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August 12, 2020

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The Masters:  Hole-by-hole

   The Masters is played each year at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. Augusta National is one of the most unique golf courses in the world.

After his grand slam in 1930, amateur golf champion Bobby Jones and investment banker Clifford Roberts acquired the former plant nursery and co-designed Augusta National with course architect Alister MacKenzie.

 First played in 1934, the tournament is an official money event on the PGA Tour, the European Tour, and the Japan Golf Tour. The field of players is smaller than those of the other major championships because it is an invitational event, held by the Augusta National Golf Club.

augusta 1-6

No. 1 - Tea Olive

YARDAGE: 445

PAR: 4

STROKE AVERAGE: 4.32

RANK: 8

This slight dogleg right plays uphill and has a deep bunker requiring a 317-yard carry off the tee. The bunker has a tongue in the left side, so anything that enters the front of the bunker might be blocked by the lip. A bunker is left of the green, which falls off sharply at the back and to the right.

Noteworthy: Patrick Reed made one of only 10 birdies on the opening hole on his way to a 6-under 66 that gave him the midway lead. First-round leader Jordan Spieth made double bogey on the opener and shot a 74.

The Highs: Charl Schwartzel pitched a low-running shot from the right mounds across the green and holed the shot for a birdie to begin the final round of his 2011 victory.

The lows:  Rory McIlroy was one shot behind going into the weekend in 2012. He went over the back of the green, chipped through the green and down into a swale, barely got his next shot onto the green and two-putted for a double bogey on his way to a 77.

No. 2 - Pink Dogwood

Yards: 575

Par: 5

Average score and rank: 4.79 (16th)

A dogleg left that can be reached in two by the big hitters. A fairway bunker on the right comes into play. A big drive kept down the left side shortens the hole but leaves a downhill lie to a green guarded by two deep bunkers in the front.

Masters memory: 

The highs: Louis Oosthuizen hit a 4-iron from 253 yards in the final round of 2012 that landed on the front of the green and rolled some 90 feet into the cup for the first albatross in Masters history. It took him from a one-shot deficit to a two-shot lead. He went on to lose in a playoff.

The lows: David Duval hit into the ditch to the left, took two penalty shots before he escaped, and made a 10 in 2006.


No. 3 - Flowering Peach

Yards: 350

Par: 4

Average score and rank: 4.08 (14th)

One of the best short par 4s in golf, this hole that hasn't been changed since 1982. Big hitters can drive near the green, but not many try because of all the trouble surrounding the L-shaped green that slopes sharply from right to left. 

Most players hit iron off tee to stay short of four bunkers on the left side. The hole has been altered since 1982.

Masters memory: 

The highs:  Charl Schwartzel holed out from the fairway for an eagle in the final round of 2011 on his way to victory.

The lows: Jeff Maggert was leading in the final round in 2003 when he found a fairway bunker to the left. His shot ricocheted off the face of the bunker and struck him in the chest for a two-stroke penalty. He took triple bogey on the hole and never recovered.



No. 4 - Flowering Crab Apple

Yards: 240

Par: 3

Average score and rank: 3.29 (3rd)

This has become a long iron for big hitters, fairway metal for others. A deep bunker protects the right side of the green, with another bunker to the left. Club selection remains crucial because of the deceptive wind. The green slopes to the front. This hole features the only palm tree on the course.

Masters memory: 

Phil Mickelson was one shot out of the lead in the final round in 2012 when his tee shot hit the grandstand and went into the woods. Lefty played two right-handed shots to get it out, hit his fourth into the bunker and got up-and-down for a triple bogey. He finished two shots behind.

The highs:  Jeff Sluman made the only ace on this hole in Masters history with a 4-iron from 213 yards in 1992. It carried him to a 65 and a share of the first-round lead.

The lows:  Jeff Sluman made the only ace on this hole in Masters history with a 4-iron from 213 yards in 1992. It carried him to a 65 and a share of the first-round lead.



No. 5 - Magnolia

Yards: 455

Par: 4

Average score and rank: 4.26 (5th)

An uphill, slight dogleg to the left with two very deep bunkers guarding the left side some 300 yards from the tee. The green slopes severely from back to front, and a small bunker catches anything long. If an approach is long and misses the bunker, it could roll down the slope and into the Magnolia trees.

Masters memory:

Highlight: Jack Nicklaus made two eagles in the 1995 Masters, with a 5-iron from 180 yards in the first round and with a 7-iron from 163 yards in the third round.

Lowlight: Defending champion Cary Middlecoff had a four-putt double bogey in the final round in 1956 and wound up with a 77 to finish two shots behind Jack Burke Jr.

No. 6 - Juniper

Yards: 180

Par: 3

Average score and rank: 3.14 (13th)

An elevated tee to a large green with three tiers, with significant slopes marking the three levels. Getting close to the hole is a challenge. The easiest pin might be front left. The hole has not been changed since 1975

Masters memory:

Highlight: Billy Joe Patton, trying to become the first amateur to win the Masters, made a hole-in-one with a 5-iron from 190 yards in the final round in 1954. He missed the playoff between Ben Hogan and Sam Snead by one shot.

Lowlight: Jose Maria Olazabal had two chips roll back to his feet and a third go over the green in the second round of 1991. He took a quadruple-bogey 7 and wound up one shot behind Ian Woosnam.


No. 7 - Pampas

Yards: 450

Par: 4

Average score and rank: 4.15 (10th)

This hole literally has come a long way, from 320 yards to 450 yards. The tee was extended by 40 yards in 2003, then two years ago the tee box was lengthened to allow the hole to play shorter if necessary. The tee shot is through a chute of Georgia pines, played to the left-center of the fairway into a slight slope. The green is surrounded by five bunkers, the most around any green.

Masters memory:

Highlight: Byron Nelson drove the green in the 1937 Masters for a two-putt birdie when it played at 320 yards. That inspired Augusta National to alter the hole, moving the green back 20 yards and to the right on an upslope and surrounding the green with bunkers.

Lowlight: Defending champion Charles Coody, coming off an ace on the sixth hole, struggled to get out of the front bunker and took a triple-bogey 7 in the first round of 1972.


augusta 7-12


No. 8 - Yellow Jasmine

Yards: 570

Par: 5

Average score and rank: 4.83 (15th)

An accurate drive is important to avoid the fairway bunker on the right side. The hole is uphill and features trouble left of the green. There are no bunkers around the green, just severe mounding.

Masters memory:

Highlight: Tom Kite and Seve Ballesteros were paired together in the final round in 1986, both in contention. Kite hit a sand wedge from 80 yards that bounced twice and dropped in for his first eagle to get within two shots of the lead. Ballesteros, not the least bit bothered, played a pitch-and-run from 40 yards short of the green and matched his eagle to take the lead.

Lowlight: Tony Lema took double bogey in the opening round of 1963 and shot 74. He eventually finished one shot behind Jack Nicklaus.


No. 9 - Carolina Cherry

Yards: 460

Par: 4

Average score and rank: 4.14 (12th)

The tee shot should be aimed down the right side for a good angle into the green, which features two large bunkers to the left. Any approach that is short could spin some 25 yards back into the fairway.

Masters memory: Bubba Watson was deep in the trees to the right of the fairway, 155 yards away, when he played a 40-yard hook with a wedge that landed about 10 feet beneath the hole. He two-putted for par to win the 2012 Masters.

Highlight: Jack Nicklaus hit 9-iron into 12 feet in 1986 and was ready to putt when he heard back-to-back cheers from behind him on the eighth green. "Why don't we try to make some noise ourselves?" he said to the gallery. He made the birdie putt, and so began his charge to his sixth green jacket.

Lowlight: Greg Norman went after the pin on Sunday and saw the ball spin down the hill back into the fairway, the start of his record collapse in 1996.


No. 10 - Camellia

Yards: 495

Par: 4

Average score and rank: 4.31 (1st)

A long hole that can play shorter if the drive catches the slope in the fairway. It is difficult to save par from the bunker right of the green. The putting surface slopes from right to left. It has played as the most difficult hole in Masters history.

Highlight: Bubba Watson was deep in the trees to the right of the fairway, 155 yards away, when he played a 40-yard hook with a wedge that landed about 10 feet beneath the hole. He two-putted for par to win the 2012 Masters.

Lowlight: Scott Hoch had a 3-foot putt to win the Masters in a playoff in 1989. He missed, and lost to Nick Faldo on the next hole.


No. 11 - White Dogwood

Amen Corner

Yards: 505

Par: 4

Average score and rank: 4.30 (2nd)

Amen Corner starts here. The tee was lengthened by 15 yards in 2006, but some pine trees have been removed on the right side, although the landing area is still tight. A big tee shot — and a straight one — is required to get to the crest of the hill. A pond guards the green to the left and a bunker is to the back right. The safe shot is to bail out short and to the right.

Highlight: Larry Mize was in a sudden-death playoff with Greg Norman in 1987 when he missed the green to the right. Mize's 140-foot chip was gaining steam when it dropped in for birdie, giving him the green jacket and dealing another blow to Norman's hopes of winning the Masters.

Lowlight: Raymond Floyd pulled his approach into the water on the second extra hole to lose a playoff in 1990 to Nick Faldo.


No. 12 - Golden Bell

Amen Corner

Yards: 155

Par: 3

Average score and rank: 3.28 (4th)

This is among the most famous par 3s in golf, and the shortest hole at Augusta National. Club selection can range from a 6-iron to a 9-iron, but it's difficult to gauge the wind. Rae's Creek is in front of the shallow green, with two bunkers behind it and one in front.

Masters memory:

2018 - Rory McIlroy pulled his second shot into the azaleas left of the green, found the ball under the colorful foliage, managed to punch it out to the fringe and then got up and down for an impressive par.

2016 - Jordan Spieth hit two balls into Rae's Creek and made a quadruple-bogey 7. He started the back nine Sunday in 2016 with a five-shot lead. Walking to the 13th tee, he was three shots behind.

The highs:  Fred Couples' tee shot came up just short of the green and began to tumble down the bank into Rae's Creek when it was stopped by a blade of grass. He chipped to 4 feet to save par, and went on to beat Raymond Floyd by two shots in 1992.

The lows:  Tom Weiskopf hit 7-iron into Rae's Creek, and then hit four shots with a sand wedge into the water in the opening round of 1980 to make a 13, the highest score ever on this hole.

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No. 13 - Azalea

Amen Corner

YARDAGE: 510

PAR: 5

Average score and rank: 4.78 (17th)

An accurate tee shot to the center of the fairway sets up players to go for the green. A tributary to Rae's Creek winds in front of the green and four bunkers are behind the putting surface. From tee to green, there are about 1,600 azaleas.

Masters memory: With a two-shot lead in the final round in 2010, Phil Mickelson was in the pine straw behind a pair of trees. He hit 6-iron through a small gap in the pines and over the creek to about 4 feet. He missed the eagle putt but kept his lead and went on to win.

2018 - Patrick Reed reached the green in two and sank a 14-footer for eagle that turned a two-shot lead into a four-stroke advantage in 2018.



No. 14 - Chinese Fir

Yards: 440

Par: 4

Average score and rank: 4.17 (8th)

This is the only hole on the course without a bunker. Even if the drive avoids trees on both sides of the fairway, the green has severe contours that feed the ball to the right.

Masters memory: 

Highlight: Phil Mickelson holed out for eagle during an eagle-eagle-birdie stretch on Saturday in 2010 that helped him get into the final group. He won his third green jacket the next day.

Lowlight: Fred Couples had a 4-foot birdie putt to pull within one shot of Mickelson in the final round of 2006. He three-putted for a bogey and tied for third.


No. 15 - Firethorn

YARDAGE: 530.

PAR: 5.

STROKE AVERAGE: 4.644

RANK: 17.

A cluster of pines is starting to mature on the right side of the fairway, making it critical to be straight off the tee. The green can be reached in two with a good drive, but a pond guards the front and there is a bunker to the right. Even for those laying up, the third shot requires a precise wedge.

Masters memory:

1935 - Gene Sarazen was three shots behind when he hit the ''shot heard `round the world'' in 1935. His 4-wood from 235 yards went into the hole for an albatross. He tied Craig Wood and defeated him the next day in a playoff. Average score and rank: 4.78 (18th)

2013 - Tiger Woods was one shot out of the lead in the second round in 2013 when his wedge hit the flagstick and caromed into the water. Woods returned to his original spot and dropped the ball a few behind to make sure he wouldn't hit the pin again. He made bogey. But his incorrect drop was not discovered until after his round. He was assessed a two-shot penalty, making it a double bogey. He was allowed to stay in the tournament because of a committee error. Woods tied for fourth.

The lows:  Defending champion Sergio Garcia matched the worst one-hole score in Masters history with an octuple-bogey 13 on the very first day in 2018.  Garcia finished with a 9-over 81, the worst score ever for a defending champion. Here's a shot-by-shot.

Shot 1: Fairway

Shot 2: Water

Shot 3: Drop

Shot 4: Water

Shot 5: Drop

Shot 6: Water

Shot 7: Drop

Shot 8: Water

Shot 9: Drop

Shot 10: Water

Shot 11: Drop

Shot 12: Green

Shot 13: In the hole


No. 16 (Redbud)

YARDAGE: 170

PAR:3

The hole is played entirely over water and eventually bends to the left. Two bunkers guard the right side, and the green slopes significantly from right to left. The Sunday pin typically is back and on the lower shelf, and pars from the top shelf that day are rare.

There have been 22 hole-in-ones on 16 in Masters history.

Masters memory: Tiger Woods had a one-shot lead over Chris DiMarco when he missed the green long in 2005. He chipped away from the hole up the slope, watched it make a U-turn at the top and roll back toward the hole, pausing for 2 full seconds before dropping for birdie. Average score and rank: 3.15 (11th)

Lowlight: Despite a collapse in the final round of 1996, Greg Norman was still only two shots behind when he hooked his 6-iron into the water.

The 16th at Augusta is the party hole in practice

    The chants start as soon as each group has finished teeing off at the 16th hole.

At Augusta National, home of The Masters, the 16th is also the party hole, or at least the closest thing to a party.

"Skip! Skip! Skip!"

"The fans get pretty irate when they don't skip the ball," said Masters patron Dave Goldbach of Buffalo, sipping on a beer as the final groups came through in the fading sunlight of Tuesday's practice round.

For many, this is the place to be before the first major of the year gets going for real, a chance to watch everyone from the biggest names in golf to unknown amateurs attempt to skip the ball off the water — the more times, the better — and land it safely on the green.

The theory is like throwing a smooth rock across a glassy pond. Only in this case, it's done with a 4-iron instead of a strong arm, after dropping a ball on the downslope in the second cut of grass between the tee box and the water on the 170-yard hole known as "Redbud," tucked back in a far corner of the course, about as far from the clubhouse as you can get.

The 16th — essentially a tee and a green connected by a narrow strand of water — has been the site of many dramatic moments at the Masters, from Tiger Woods holing an improbable chip that carried him to the green jacket in 2005 to Greg Norman dumping his tee shot in the water to finish off a stunning collapse two decades ago.


No. 17 - Nandina

Yards: 440

Par: 4

Average score and rank: 4.16 (9th)

The only major change to the course was not by design. The Eisenhower Tree to the left of the fairway about 210 yards from the tree could not be saved from an ice storm in February 2014 and was removed. That should make the tee shot much easier, especially for those with a lower, left-to-right ball flight. The green is protected by two bunkers in the front.

Masters memory:

Highlight: Jack Nicklaus made his final birdie in 1986 with a 12-foot putt that sent him to a 30 on the back nine and a 65, giving him a one-shot win and his sixth Masters. The pose Nicklaus struck when the putt dropped is captured in a bronze of him outside his clubhouse at Muirfield Village.

Lowlight: Stuart Appleby had a four-shot lead late in the third round of 2007 when he hit his tee shot so far left it went into a bunker on the seventh green. He hit into another bunker on the 17th, and three-putted for a triple bogey.


No. 18 - Holly

Yards: 465

Par: 4

Average score and rank: 4.23 (7th)

Now among the most demanding finishing holes in golf, this uphill dogleg right is protected off the tee by two deep bunkers at the left elbow — the only bunkers in play off the tee on the back nine (except for par 3s). Trees get in the way of a drive that strays to the right. A middle iron typically is required to a green that has a bunker in front and to the right.

Masters memory

Highlight: Sandy Lyle was tied for the lead with Mark Calcavecchia when he hit 1-iron in the first of two bunkers down the left side of the fairway. Not thinking he could get on the green, Lyle hit 7-iron over the tall lip and behind the flag, and it rolled back to 10 feet. He holed the putt for birdie to win in 1988.

Lowlight: Arnold Palmer walked up the 18th fairway accepting congratulations for another victory, then hit into the bunker and wound up with a double bogey to finish one shot behind Gary Player in 1961.

Augusta National course layout

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