The Guardian Australia
Augusta course guide and the five holes that could decide the Masters
1st Tea Olive
2nd Pink Dogwood
A hole that provides early opportunity. Any drive pulled left means trouble but elsewhere offers a chance to thread a second, downhill shot between bunkers and on to the par-five’s green. The huge putting surface slopes pretty steeply from left to right but going in the greenside bunkers doesn’t tend to be too problematic. This typically plays as one of the easiest holes on the course, with Louis Oosthuizen famously recording a two – an albatross – in 2012.
3rd Flowering Peach
4th Flowering Crab Apple
Even the best golfers in the world would snap your hands off for four pars here during Masters week. A new tee box extends the hole by 40 yards meaning a treacherous, left-side fairway bunker is very much in play. Even if short grass is found with a drive, such an undulating green means pinpoint accuracy is required with the second shot. This is widely regarded not only as one of the toughest par fours at Augusta but in the world of professional golf.
8th Yellow Jasmine 9th Carolina Cherry 10th Camellia
11th White Dogwood 12th Golden Bell
The most iconic Masters hole. Beauty, though, barely masks the potential for disaster. Players on the tee can barely feel the wind that affects balls flighted towards the par three’s green. Rae’s Creek gobbles up anything left and short. Jordan Spieth and Francesco Molinari are recent examples of players who have seen the Green Jacket slip from their grasp with capitulations at this hole. Attacking even apparently generous pin positions is never a wise option.
It seems inevitable this par five will be lengthened as a fightback against the ease with which players now reach the green in two. There are dangers; left from the tee can find water, right is into trees. Rae’s Creek guards the green. However, a decent right-to-left drive opens up an opportunity for a three, assisted by one of Augusta’s most straightforward greens. This and the 15th deliver eagle upon eagle and are key to Masters outcomes.
14th Chinese Fir
The narrow tunnel through which drives must be hit looks daunting without a Masters being on the line. Towering Georgia pines left and right mean precision is key. One of the few things visible from the tee is a bunker, from which Sandy Lyle played such a memorable shot when en route to victory in 1988. The hole plays steeply uphill, therefore beyond a scorecard yardage of 465 yards. Left of the green with an approach is hugely problematic, with the two tiers of the
putting surface meaning nothing can be taken for granted before the ball is in the hole.