Alex Bennett and Coach Duggs Make Their Fighting Debuts In Rough N' Rowdy 18 — Friday 8PM ETBUY NOW

Ranking All 18 Holes At Augusta National

GettyImages-488793457-11
Welcome

Sup Friends. It’s Masters Week aka the best week of the year. The following is me ranking all 18 holes at Augusta National based solely on my personal preferences. This goes from the hole I love the least all the way to the hole I love the most (because everyone loves the entire place, obviously).

Tomorrow I’ll publish my full tournament preview. Here we go.

18th favorite

Paul Azinger On The 17th Hole During The 1998 Masters Tournament

17th, 440 yards, par 4 — Nandina

The 17th has changed dramatically from its original design, which is true about pretty much everything at Augusta National. I don’t frown upon that as much as some, but it’s still fascinating to look at the place’s tranformation.

Today the 17th plays as a pretty straight, narrow hole with bunkers guarding the front and left sides of the green. That was nowhere near the original intent. In 1934, the hole featured no bunkers and promoted a run-up approach.

Architect Alister MacKenzie said, who worked with Bobby Jones designing Augusta, “Until players have learned to play the desired shot, this will undoubtedly be one of the most fiercely criticized holes.”

He elaborated, “It will be necessary to attack the green from the right and it will be essential to play a run-up shot if par figures are desired.”

Golf Digest has a nice drawing of what it used play like.

hole17_1934

Pretty wide open off the tee, options to run it up.

That’s not the case today, thanks to massive pines guarding both sides of the fairway and the bunker guarding the front of the green.

Augusta National Archive

augusta-17th-barstool-sports

Here it is in 1948.

General View Of The 17th Hole In 1948

The hole’s made even less interesting today since it lost in 2014 what had became its most defining feature.

Augusta National Archive

The Masters - Round Three

The Eisenhower Tree used to provide character to this otherwise bland hole. The old story goes that President Eisenhower asked for the tree to be removed during a club meeting because he hit into it so often; his request was denied, and it had been called the Eisenhower Tree ever since.

A brutal 2014 ice storm damaged it beyond saving.

Although the tree really shouldn’t have been in play for the pros, its disappearance has made the tee ball far less-intimidating aesthetically.

GOLF-US-MASTERS-ROUND2

No, the hole’s simply not very interesting today, but it’s still the 17th at Augusta National with plenty of history. It’s still home to some HUGE moments in golf history.

And it’s tough enough to pique interest down the stretch. Justin Rose bogeyed here last year to fall back into a tie with Sergio. Tiger bogeyed here in 2005 after holing out easily the greatest chip in golf history on 16.

The severity of the slope behind the green makes certain pin locations treacherous, especially the traditional Sunday back right.

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 4.16.21 PM

The 17th has carried a 4.16 stroke average (9th most difficult) over its history. May not be the most interesting, but it will be very pivotal.

And there it is. My 18th favorite hole at Augusta = the 17th hole.

17th favorite

The Masters - Final Round

The Masters - Round Two

7th, 450 yards, par 4 — Pampas

Yesterday was easy. The 17th is my 18th favorite hole at Augusta and it’s not even close. Today was tough and we’re only on day 2. I like the 7th, it’s a tough hole with a diabolical green complex, intimidating bunkering, and the green is one of the best patron areas on the course.

And it’s long been home to Tiger doing this.

But some hole has to be my 17th favorite and this is it.

Legend has it MacKenzie originally based the 7th off of the 18th at St. Andrews. A short, wide open par 4 with no bunkers. Byron Nelson drove the green when he won the 1937 Masters, and before 1940 a new green had been built and bunkers were added.

Bobby Jones never liked the original. Here’s a look at the 1948 version.

Augusta National Archive

While I don’t love this thing tee-to-green, with the narrow drive leaving few options, I do love the treachery and complexity of the green. It’s been enlarged over the years and softened in certain spots to offer more pin locations.

Augusta National Archive

We’ll see pins in different sections throughout the week, welcomed flexibility which changes the hole day-to-day, but the traditional Sunday front right pin will produce the most drama.

Sergio made a clutch sand save here from a front bunker en route to winning last year.

The 7th offers plenty and is today a tough, solid hole. It’s obviously not my favorite on the course, but if you picked this hole up and dropped it pretty much anywhere else, it’d stand out as a FANTASTIC, stunning par 4.

It’s fun every year watching guys navigate this green.

My 17th favorite hole at Augusta National = the 7th hole.

16th favorite

General View Of The 5th Hole In 1991

5th hole, 495 yards, par 4 — Magnolia

The 5th is another tough par 4 with two INSANELY deep fairway bunkers that must be avoided at all costs. And this year they lengthened it by 40 yards! Players can choose to play more aggressively up the right side, but this brings both the bunkers left and the tree line right into play.

Tiger Woods of the US comes out of the b

The more common play is to be a bit more conservative, lay it up short, and face a longer, blinder shot into this tricked out green.

The Masters - Final Round

Here’s a look at the undulations on and around the green. This is the reason everybody who sees Augusta up close repeats the cliche: TV just doesn’t do its undulations justice.

Augusta National Archive

Augusta National Archive

There’s long been debate over whether or not a fairway bunker existed in the original design, as well as whether or not a pot bunker originally guarded the front of the green (hole is said to have been loosely modeled after the road hole at St. Andrews). There’s no evidence of a pot bunker, but there is of this badass MacKenzie fairway bunker that preceded today’s two deep ones.

Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 12.35.57 PM

In 1937, the green was reshaped and, in the mid-1950s, a bunker was added behind the green. In 2011, the tees were pushed way back, the old bunkers were filled in and the ones you see today were dug further up, requiring about a 315-yard carry.

Here’s a video game flyover of today’s version (RIPIP Tiger Woods EA Sports franchise).

This thing’s my 16th favorite not because I think it’s a bad hole, but because it’s just simply not one of my favorites. There are 15 others on property I like better, but it’s a good hole with options off the tee and true fascination on and around the green.

My 16th favorite hole at Augusta National = the 5th hole.

15th favorite

The Masters - Round One

4th hole, 240 yards, par 3 — Flowering Crab Apple

GREAT name for the 4th here, perhaps the best name in all of golf holes. The 4th is an incredibly challenging one-shotter early in the round, playing 0.29 strokes over par through its history and the 3rd toughest at Augusta National.

This hole was 190 in 1934 and, outside the 50 yards added, hasn’t changed a ton since. Here it is in 1960, 1978, and 2013 respectively.

Augusta National Archive

Augusta National Archive

The Masters - Round Two

This thing was originally intended to be a long-iron or wood in 1934, and the yardage today has protected that intention. It doesn’t always play the full yardage, but when it does, watch out.

Here’s Phil in 2012 making triple in his tan on tan outfit.

Phil Mickelson of the US and his caddie

Video game flyover.

As is tradition, the green is nuts here. There’s a back tier, a middle tier, a front tier, and then another front tier within that left tongue. The hole can change dramatically day-to-day depending on tee placement, hole location, and wind direction.

This is a fantastic golf hole, unfortunately its fame and notoriety are diminished by its location on the course. If you do the math, I had no option but to drop Flowering Crab Apple here: I’m obsessed with all four par 5s, I had to veer from the par 4s, and one simply cannot put the 4th hole in front of the 6th, 12th, or 16th.

So here we are. My 15th favorite hole at Augusta National = the 4th hole.

14th favorite

General View Of The 1st Hole In 2002

1st hole, 445 yards, par 4 — Tea Olive

Ahhh the first hole at Augusta National. A beautiful scene. Frankie Borrelli himself posted up right on this tee last year for about 5 hours straight waving his hat in the air like a 1940s sailor. A beautiful scene indeed.

But a tough one. The first plays as one of the more difficult holes out there; it’s the 6th toughest over Masters history. With the DEEP bunker right and trees left, you gotta fit one in there to have an ideal look at this green.

Here’s the players’ view from the tee.

The Masters - Round One

RIP King. A creek used to run across the fairway. It was filled in in the 1950s — here’s the view in 1948.

General View Of The 1st Hole In 1948

Tiger struggles off this tee. It’s more common to see him in the 9th fairway here than in the 1st, but in 2010 — after 5 months off following the scandal — he ripped one dead center in what Hank Haney called one of the most clutch tee shots he ever hit.

Here’s the view if you find the bunker.

The Masters - Round Three

This is Augusta National, the green is of course very difficult. There are a handful of different sections; the back pins will play toughest, with the middle right pin traditionally playing as the easiest.

But this green will get a lot of guys. Always has, as demonstrated best by the Big Easy in 2016.

The first hits you as a telling challenge right out of the gate. There’s no real bail out. Make par here and you feel great strolling to the 2nd tee with a chance to go red early. Bogey (or worse) and you’re chasing.

Great opening hole. My 14th favorite hole at Augusta National = the 1st hole.

13th favorite

The Masters - Final Round

14th hole, 440 yards, par 4 — Chinese Fir

The 14th is most famous for being the only hole at Augusta without a single bunker, but it should be more famous for its green. Massive, wild green here, but a lot of it actually should be avoided. There’s a large false front and a ridge through the middle that repel imperfect shots and leave brutally difficult pitches or lag putts.

Off the tee guys need to feature a right-to-left shot to hold the fairway sloping in the opposite direction.

GettyImages-73827276-1

Here’s the video game flyover.

Phil holed out here on Saturday en route to his 2010 win for back-to-back eagles.

Here’s Jack in 1978, a good view of the green’s contours.

Augusta National Archive

And here it is even 30 years earlier and from a bit farther out.

General View Of The 14th Hole In 1948

The 14th’s has played relatively easy lately. It’s a good birdie opportunity coming down the stretch. After Amen Corner, 13-16 is that back nine at Augusta stretch everybody salivates over. Fireworks possible, and the 14th is a big part of that. The least sexy, but a big part of it nonetheless.

Sergio made a clutch birdie here on Sunday last year to pull within one and switch the momentum, eventually winning in the playoff over Justin Rose.

My 13th favorite hole at Augusta National = the 14th hole.

12th favorite

Beautiful Golf Courses

6th hole, 180 yards, par 3 — Juniper

They say when you see the 6th in person for the first time you think there’s an actual elephant buried underneath the green. Well I saw it for the first time in person last year and there has to be something under there. Maybe a garbage truck. A VERY severe mound in the middle of the green defines this hole; it’s appalling this green’s even playable. If it started spitting out molten lava revealing it’s actually a volcano I wouldn’t be surprised.

Patron-wise, this is the busiest section of the course and the best spectating area on property. The 6th, 16th, and 15th greens all sit within view of each other. The hill below the 6th tee serves as a great stadium-like spot to view the convergence.

augusta-national-barstool-sports6th-hole

This footage shows Tiger here in 2010 keeping things positive.

Here are several images showing the hole’s changes over time.

1948.

General View Of The 6th Hole In 1948

1950s.

General View Of The 6th Hole In 1955

Augusta National Archive

Sometime between the 1950s and today.

Crowd at Masters Golf Tournament

Current.

GOLF-US-MASTERS-ROUND3

Tiger hit a sick shot here during his Sunday charge in 2011. This thing showcases the green’s undulations nicely.

Sitting among the difficult 4th, 5th, and 7th holes, the 6th sticks out as a welcomed birdie opportunity with a good swing. But miss in the wrong spot and up-and-downs become damn near impossible here.

The Masters - Round One

My 12th favorite hole at Augusta National = the 6th hole.

11th favorite

Augusta National Archive

9th hole, 460 yards, par 4 — Carolina Cherry

What a name! Carolina Cherry. Just such a positive vibe type name. Probably also the name of a delicious, fruity alcoholic beverage at some tiki bar along the beaches of South Carolina.

This hole’s remained mostly unchanged tee-to-green since the first Masters in 1934. Requires a draw off the tee to hit this doglegging left fairway. Here’s the bird’s eye view.

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 3.19.05 PM

View from the tee. You very clearly need to make your ball go right-to-left.

The Masters - Round Three

It’s better to miss right than left. Right trees, if you draw a decent lie, can actually provide the ideal angle into this famous green.

Here’s a view from the 1980 Masters.

Augusta National Archive

If you miss left, you better hope you’re capable of doing something like this.

The green and surrounding bunkers have changed dramatically from MacKenzie’s original design. Here’s a drawing of what it originally looked like, from our friends at Golf Digest.

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 3.29.13 PM

Since guys were blasting their balls down 1 fairway for a much easier way of playing the hole, however, the entire green complex and bunkering were redesigned to include a clump of bunkers guarding the left.

You can see 3 here from the 1948 Masters.

Patrons Watch Play At The 9th Hole During The 1948 Masters Tournament

Nowadays there are just 2 bunkers guarding the left side of this severely back-to-front green complete with a steep false front. Watching approaches and lag putts on this green is one of my favorite parts of the Masters.

Here’s a look from the fairway from the 1995 Masters.

General View Of The 9th Hole In 1995

And here are some more modern looks at the green.

The Masters - Final Round

The Masters - Round Three

The 9th green sits just beside the 18th green, a vast hilltop with incredible views overlooking much of the course’s front nine. When visiting for the fist time, you’re stunned standing at this spot at the openness of Augusta. This hole’s a great finish to the front, ascending you back by the clubhouse before you begin the epic back nine.

My 11th favorite hole at Augusta National = the 9th hole.

10th favorite

The Masters - Final Round

3rd hole, 350 yards, par 4 — Flowering Peach

The 3rd hole is one of the great short par 4s in the game, and it’s nearly identical today to what it was in 1934. MacKenzie LOVED it, so it’s been tweaked the least of any hole on the course.

The large clump of fairway bunkers down the left dictate strategy here. Most guys will pick an iron or hybrid to stay short of those, then try to knock a wedge close…

…a la Charl Schwartzel when he holed out for eagle in the final round en route to his 2011 win.

But some will do as Tiger did in 2011, ripping driver up near the green and hoping it pays off with a birdie.

Look at the slopeage around this green!

Screen Shot 2018-03-28 at 4.38.41 PM

Here’s a little bird’s eye view to give you the full picture of this thing.

Screen Shot 2018-03-28 at 3.53.36 PM

This green is one of the most slippery spots on the course. It’s treacherously narrow on the left side and tilts hard right-to-left. Anything short rolls well down a slope, near where Tiger’s ball ends up in the above clip. Anything long leaves a tricky pitch back onto the slippery green.

Here are some cool mounds behind the green. Love cool mounds.

The Masters - Round Three

Here are some looks from 1948.

(229) A Player Swings on the 3rd Hole During The 1948 Masters Tournament

General View Of The 3rd Hole In 1948

Here are some looks from closer to today. As you can see, pretty similar.

The Masters - Round Two

Augusta National Archive

The Masters - Round Three

Few wedge shots in golf demand the attention this one does. Watching guys play this hole from 130 yards and in is, much like the 9th hole, a real joy. Legitimately anything could happen.

My 10th favorite hole at Augusta National = the 3rd hole.

9th favorite

View of the 16th Hole

16th hole, 170 yards, par 3 — Redbud

The 16th has cemented itself as one of the most memorable holes at Augusta. Its pivotal location on the course makes it crucial down the stretch, and its dominant features — the water, the green’s ridge, the bunkers — make this short hole stick in peoples’ minds.

While yesterday’s hole, the 3rd, has been largely left alone through Augusta’s 84-year history, the 16th is nowhere close to its original design. MacKenzie built it similar to the 12th, with the green left and Rae’s Creek right, but Bobby Jones deemed it too easy and eventually brought Robert Trent Jones in to redo it.

Here it is in 1940.

General View Of The 16th Hole At The 1940 Masters Tournament

Here, in the 1960s, you can see it’s much more reminiscent of today’s version.

Augusta National Archive

Here’s the players’ view from the tee.

The Masters - Round One

I mentioned it when discussing the 6th hole, but this area of the course, where 6, 16, and 15 converge, is one of the busiest for patrons. The hill left of the 16th provides an awesome stadium-like atmosphere.

That stadium setup makes the walk from tee to green on 16 one of the coolest in golf.

GettyImages-519135524

We haven’t even talked about the green yet. The deep ridge through the middle defines this entire hole — you know it well from probably the most famous shot in golf history.

But honestly, that’s not even my favorite Tiger clip from 16. This is.

He kicked the club. At Augusta. He kicked the club.

Jack could’ve made it into the Hall Of Fame simply from the way he played this one hole.

I mean he almost aced it. GOAT stuff.

Phil birdied here to tie the lead en route to finally breaking through and winning his first major in ’04.

Last year, it looked like this could be the final nail in Sergio’s coffin when he missed a short birdie putt to hold serve with Rose. But he of course bounced back and won.

The 16th brings the drama — always has, always will.

My 9th favorite hole at Augusta National = the 16th hole.

8th favorite

Masters Final Round

18th hole, 465 yards, par 4 — Holly

We’re getting into very difficult territory at this point. The 18th hole at Augusta National is the scene of some of the greatest moments in golf, and I’m going to say it’s not even a top-7 hole on the course? That’s tough. Honestly you could wake me up tomorrow and the next 4 or 5 holes in this countdown could be in a completely different order in my head. They’re that close. They’re that good.

But today I’ve made up my mind — my 8th favorite hole at Augusta is the 18th.

The Masters - Round Three

That narrow shoot makes this one of the most recognizable shots in golf. It wasn’t always this way; in 1934, the left was wide open and there were no fairway bunkers.

But the green’s always been severe. At the 1946 Masters, Ben Hogan three-jacked from 12 feet to lose by 1. The green was redone that summer.

The fairway bunkers were added in 1967 and the hole’s looked much like today’s version ever since, just shorter and less narrow. It was stretched out to its current distance in 2001.

It’s always played uphill and served as an iconic amphitheater for the conclusion of golf’s most prestigious event.

Here are some looks from the 1947 and 1948 Masters.

Augusta National Archive

General View Of The 18th Hole During The 1948 Masters Tournament

Here’s Arnie at the 1966 Masters.

Augusta National Archive

And here are similar looks from more recent years.

Augusta National Archive

GettyImages-666641650

The Masters - Final Round

It now takes a 300-yard poke to even reach the first fairway bunker and nearly 340 to carry the second. The beauty of this hole is that it truly can yield a variety of scores.

Phil Mickelson secured his first major with an 18-foot birdie putt here.

Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera both birdied to get into a playoff at the 2013 Masters.

Last year, both Sergio and Rose missed short birdie looks before Rose ultimately bogeyed it to Sergio’s birdie in the playoff.

Tiger, in 2005, birdied the 18th to fall back into a lead with Chris DiMarco then turned around and, minutes later, did this on the same hole.

Greg Norman made a horrific bogey here to come up 1 short to Jack in the famous 1986 Masters after flaring his approach shot into the gallery right.

Contrarily, Mark O’Meara won the 1998 Masters by a single shot with this birdie, featured below in a funny Asian language.

This hole is as iconic a finishing hole as there is in golf. It’s tough but manageable, serves as an ideal setting for the tournament’s conclusion, and relentlessly produces drama. I love it.

My 8th favorite hole at Augusta National = the 18th hole.

7th favorite

Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 10.14.10 AM

8th hole, 570 yards, par 5 — Yellow Jasmine

We’re finally dipping into the par 5s. These things could all be top 4, but I couldn’t quite stomach it. I love this hole — can’t believe it’s not top 6! A real shame.

The 8th plays as the toughest par 5 on the course. But it’s gettable — here’s Tiger in 2011 from 278 yards showing you everything you need to know about the hole. Uphill, hard dogleg left, giant mounds that can help or hurt you surrounding the green.

Here’s some random twitter account giving you the flyover.

This thing’s remained largely unchanged tee-to-green, but the green’s been through an absolute rollercoaster ride. It’s today more reminiscent of its original version, but it changed a lot along that journey.

Here’s what it looked like at one point.

This here doesn’t look like the 8th, but twitter says it is so I guess we have no choice but to believe it.

If you’re wondering why there are no other pictures, the Getty Images site is currently undergoing some maintenance and I can’t download photographs as I usually do. I would snag them from the internet but I do not want to get us sued so here we are.

Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 10.17.42 AM

When the site works, I’ll add some pics.

Here are the boys on the tee.

What a group.

My 7th favorite hole at Augusta National = the 8th hole.

6th favorite

Masters Preview - Day 1

10th hole, 495 yards, par 4 — Camellia

The 10th is an incredibly unique and difficult hole. Originally the 1st (the nines were reversed after the inaugural 1934 Masters), the tee sits right by the clubhouse and overlooks a large drop off towards Augusta’s back nine. The hole looks more like a black diamond out in Colorado than a golf hole. It requires a big draw off the tee (for righties) then favors a cut into a right-to-left sloping green, off a right-to-left sloping fairway.

Sound tough? It is. The 10th traditionally plays as the hardest hole on the course.

The Masters - Round One

The famous MacKenzie bunker that now sits in no man’s land originally sat just left of the green. But the green was moved back some 40 yards before the 1938 Masters to make the hole play much like it plays today. Fortunately they’ve kept the massive bunker despite it having virtually zero impact on play.

Here it is in 1956.

Augusta National Archive

In 1990.

Augusta National Archive

2010.

The Masters - Round Two

We’ve had plenty of memorable drama play out here. Rory, in 2011, began his infamous meltdown with a triple here.

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 5.01.22 PM

Scott Hoch missed about a 1-foot tap-in to beat Sir Nick Faldo in 1989.

Contrarily, we’ve seen plenty of heroics too. Who can forget Bubba hooking a wedge out of the right trees in 2012?

And Adam Scott made birdie on the second playoff hole here to beat Angel Cabrera the following year.

The back nine at Augusta is as magic as they come and it starts with this beauty. Always a thrill watching guys try to get through the 10th.

My 6th favorite hole at Augusta National = the 10th hole.

5th favorite

2016 Masters- Round Three

11th hole, 505 yards, par 4 — White Dogwood

The 11th is a BEAST. It’s a monster of a hole with a demanding tee shot, water that acts more like a magnet than a pond, and a slick green that’s proven year after year to be one of the toughest to navigate on the course.

A full 80 yards deeper than its original 1934 version, the 11th has transformed over time into both one of the most famous and one of the most difficult holes in the world. It’s the beginning of Amen Corner, and it lives up to the hype.

The hole plays much different today than it did even 13 or 14 years ago. Tiger used to blast it well right, cutting off much of the hole, catching a downslope, and leaving himself a short iron and a good angle into the green. Since, Augusta’s planted several large pines that make a miss right very punishing.

Here it is in 1947.

General View Of The 11th Green And The 12th Hole In 1948

1957.

Augusta National Archive

1981.

Augusta National Archive

Here it is today, from the tee.

Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 1.41.30 PM

From the fairway.

Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 1.46.57 PM

This serves as a great spot for players to examine the leaderboard as they work their way through the most dramatic stretch on the golf course.

The Masters - Second Round

Naturally, the 11th has been the scene of some memorable stuff. Larry Mize holed one of the most famous shots in Masters history here to defeat Greg Norman (obviously) in a playoff in 1987.

Thing was absolutely COOKING, but against Norman, of course it drops.

And Sir Nick made a 3 here to beat Scott Hoch after Hoch missed about a 16-inch putt to win the hole prior.

The unfortunate byproduct of this hole’s evolution is that it plays so difficult, most the field will bail out right and try to get up-and-down. Few guys will take on pin locations, which minimizes the excitement and leaves a pretty tedious spectacle of watching ball after ball land short and right and trundle just onto or just right of the green.

But still, its beauty and status forever as a member of Amen Corner makes the 11th a top 5 hole no doubt. What a piece of earth this thing is.

My 5th favorite hole at Augusta National = the 11th hole.

4th favorite

The Masters - Round Two

15th hole, 530 yards, par 5 — Firethorn

Ahhh, the 15th at Augusta. So much drama has unfolded here that it almost deserves its own countdown. From aggressive second shots to tough thirds from the downslope, this hole offers one of the great risk/reward options in the game.

At 530, it’s reachable for nearly everyone. The only problem is that short is death. Long is death. And left is death.

Save for the widening of the original creek into what is now a pond, the serious growth of some trees, and the lengthening of the tee by some 45 yards, this hole isn’t all that different from its original intent.

Gene Sarazen holed the “shot heard ’round the world” here in 1935, an albatross 2 to get into a playoff and ultimately win the second Masters.

Just last year, Sergio eagled here to tie the lead.

Jack, eagle.

Tiger, twirl game on a million.

Also Tiger, but bad.

Feherty’s call is so good there. Just genuinely upset at the flagstick… “OHHHH NO!”

If you do end up behind those trees, you can always get crafty.

Like I mentioned, a lot of growth and filling out of things have really been the main evolution of the 15th. Here she is in 1948.

General View Of The 15th Hole In 1948

1980s.

Augusta National Archive

Nowadays.

The Masters - Round One

The Masters - Final Round

The beauty of this hole is that going for it ain’t easy, but neither is laying up. The wedge from the downslope to that dangerous green has given players fits for generations.

Awesome hole with plenty of decisions to be made, shots to be played, and dramatics to soak in.

My 4th favorite hole at Augusta National = the 15th hole.

3rd favorite

The Masters - Final Round

2nd hole, 575 yards, par 5 — Pink Dogwood

Tee to green this thing hasn’t changed a whole lot since 1934. The fairway bunkering has been moved around, but it’s still a big driver, hope to catch the hill, then have one of the coolest second shots in golf as you rip a longer club into this T-shaped green.

Here’s what it looked like in 1934 (thanks Golf Digest).

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 7.04.56 PM

And here’s what it looks like now (thanks satellites).

2-angc-aerial

Here’s Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer cranking hoons on the tee. No big deal, kind of a huge deal.

Augusta National Archive

Here’s today’s view from that tee.

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 7.27.21 PM

This hole’s really about that second shot from 250-ish+ and how your ball reacts around the green. The view down towards the green has looked nearly identical for a long time.

Here it is in ’48.

General View Of The 2nd Hole In 1948

In the 60s.

Augusta National Archive

Here it is today.

The Masters - Round One

It may surprise people that 2 is this high on my list, but I just love the entire vibe of this hole. Blasting one off the tee, hoping to avoid that bunker and catch a little speed slot. The view of the green backdropped by a huge Augusta valley. The diabolical T-shaped, multi-tiered putting surface where you can both use or be brutally punished by the slopes. It’s so open and straightforward, but tricky and clever.

Love the second, as does this guy.

My 3rd favorite hole at Augusta National = the 2nd hole.

2nd favorite

General view of the 12th hole

12th hole, 155 yards, par 3– Golden Bell

The 12th at Augusta is probably the most famous par 3 in the world. With Rae’s Creek in front, the hourglass green sandwiched between the bunkers, and the impossibly tall Georgia pines behind, it’s as beautiful and recognizable a scene as you can find in golf. Perhaps in the world.

It’s got a rare risk/reward element for a par 3. When the pin’s right, the traditional Sunday location, firing at it can leave a short, flat putt, but is a longer carry that brings the creek into play. Firing at the center is safer, but that section of the green is skinnier. Front left pins are always gettable, and we’ll see one up there for sure.

Today it’s right in the middle. It’ll yield some birdies.

The hole hasn’t changed a ton since 1934. The bunkers were skinnier and the creek was less dramatic, but really it’s played pretty similarly for 80+ years.

Here’s a look at it near its original form.

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 12.34.13 PM

Here it is in 1961.

Augusta National Archive

Later in the 60s.

Augusta National Archive

And here it is nowadays.

The Masters - Round One

Masters 3rd Round

Right in the heart of Amen Corner, the 12th has proven pivotal many, many, many times. Most infamously in most peoples’ brains today is Jordan Spieth.

Greg Norman.

Conversely, Freddie Couples got a rare fortunate break here. He hit one that probably should’ve gone in the water, but held up en route to his first and only Masters win.

Phil Mickelson was 3 shots back of Ernie Els while walking across the Hogan Bridge while chasing his first major championship in 2004. He’d birdie 12 to kickstart a blazing hot closing stretch and earn his first green jacket.

The 12th is beautiful, strategic, tricky, fair, and absolutely critical during every Masters.

My 2nd favorite hole at Augusta = the 12th hole.

1st favorite

General view of the 13th hole

13th hole, 510 yards, par 5 — Azalea

The first par 5 on the back nine at Augusta National is one of the finest holes in the world. It’s quite gettable but possesses the perfect amount of fire to punish guys. To leave players shaking their heads, rattled at what could have been. The tee shot is unique. The approach is unique. The green, stream, and setting among giant Georgia pines and azalea flowers is as unique and pretty a piece of the planet as there is.

Here’s the view from the tee.

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 3.26.51 PM

This fairway slopes HARD right-to-left. Architecture geeks love it — a hook lie to a cut green.

Basically taking a baseball swing from the middle of this thing.

The Masters - Round Three

Augusta National Archive

Course architect Michael Clayton, when asked what the best hole at Augusta is, said last year with The Fried Egg:

13 – arguably the best hole in America. Draw tee shot. Fade green. Perfect diagonal hazard across the front of the green. Hugely sloping fairway rewarding the great drive left with a level lie. And for those who are on the borderline of going for the green or not, one of the most vexing questions in the game – and right at the critical, make or break time in the round of the tournament.

If you do miss the fairway, you can just do this.

The green is a circus. Huge. Steep ridge runs across the entire thing. Treacherous pin locations, so much so that Tiger Woods himself in 2005 did this:

At 510 it’s very reachable, but this green and everything around it is just so damn good. It demands players make a tough decision and execute well upon that decision. It’s as perfect a hole as has ever been made.

Here’s a good look at it via this embedded tweet because I don’t want to get sued for illegal photo use.

Maybe the best hole in the world.

My favorite hole at Augusta National = the 13th hole.

God I love this place.