The Alternate Masters Playoff Format We'd Love To See...

With the last playoff at The Masters contested in 2017, surely we are due some late drama... but how cool would this alternate format be?

The Alternate Masters Playoff Format We'd Love To See...The 11th hole at Augusta National
We haven't seen a playoff at The Masters since 2017, but would this alternate format be a better way to settle things?
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Occasionally at The Masters, 72 holes isn't quite enough to separate the best in the field at Augusta National.

A playoff to decide the winner of the Green Jacket hasn't been required since 2017, when Sergio Garcia famously triumphed over Justin Rose.

Currently, the format is sudden-death. The first golfer to shoot lower than their opponent(s) will win The Masters. The first hole used is the 18th, followed by the 10th, repeating that pattern as many times as is required. But, could there be a different, more exciting way to settle things? Wait until you hear this...

Alternate Masters Playoff Format

Imagine the scenes, Scottie Scheffler has been pegged back by one of the chasing pack and after the completion of the 18th hole... we are at deadlock! Rather than reloading down to the 18th tee, how about we really turn up the heat.

The contenders walk off the green and are whisked away in a buggy to the one place on the course that guarantees drama... Amen Corner! A three-hole, aggregate-scored thriller awaits, with the victory going to the player that shoots the best combined score around one of the most iconic stretches in golf.

The 11th at Augusta National

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First comes the 11th, the second hardest hole on the course and the scene of so many magic Masters moments. The challenge the hole poses is clear in the data, stealing 79 bogeys and 20 doubles or worse over the course of the week so far.

With water lurking to the left of the green, players have to make a decision. Take on the pin and risk a big number in the hope of a priceless birdie, or play it safe knowing there really is no guarantee of a positive result.

The 12th at Augusta National

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Next players move to perhaps the most iconic hole at Augusta National. The 12th hole deserves its final moment in the sun before the night draws in on The Masters for another year, and what better way than to make players hit what appears to be an easy wedge shot into what is actually a devilishly difficult destination.

38 birdies across the week show that there are rewards for anyone brave enough to take on the pin, but whatever you do... don't come up short as Rae's creek is ready to gobble up any wayward efforts.

As players walk over Hogan's bridge for the final time they will know that their time is almost up... but for one final hoorah at the par-5 13th.

The 13th at Augusta National

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The final playoff hole is a chance to steal the show, with the option to take on the green in two or lay-up in the hope of making an easy birdie. The 13th actually ranks as the third easiest on the course this week, but don't be fooled as danger lurks the closer you get to the putting surface.

You only have to ask Nicolai Højgaard about that, after his approach shot ended up in the water on Saturday and his Masters ambitions shrunk in front of his very eyes. With the option for anything from an eagle to a double bogey (or worse), it's all to play for with this engaging playoff format. Over to you, Mr Ridley.

Barry Plummer
Staff Writer

Barry Plummer is our Staff Writer, joining in January 2024 after seven years as a PE Teacher. He now writes about instruction, working closely with Golf Monthly's Top 50 Coaches to provide hints and tips about all aspects of the game. As someone who came into golf at a later age, Barry is very passionate about supporting the growth of the game and creating opportunities for everyone to access it. A member at Sand Moor Golf Club in Leeds, he looks forward to getting out on the course at least once a week and making up for lost time in the pursuit of a respectable handicap.

Barry is currently playing:

Driver: Ping G425

Hybrid: TaylorMade Stealth 4 Hybrid

Irons: Mizuno JPX 921 4-PW

Wedges: TaylorMade RAC 60, Callaway Jaws MD5 54

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour