitement throughout the week, with Scottie Scheffler delivering when it mattered to live up to his pre-tournament favorite tag. With the year’s opening major now in the books, here’s my six biggest takeaways from the 2024 Masters

Scheffler In a League of His Own

In the most impressive way possible, Scottie Scheffler won The Masters without having his absolute best stuff. For the week, Scottie ranked 19th in Strokes Gained: Approach, which is a category the number player in the world typically dusts the rest of the field in. After a strong approach day on Thursday, the 27-year-old lost strokes to the field on approach on Friday and Saturday, before gaining on Sunday. The iron performance was more than solid, but it was an all-around game that helped Scheffler get it done around Augusta National.

For a year or more, the narrative around Scheffler has been, “With his ball striking, if he can just putt to field average, he’ll be unbeatable”. At Augusta, his ball striking came back down to earth, but his touch around the greens and ability to manage the golf course demonstrated why he is the best player on the planet right now. For the week, Scheffler ranked 1st in the field in Strokes Gained: Around the Green and 24th in Strokes Gained: Putting.

For the time being, there is a major gap between Scottie Scheffler and the second-best player in the world, whoever that may be.

The Future is Now

Ludvig Aberg went into his first back-nine at The Masters with a legitimate shot to win the tournament. When he teed it up on the treacherous 11th hole, he was one behind Scottie Scheffler, who had just stuck one to a few feet on the 9th. By the time he approached his tee shot, which was perfectly striped down the left side of the fairway, he was two behind. Unfortunately, the 24-year-old got too aggressive into his approach at the 11th and found the water, making double bogey. Ludvig rebounded nicely, and finished the event in solo second place.

With The Masters now in the rearview, it’s never been more evident that Ludvig Aberg is no longer an “up-and-comer”; he has arrived. The Swede has been an integral part of a winning European Ryder Cup team and has now contended at Augusta National. With a calm demeanor, a picture-perfect swing, and a build and stature that appears as if it was built in a lab, Ludvig Aberg is already amongst the world’s best. I’d be extremely surprised if he wasn’t in the mix at next month’s PGA Championship at Valhalla.

Nostalgia Wins

I try to avoid as many cliche’s as possible, but there’s something about The Masters that brings out the sentimentality in me. Tiger Woods strategically making his way around Augusta National without all of the physical tools that made him arguably the most dominant athlete in the history of sports will always be riveting, regardless of what score he shoots. Woods made it interesting until a tough stretch of holes on Saturday, but he ultimately wore down, shooting +16 for the week in difficult conditions. It’s remarkable that the 15-time major champion was able to put together a few solid rounds of golf despite barely playing any competitive golf in 2024. As long as Woods tees it up at Augusta, we will all continue to be mesmerized by it.

Verne Lundquist’s 40th and final Masters Tournament was also a must-watch aspect of the event. The iconic voice of Lundquist and his calls throughout the years still give me chills each time I hear them. Verne is an icon of the game and will be missed in future renditions of The Masters.

The Masters also brings another element that is unique to the tournament. Former champions turn back the clock to battle with the golf course again which creates some amazing stories. There are a few that stick out this year and were an absolute pleasure to witness. 61-year-old Vijay Singh made the cut for the first time since 2018, and shot a pretty incredible even par, 72 on Sunday. 58-year-old José María Olazábal made the cut as well, reminding us why fellow Spaniard Jon Rahm sought his valuable advice prior to his Masters victory in 2022.

Regardless of who wins, The Masters always delivers.

Bryson Moves the Needle

Plenty will disagree with me on this point, but outside of Tiger Woods, and potentially Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, no one moves the needle in golf as much as Bryson DeChambeau. The uniqueness in which Bryson approaches the game has always been fascinating, and if he gets near the top of the leaderboard at any major championship, whether it’s to root for him or against him, people are interested.

It began on Monday with a pretty bizarre story of DeChambeau using 3D printed irons that got just got cleared for use by the USGA when the week began. It once again felt like a storyline that would only be possible with a character as eccentric as Bryson. He then raced off to a first-round lead in tough conditions, reminding the world of what made him such a great golfer to begin with. He made some mistakes on the weekend, but still finished a career best T6 at The Masters.

Bryson is more than just quirky; he is a former U.S. Amateur Champion and U.S. Open who I believe will contend for more majors in the future. I will continue to root for DeChambeau, but I’m perfectly content with the fact that plenty will root against him, and I encourage those people to do so. That’s what makes it fun.

LIV Walks Away Empty-Handed

Last year, there were a multitude of questions about LIV players coming into the year’s first major. They had played very limited tournament golf, and critics of LIV questioned whether the 54-hole events were enough to sharpen the players enough to compete against the best in the world on the biggest stage.

The results were fascinating, with LIV players all over the leaderboard. Brooks Koepka held the 36- and 54-hole lead, with Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed finishing T2 and T4, giving LIV three golfers in the top-4 of the leaderboard.

This season, with even more time removed and with some more massive additions to the roster, the intrigue surrounding LIV players at Augusta was once again palpable. While some players, including Bryson DeChambeau, exceeded expectations, I can’t help but walk away from the Masters feeling underwhelmed by the performance of the LIV players.

Brooks Koepka finished runner-up last season and is a certified major championship killer. The 5-time major champ was never involved and simply didn’t have it at Augusta. Dustin Johnson put together a putrid performance, shooting +13 over two rounds, making it fair to wonder if his days of contending at major championships are over as he rapidly approaches his 40th birthday.

Jon Rahm and Joaquin Niemann were both players who were amongst the favorites this week, but Rahm was faced with the daunting duties of defending champion and Niemann proved he was still not quite ready to master the quirks of Augusta National, bleeding strokes both around and on the greens.

To be fair, when all was said and done, LIV had four players in the top twelve at The Masters. Tyrrell Hatton stormed the leaderboard early on Sunday, finishing T9 and earning himself an invite back to Augusta next season. Cam Smith and Patrick Reed put together gritty performances, which isn’t too surprising considering the fact that they both absolutely love Augusta National, but neither ever felt a real threat to win. There’s no doubt the players on LIV are good, and that’s why some encouraging leaderboard positions aren’t enough. They needed to contend.

With no players part of the storyline on Sunday, I view the first major of the year as a disappointment for LIV. The players will head into next month’s PGA Championship at Valhalla with a lot to prove.

Rory’s Struggles Continues

Rory struggling at Augusta National is no surprise at this point. The four-time major champion has now had ten attempts to complete the career grand slam and has never had a chance to win. His T2 in 2022 was deceiving, the Northern Irishman stormed the leaderboard on Sunday, but was never in contention, and never got within three shots of the winner, Scottie Scheffler.

I didn’t expect Rory to win, but I have to admit that this year felt a bit different. McIlroy played the week prior to the Masters, which he typically doesn’t do, and finished third at the Valero Texas Open. He gained 7.56 strokes on approach and 2.0 strokes off the tee, which told me that his visit with world renowned swing coach, Butch Harmon, after the PLAYERS Championship paid dividends.

McIlroy also approached the media quite differently. He cut his pre-tournament press conference short after only ten minutes and seemed to be laser focused on just playing golf.

Despite the different approach to The Masters, the results were the same. McIlroy struggled over the course of the week, finishing T22 (+4) and never sniffed a decent weekend position on the leaderboard. It’s back to the drawing board for McIlroy, and I have doubts that he will ever figure it out at Augusta.

Your Reaction?
  • 5
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW1
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Vincenzi: The 8 best prop bets for the 2024 Masters



We’ve finally reached The Masters and excitement is at an all-time high. The world of golf has been fractured for the better part of two years, but for a week at Augusta National, all of the outside noise will disappear. All of the best players in the world will be together seeking to make history.

In addition to betting on The Masters champion. This is one of the few weeks of the year where there are so many more markets to explore, with value to be had in plenty of different categories.

Throughout this article, I’ll discuss all of my favorite props and players for the 2024 Masters.

Placement Bets:

Tony Finau Top 5 +750 (DraftKings):

I badly wanted to include Tony Finau in my outright betting selections, but I simply ran out of room on my card. Additionally, it’s slightly difficult to see him hitting the putts necessary to win the Masters on back nine on Sunday. However, I do strongly believe he will play great golf this week at Augusta National.

In his past 24 rounds, Finau ranks 4th in Strokes Gained: Approach is always amongst the best drivers of the golf ball in the game. Back in 2019, Finau had a great chance to win The Masters. I expect him to be hanging around over the weekend once again in 2024.

Gary Woodland Top 20 +550 (DraftKings), Gary Woodland to make the cut -110 (DraftKings):

Last season, Gary Woodland had his best ever finish at The Masters in his eleven tries. The 39-year-old finished T14 and played incredibly steady across all four rounds.

In Woodland’s most recent start at the Texas Children’s Houston Open, he struck the ball incredibly well. He led the field in Strokes Gained: Approach (+8.8) and Strokes Gained: Ball Striking (+10.0).

Gary has been working with Butch Harmon and absolutely flushing the ball both in tournaments and during practice.

Woodland appears to be healthy once again and in a great place physically and mentally. If he can build off his impressive performance at Augusta last year, he can place inside the top ten in 2024.

Additionally, the make the cut number on Woodland seems generous considering the number of players who miss the cut will be relatively small this week. Woodland is striking it well enough to make the cut even if he’s hindered by a balky putter once again.

Thorbjorn Olesen Top 20 +400 (FanDuel):

The Thunder Bear, Thorbjorn Olesen, made his Masters debut in 2013 and finished an incredibly impressive T6 for the week. In the two additional starts he’s made at Augusta National since then, the Dane has continued to be incredibly solid, finishing T44 and T21.

This week, Olesen heads into the week playing some good golf. He gained 3.8 strokes on approach and 5.52 strokes around the green at last week’s Valero Texas Open on his way to a strong T14 finish. Back in January, he won the Ras Al Khaimah Championship on the DP World Tour.

Olesen has the skill set to be successful at Augusta and seems primed for a good performance this week.

Top Nationalities:

Sergio Garcia Top Spanish Player +280 (DraftKings):

I believe Sergio Garcia can get into contention this week with the way he’s striking the ball in addition to his good vibes with a refurbished version of the Scotty Cameron that he used at the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah.

I am slightly concerned about the emotional letdown he may face after losing in a playoff at LIV Miami, but I believe a veteran and former Masters champion should be able to regroup and focus on an event far more meaningful.

This is essentially a tournament head-to-head with Jon Rahm at +280. While Rahm deserves to be respected this week, the history of the lack of success of defending champions at The Masters is difficult to ignore.

Joaquin Niemann Top South American Player -230 (FanDuel):

While I hate paying this much juice, I don’t see a world in which Joaquin Niemann isn’t the top South American this week at The Masters. Joaco comes in playing better golf than anyone in the world not named Scottie Scheffler and has a serious chance to win the green jacket.

He only needs to beat two players: Emiliano Grillo and Camilo Villegas.

Tournament Head-to-Heads:

Justin Thomas -110 over Collin Morikawa

JT isn’t having his best season but is playing a lot better than he is getting credit for at the moment. In the past three months, there are only six players on the PGA Tour who have averaged 1.7 Strokes Gained: Tee to Green or better. Justin Thomas (+1.7) is one of the six and is currently tied with Rory McIlroy (+1.7).

Morikawa, on the other hand, has been extremely poor with his irons, which is incredibly uncharacteristic for him. I can’t help but feel like something is completely off with the two-time major champion.

Tony Finau -110 over Wyndham Clark

I explained in the placement section why I’m so high on Tony Finau this week. With how well he’s striking the ball, it seems as if his floor is extremely high. I’m not sure if he can make the putts to win a green jacket but I believe he will be in the mix similarly to 2019 when Tiger Woods emerged from a crowded pack of contenders.

Clark is a debutant, and while some debutants have had success at The Masters, it certainly poses a challenge. I also don’t believe Augusta National suits Clark as well as some of the other major championship venues.

Your Reaction?
  • 9
  • LEGIT5
  • WOW3
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK3

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Vincenzi’s 2024 Masters betting preview: Niemann to play star role at Augusta National



It’s been over nine months since we saw Brian Harman parlay a dominant performance at Royal Liverpool into a claret jug. After another major offseason filled with a feud between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, talks of a merger, and a multitude of questions regarding the future of the game, the golf world is desperate for all of the best players in the world to come together again for a major championship. 

We return to Augusta National with excitement at a fever pitch. Scottie Scheffler has separated himself as the best player in the world heading into the Masters. At the moment, the 27-year-old seems to be an unstoppable force. However, questions about Scheffler’s up-and-down putter once again resurfaced as he missed multiple short putts at the Texas Children’s Houston Open including a 5’11” putt to force a playoff with Stephan Jaeger. 

Additionally, a handful of the PGA Tour’s top players such as Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Will Zalatoris, Patrick Cantlay, Tommy Fleetwood and Jordan Spieth make their way to Augusta National with their current form in question.

Plenty of LIV golfers may be up to the task of conquering Augusta, but with so much time in between the last two majors, it’s not always easy to decipher how their games will stack up against Scheffler and co.

Last year, some important changes were made at Augusta National. The par-5 13th (Azalea) was lengthened by 35 yards and now measures 545 yards. Last year, Azalea played as the toughest of the four par 5s, and players averaged 4.74 for the week, which was down from 4.85 in 2022. However, eagles, birdies and bogeys were all up, so the lengthening achieved less pars, which equals more excitement. 

Without further ado, let’s get into the course breakdown and analyze some important statistics for Augusta National.

Augusta National is now a 7,510-yard par-72 with lightning-fast Bentgrass greens. The course’s primary defenses are the contoured greens, swirling crosswinds, the topography of the course, which creates uneven lies and the small landing areas that golfers will need to hit to avoid tight run-off areas around the greens.

Past Winners at the Masters 

  • 2023: Jon Rahm (-12)
  • 2022: Scottie Scheffler (-10)
  • 2021: Hideki Matsuyama (-10)
  • 2020: Dustin Johnson (-20)
  • 2019: Tiger Woods (-13)
  • 2018: Patrick Reed (-15)
  • 2017: Sergio Garcia (-9)
  • 2016: Danny Willett (-5)
  • 2015: Jordan Spieth (-18)
  • 2014: Bubba Watson (-8)
  • 2013: Adam Scott (-9)
  • 2012: Bubba Watson (-10)
  • 2011: Charl Schwartzel (-14)
  • 2010: Phil Mickelson (-16)

In this article and going forward, I’ll be using the Rabbit Hole by Betsperts Golf data engine to develop my custom model. If you want to build your own model or check out all of the detailed stats, you can sign up using promo code: MATTVIN for 25% off any subscription package (yearly is best value).

Key Stats For Augusta National

Let’s take a look at the six most important metrics at Augusta National and determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds. This should give us a good starting point for building out a betting card.

Strokes Gained: Approach

Approach is historically the most important statistic at Augusta National. The sloping, speedy greens and run-off areas create small landing spots that can be difficult to hit.

 Last year, Jon Rahm ranked 6th in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach. Overall, five of the past seven winners at Augusta have ranked in the top 6 in the category. Distance helps, but Augusta National is a second-shot golf course.

Total Strokes Gained: Approach in past 24 rounds:

  1. Scottie Scheffler (+1.30)
  2. Corey Conners (+0.99)
  3. Shane Lowry (+0.88)
  4. Tony Finau (+0.85)
  5. Austin Eckroat (+0.85)

Course History

More so than any other course on TOUR, familiarity with Augusta National is crucial. Only one player has ever won the Masters on their first try — Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. Meanwhile, there are 17 golfers in history who have multiple green jackets.

In most cases, the Masters champion has shown some good form at Augusta in the past. Prior to Scottie Scheffler’s 2022 victory, he finished T19 and T18 in his first two trips to the course. Prior to 2023, Rahm had finished in the top-10 of four of his six starts at The Masters. 

Total Strokes Gained: Total at Augusta National in past 36 rounds (per round, minimum eight rounds):

  1. Will Zalatoris (+2.91) 
  2. Jon Rahm (+2.28) 
  3. Jordan Spieth (+2.22) 
  4. Scottie Scheffler (+2.22)
  5. Dustin Johnson (+2.01)
  6. Rory McIlroy (+2.00) 
  7. Hideki Matsuyama (+1.90)
  8. Justin Rose (+1.85)
  9. Rickie Fowler (+1.72)
  10. Russell Henley (+1.60) 

Par 4 Scoring Average

Since plenty of players can reach the par 5s at Augusta in two, par-4 scoring becomes more important. The golfer who separates themselves on the par 4s will be able to gain ground on the field.

Par 4 Scoring Average in past 24 rounds:

  1. Scottie Scheffler (+3.88) 
  2. Chris Kirk (+3.92) 
  3. Jordan Spieth (+3.93) 
  4. Peter Malnati (+3.93)
  5. Xander Schauffele (+3.93)

Strokes Gained: Around the Green

Golfers with a solid short game tend to fare well at Augusta National. The run-off areas are treacherous, and players will often be scrambling to get up and down.

The majority of players who have won at Augusta National have a great short game and have shown consistent ability to get up and down from tough spots.

Total Strokes Gained: Around the Green in past 24 rounds:

  1. Hideki Matsuyama (+0.71)
  2. Scottie Scheffler (+0.66)
  3. Patrick Reed (+0.61)
  4. Xander Schauffele (+0.53)
  5. Lucas Glover (+0.51)

Strokes Gained: Off the Tee

Augusta National is most definitely a second shot golf course. Golfers can get away with a missed fairway here and there, however, it’s important that the misses with driver aren’t too wide of the target or there is serious trouble to be had.

Total Strokes Gained: Off the Tee in past 24 rounds:

  1. Bryson DeChambeau (+1.04)
  2. Rory McIlroy (+0.85)
  3. Scottie Scheffler (+0.84)
  4. Xander Schauffele (+0.71)
  5. Ludvig Aberg (+0.68)

Strokes Gained Putting: Fast Bentgrass

The USGA calculates that, on average, the greens at Augusta National are the fastest greens in the country. Three-putting is fairly common at Augusta and golfers must be able to combat the speed of the greens with effective lag putting.

Total Strokes Gained: Putting on Fast Bentgrass in past 24 rounds:

  1. Justin Rose (+1.43)
  2. Sahith Theegala (+0.97) 
  3. Min Woo Lee (+0.88) 
  4. Cameron Smith (+0.70) 
  5. Patrick Reed (+0.70)

Statistical Model

Below, I’ve reported overall model rankings using a combination of the six key statistical categories previously discussed.

These rankings are comprised of SG: App (25%); Course History (16%); Par 4 Scoring Average (10%); SG: Putting on Fast Bentgrass (16%); SG: OTT (16%). and SG: ARG (16%).

Last year, Jon Rahm ranked first in this model

  1. Scottie Scheffler
  2. Xander Schauffele
  3. Hideki Matsuyama
  4. Tony Finau 
  5. Justin Thomas
  6. Shane Lowry
  7. Will Zalatoris
  8. Corey Conners
  9. Si Woo Kim
  10. Rory McIlroy
  11. Stephan Jaeger
  12. Jordan Spieth
  13. Chris Kirk
  14. Keegan Bradley
  15. Wyndham Clark
  16. Sahith Theegala
  17. Russell Henley
  18. Collin Morikawa
  19. Matt Fitzpatrick
  20. Patrick Reed

My 2023 Pick:

Jon Rahm (+950) (FanDuel)
A few months ago, I never thought that I’d be able to say that Rahm would be going slightly under the radar heading into the 2023 Masters. It’s not that Rahm has done anything wrong, but both Scheffler and McIlroy have undoubtedly surpassed him as the scorching hot, super-elite, top of the market betting favorite category.

Since his win at Riviera, the Spaniard has finished 39th at Bay Hill, withdrew at The Players Championship, and failed to get out of the group stage at the WGC Dell Match Play. On the other hand, Scheffler won The PLAYERS Championship and McIlroy finished third at the WGC Dell Match Play.

Rahm has made six starts at The Masters and has come in the top-10 in four of them. The 28-year-old has incredible power off the tee, a requirement at Augusta which always plays longer than the scorecard indicates. He’s also incredible around the greens and ranks third in the field in Strokes Gained: Short Game, which is a combination of around the green play and putting, in his past 24 rounds.

As we’ve seen over the years at The Masters, having the ability to chip and putt your way out of difficult situations is a fundamental aspect of getting it done at Augusta National.

While Scheffler has made a strong case to be viewed as the world’s best player, I still believe that title belongs to Rahm. This will be the year Rahmbo joins the ranks of Seve Ballesteros, José María Olazábal, and Sergio Garcia as natives of Spain to don a green jacket.

2024 The Masters Picks

Brooks Koepka +2500 (DraftKings)

In order to win the 2024 Masters, a player will have to go toe-to-toe with Scottie Scheffler, who’s hitting the ball as anyone in golf over the last two seasons. When building a betting card this week, it’s important for me to choose players that I believe can stare Scheffler down on the weekend at Augusta National. Brooks Koepka fits that bill.

Koepka’s lackluster performance at LIV Miami is concerning, but he’s the type of player who can turn it on quickly during the week of a major championship. Although I’d have preferred, he played well last week, I’ll take the odds discount we got as a result of his most recent results.

Prior to LIV Miami, Koepka appeared to be in solid form. He finished in the top twelve in four of five starts on LIV this season. When it comes to the five-time major champion, it’s well known that he has another gear for major championships. Everything he’s done both in the off-season and during the LIV season is to gear up for the year’s first major at Augusta National.

In his past five starts at Augusta National, the 33-year-old has three top-7 finishes, including two runners-up. The two years when he played poorly (2019 and 2020) were when he was nowhere near 100% healthy. All signs point to Brooks being in a great place physically as we enter major season.

Last year, Koepka was the 36 and 54-hole leader prior to letting the green jacket slip away to Jon Rahm. He used the result as a springboard to win his 5th major at Oak Hill at the PGA Championship.

Brooks enters the week looking to get one step closer to achieving the career grand slam and golf fans would be foolish to rule him out.

Joaquin Niemann +2800 (BetRivers)

Full disclosure, I bet Niemann the second he was invited to The Masters back in February at +8000. Although the odds have shortened dramatically since then, I can’t pretend that the Chilean isn’t one of the players who has a real chance to win the 2024 Masters.

While I was speaking with Niemann back in March, he told me how much he loves Augusta National.

“Yeah, it’s a place that I love. I’ve been playing good golf. Especially last year, I wasn’t playing my best golf, and I had a good week there and made triple on 11 that kind of killed me a little bit.

I feel like I’m getting more ready and more prepared every time. My game is getting better too. I know that I’m playing good enough to be in that situation that I can have a chance to win the Masters and it’s all about how I react to that situation.

So yeah, I’m going to prepare myself to be ready for that situation if it happens and I can fight for the title on the Sunday which would be awesome.”

As Niemann alluded to, the Chilean was able to have his best career finishes at The Masters (T16) despite not being in the best form. This year, Niemann comes into the week playing better golf than anyone in the world with the exception of Scottie Scheffler. The 25-year-old has won three times since December and has shown the world why he was regarded as one of the games future stars since he was a teenager.

Historically speaking, Joaco’s win at Riviera a few years back seems to be an indicator of potential success at Augusta National. Fourteen players have won at both historic courses including Hideki Matsuyama, Jon Rahm, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Nick Faldo, Tom Watson and Ben Hogan.

Niemann has all the shots to be successful at Augusta National. His low stingers will come in handy on plenty of holes down the stretch and he can work it both ways, playing the high draw or the low fade. He also putts best on Bentgrass greens and likes them fast. Whether PGA Tour or LIV, talent will always reign supreme, and I’ll always bet on that talent.

Cameron Smith (+4000) (FanDuel)

Cameron Smith is another player who we should get an odds discount on based off of the results at LIV Miami. Smith was forced to withdraw prior to the second round due to food poisoning. In my opinion, the number has drifted to a place where I’d consider it a “bet the number” play on the talent.

Smith is a contender for the green jacket anytime he tees it up at Augusta National. The Australian absolutely loves the golf course and has four top-10 finishes in his last six trips to the golf course. In both 2020 and 2022, Smith had a real chance of winning The Masters and came up just short, finishing T2 and T3 in those two tries. In his past 36 rounds, he ranks 4th in Strokes Gained: Total per round at Augusta.

In order to be successful at Augusta National, players must be creative around the greens and be shot makers who have plenty of ways to get around the golf course. Cam has all the shots required to be successful at the course at his touch around the greens will continue to serve him well in his hopes for a green jacket.

Smith is arguably the best putter in the world and has the capability to win a golf tournament on and around the greens. He’s already taken down Rory McIlroy at the home of golf on his way to a claret jug and is one of the few players who can stare down any of the world’s top golfers on the back nine at Augusta National.

Justin Thomas +4000 (FanDuel)

With how he’s been playing since his 2022 PGA Championship win, you may be shocked to see the name “Justin Thomas” in this preview. However, JT has drifted to a place on the odds board where I believe it’s worth taking a shot on the talent of a two-time major champion in his prime.

It’s not all bad for Thomas this season. He finished T6 at the signature Pebble Beach event, T12 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and T12 at the signature Arnold Palmer Invitational. In his last 24 rounds, JT ranks 8th in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach, 14th in Strokes Gained: Around the Green and 29th in Strokes Gained: Putting on fast Bentgrass greens.

Despite missing the cut last season, Thomas has played pretty well at Augusta National. He ranks 13th in Strokes Gained: Total in his past 36 rounds at the course. He finished T4 in 2020, T21 in 2021 and T8 in 2022.

I believe the 2024 edition of The Masters is completely wide open. The past few years has been frustrating for Thomas fans, but I believe his peak form may be a bit closer than people realize.

Sergio Garcia +12000 (FanDuel)

Earlier this season, Garcia dueled with Joaquin Niemann before finally losing on the fourth playoff hole late into the night. Despite the loss, the 44-year-old seemed to gain confidence in his game. The results that followed weren’t spectacular, but in terms of his ball striking he’s shown some flashes of vintage Sergio.

At LIV Miami last week, Garcia played well on a massive golf course, losing in a playoff to Dean Burmester. He continued pumped the ball into the fairway and hit massive iron shot after massive iron shot. He also used a refurbished Scotty Cameron that he used in the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah. The putter served him incredibly well until he missed a short putt on the 18th hole to win the event. Overall, he gained 7.1 strokes putting at Doral.

Sergio Garcia is once again headed to Augusta National with a chip on his shoulder. Of course, having a chip on the shoulder is nothing new for the fiery Spaniard, but this year, the 2017 Masters Champion will arrive at Augusta with his game clicking on all cylinders.

Sergio winning a second green jacket is seemingly an almost impossible feat, but magical things tend to happen on the hallowed grounds of Augusta National.

Adam Scott +11000 (FanDuel)

Betting Adam Scott over the past handful of years has been a Masters staple for me, and like many traditions, has been a hard one for me to let go of.

Last week, Scott finished T14 at the Valero Texas Open in a windy and difficult week. I believe the wind will be a major factor this week at Augusta National, and the more difficult the tournament plays, the more I favor Scott. Scott also ranks 5th in his past 24 rounds on Strokes Gained: Putting on Fast Bentgrass and has the short game these days that could help him contend in a major.

Since his win in 2013, Scott’s history at The Masters has been spotty. He has some poor finishes alongside a T9 in 2017 and a T18 in 2019. He’s been playing some solid golf this season, finishing T8 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and T19 at the Genesis Invitational.

(All photos in piece belong to LIV Golf)


Your Reaction?
  • 35
  • LEGIT22
  • WOW8
  • LOL2
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP6
  • OB2
  • SHANK23

Continue Reading