Jasper Stubbs has prepared for one of the most famous shots in golf, at the game’s most exclusive club, by pounding balls at a beloved public driving range in Melbourne where a large bucket costs just $25.

After confirming his major debut via winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at Royal Melbourne in October, Stubbs sought the advice of Australia’s PGA Tour elite about the world’s most recognisable course. Among the advice offered came from Sydneysider and PGA Tour winner, Cam Davis, who urged the East Gippsland amateur to practise hitting iron shots from a downhill, sidehill lie in preparation for the second shot into the par-5 13th. The cliffhanger shot is typically a defining moment of Masters champions during the final round each year.

Asked how he prepared for that mid or long iron, Stubbs said the driving range at Sandy Golf Links, partly owned by, and across the road from, Royal Melbourne, had allowed him to partially replicate the shot. Elite amateurs and pros have access to Sandy Golf Links’ range given it’s the headquarters of Australia’s governing golf bodies. High performance members hit balls alongside public golfers on a eye-catching Sandbelt practice fairway where 100 balls costs $25.

“It’s got lots of slopes that you can hit range balls off, which was awesome for this week, obviously being one of the slope-iest [courses] of the year. I was practising all kind of different slopes, which was cool to be able to do that at home,” Stubbs said on Monday at Augusta during a press conference.

Stubbs, 22, won the Asia-Pacific Amateur, which is jointly run by Augusta National, at the Composite course at Royal Melbourne in a playoff, where he sunk two clutch birdie putts – in regulation and extra holes – to secure his invitation to the Masters.

Stubbs is a member at Royal Melbourne, where the West course was designed by Alister McKenzie, also the architect behind Augusta National. Stubbs said the sloped, quick greens had been adequate preparation for Augusta.

“I think they’re both pretty similar in the way that they’re both very firm and fast greens,” he said. “I think the course is a bit hillier here from the fairways. But definitely, once you’re on the greens, Royal Melbourne and Augusta are pretty close in how fast you can get a downhill putt and how much they break.”

Stubbs’ prep also included a February trip to Augusta National to play three days’ worth of practice rounds with a member, in order to soak up the aura well before Masters week. “We basically had the course to ourselves; it was around Valentine’s Day,” Stubbs said.

In October, 20 holes changed the life of Jasper Stubbs, the Asia-Pacific Amateur champion.

Stubbs, one of five amateurs in the field, said he is not at the Masters to make up the numbers, saying amateur accomplishments during the past year have served as inspiration that there is no limit. At the 2023 Masters, Texas A&M amateur Sam Bennett was in second place through two rounds while Nick Dunlap won the American Express tournament in California. He was the first amateur to win on the PGA Tour since Phil Mickelson in 1991.

“Sam Bennett, how he played here last year, definitely proves that amateur golf is coming a long way and that a lot of these guys are ready to compete when they come out of college or at their respective programs in their country. I think it’s pretty cool to see amateurs doing well, and it’s definitely, making it easier to think that we can do it as well.”

A reporter then asked, ‘Would it surprise you to see yourself high on the leaderboard through two or three rounds here? Or would it be something you expect?’

“I wouldn’t say it’s an expectation, but it’s definitely something that I’m striving towards,” Stubbs answered. “I’m not here to make up the numbers. Dad’s been telling me that everyone in the field this week’s got a chance to win, so I’m keeping that in the back of my mind at all times.”