MASTERS '23: A hole-by-hole look at Augusta National
AUGUSTA, Ga. — A hole-by-hole look at Augusta National, site of the 87th Masters to be played April 6-9, with famous shots played at each, the average score and where each hole ranks in difficulty since 1934:
No. 1, 445 yards, par 4 (Tea Olive): 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.
Masters memory: Charl Schwartzel used a 6-iron to pitch a low-running shot from the right mounds across the green and holed the shot for birdie to begin the final round of his 2011 victory.
Average score and rank: 4.239 (6th)
No. 2, 575 yards, par 5 (Pink Dogwood): 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: 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 at this hole in Masters history. It took him from a one-shot deficit to a two-shot lead. He went on to lose in a playoff.
Average score and rank: 4.777 (17th)
No. 3, 350 yards, par 4 (Flowering Peach): One of the best short par 4s in golf, this hole 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 the tee to stay short of four bunkers on the left side.
Masters memory: Scottie Scheffler’s three-shot lead was down to one in the final round of 2022 when he drove left and came up short. He chipped in for birdie and restored his lead to three shots when Cameron Smith made bogey. No one got closer the rest of the way.
Average score and rank: 4.076 (14th)
No. 4, 240 yards, par 3 (Flowering Crab Apple): 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.
Average score and rank: 3.285 (3rd)
No. 5, 495 yards, par 4 (Magnolia): In the first significant change to this hole in 15 years, the Masters tee was moved back 40 yards. It now requires a 313-yard carry over the bunkers on the left of this uphill, slight dogleg to the left. 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. The back left green has been softened to allow for a pin position.
Masters memory: 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.
Average score and rank: 4.265 (5th)
No. 6, 180 yards, par 3 (Juniper): 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: 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.
Average score and rank: 3.137 (13th)
No. 7, 450 yards, par 4 (Pampas): 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: 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.
Average score and rank: 4.156 (10th)
No. 8, 570 yards, par 5 (Yellow Jasmine): 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: 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.
Average score and rank: 4.821 (15th)
No. 9, 460 yards, par 4 (Carolina Cherry): 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: 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.
Average score and rank: 4.139 (12th)
No. 10, 495 yards, par 4 (Camellia): 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.
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.
Average score and rank: 4.301 (2nd)
No. 11, 510 yards, par 4 (White Dogwood): Amen Corner starts here. The tee was lengthened by 15 yards and to the left, the fairway was reshaped and several trees on the right side that were first planted in 2004 have been removed. 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.
Masters memory: 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.
Average score and rank: 4.303 (1st)
No. 12, 155 yards, par 3 (Golden Bell): 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: 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.
Average score and rank: 3.272 (4th)
No. 13, 545 yards, par 5 (Azalea): In a move long anticipated, the tee was moved back 35 yards. It still requires an accurate tee shot to the center of the fairway to set up players to go for the green, but they likely will be hitting at least a mid-iron. 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.
Average score and rank: 4.775 (18th)
No. 14, 440 yards, par 4 (Chinese Fir): 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: 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.
Average score and rank: 4.164 (8th)
No. 15, 550 yards, par 5 (Firethorn): The tees have been moved back 20 yards from last year and the fairway recontoured. 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: 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: 4.777 (16th)
No. 16, 170 yards, par 3 (Redbud): 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.
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: 3.141 (11th)
No. 17, 440 yards, par 4 (Nandina): The Eisenhower Tree to the left of the fairway about 210 yards from the tee could not be saved from an ice storm in February 2014. It was taken down after suffering significant damage. That has made 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: 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.
Average score and rank: 4.160 (9th)
No. 18, 465 yards, par 4 (Holly): 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 for a green that has a bunker in front and to the right.
Masters memory: Sandy Lyle was tied for the lead with Mark Calcavecchia in 1988 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.
Average score and rank: 4.229 (7th).