A look ahead to the first major of the 2018 golf season
The Masters is the first golfing major of the year and is now just around the corner. The historic invitational tournament plays at Augusta National Golf Club every year and was co-established in 1934 by Bobby Jones, a legendary amateur who had also helped to design the course the previous year.
In anticipation of this year's tournament, we took the opportunity to grab one of our customers (and ex European Tour professional) to get his insider knowledge on the big event and talk us through the various factors making the 2018 Masters a must-watch...
What does The Masters mean to you as a Golfer?
Everything – it is the holy grail of venues and events. To play in the masters is an honour, to play the course at all is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most golfers.
Even non-golfers recognise Augusta as hallowed ground. What makes it so special? Any insider insights in to the Club?
You just can't roll up and play. It is for members only, you can only play with a member. It is where Bobby Jones made his name following an amazing amateur career as essentially the best golfer in the world and where he left this lasting gift to the game.
It is a bit like comparing what Wembley is for the FA Cup. It is just the pinnacle of golf venues and events.
Back to his best? Tiger Woods at Augusta Masters of golf, 2006
Who are the key players this year? Any outsiders to keep an eye on? Who do you want to win?
Tiger will be the name of the week as it is his first major for a few years and he has had 3 top 10’s in a row leading up to The Masters. He isn’t favourite though, that goes to Rory McIlroy who won two weeks ago at the Bayhill Invitational. Any golfer within the top 15 in the world will have a chance though. It will come down to who gets the right side of the draw and holes some putts.
The world wants to see Tiger in the mix on Sunday afternoon, and to be honest, they probably want him to win it. (me included!) will he though? Who knows, but he has to be considered now with the way he's been playing.
As for outsiders, it's not likely. First timers will feel the pressure and everyone else is a contender. From the UK though, keep an eye on Paul Casey who has hit great form and could do it. Tommy Fleetwood has also been playing well for over a year now and is the current Race To Dubai winner.
How real is 'Tiger Mania'? Does he have what it takes to win a 15th major?
It’s real. He is bigger than golf and the coverage of him will be insane after everything that's happened in recent weeks. Since his return the numbers across social media, and television ratings, have gone through the roof. It's the first major increase in golf viewing for over two years.
Should Rory be the favourite going in to the competition?
Probably, and he is - just. He's still hunting a career Grand Slam which will fuel him, but there are 10 other guys that could all easily be labelled 'favourite'.
How do you think the weather will come into play?
Breeze is always tricky at The Masters as it swirls through the trees. If it rains it is generally a bit easier to play due to the greens being receptive. When the course is hard and fast it usually leads to higher scores.
Who would make the best pairing to watch on the green?
Tiger, Rory and Dustin Johnson – they all bomb it!
Who's the most stylish man on the green these days?
I would go with Henrik Stenson from Sweden. He's very cool and is also playing very well.
Image courtesy of Instagram - @henrikstenson
1 ) If you're looking to grow out designer stubble, start with fresh wet shave. Follow our recommended routine to keep your skin in the best condition. Don't overlook the value of applying Face Scrub, hot towels, Pre Shave Oil and Post Shave Balm!
2 ) Remember that wearing stubble is not the same as wearing a beard. You should always maintain your facial hair at under 1 week's growth. Depending on the density of your follicles, you should ideally look for around 3-5 days worth of growth for the best results. This should be just enough hair coming through to create a strong shadow on the skin.
3 ) There are two options for maintenance...
The easy route is to use a beard trimmer every 3 days or so on either a no guard setting or a 0/0.5 mm to buzz all your beard off. This will remove the length of hair but keep a nice granularity.
The harder route would be to have a full wet shave on a Saturday, then by the Monday you should start to develop stubble that will last throughout the week into the following weekend. By Friday, it may have grown to be quite thick stubble.
To sport the perfect designer stubble for say, a really important golf tournament, wet shave 3 days beforehand, or buzz cut the day of.
4 ) Last tip - when you've grown your stubble, don't edge it off or try and shape like a beard. Let it grow into a nice natural shape then finish it off with a spot of Beard Moisturiser or our new Face Moisturiser to keep the skin underneath healthy and ensure it doesn't dry out.
Are golf caps actually helpful, or are they just useful to hide dodgy haircuts? (Why hasn't someone had a word with Phil Mickelson about his hair when he takes his off!?)
Caps are a sponsor requirement. I would gladly wear one for the half a mil the pros get paid.
Your favourite Masters memories?
Tiger's chip in on 16 – immense! Nike couldn't have created a better advert.
The chip in by Larry Mize against Greg Norman also comes to mind. It was so harsh on Greg, but oh my god what an ending.
Davis Love III also managed a great hole in 1 in 2016. There's just something about that hole...
Any Murdock products you would have used back in the day?
A hair growth serum would have been nice, but you don’t have one!
A good old pot of Brylcreem would have definitely been the order of the day for Bobby Jones, he'd be a Vintage Pomade man nowadays.
The Masters tees off on 5th April. Extended coverage is live on Sky Sports