Hole 1 – Tea Olive
Par 4 – 455 Yards
One of the toughest opening holes in golf. Two perfect shots are needed here just to make the green never mind-set up a birdie chance. Players will start the round in a preserved manner hoping to play the opening holes in level par. An aggressive approach into the green could mean you are starting the tournament with more than just a bogey. A slight dogleg to the right causes no problems for the players, it is the uphill layout and the oscillating green that brings out the worst in the players, with a three putt not a rare sight on the opening hole.
Hole 2 – Pink Dogwood
Par 5 – 575 Yards
575 yards separates the tee from the green and is considered one of the easiest holes on the course. The big hitters will have a lot of fun on this hole as they are more than capable of reaching in two shots and setting themselves up with decent birdie or even eagle chances. Louis Oosthuizen will remember this hole fondly as he made the first ever albatross on this hole in Masters History with a solid drive and an immaculate four iron from just over 250 yards. A good drive down the right of the fairway is needed if the players want to reach the green in two as the two bunkers at the front make it hard to pitch before the green and roll it up.
Hole 3 – Flowering Peach
Par 4 – 350 Yards
The third hole at Augusta is the shortest on the course reaching just 35o yards tee to green. The green slopes left to right and usual course a lot of problems for those who don’t play a decent approach shot. The big hitters in the field will go for the green depending on the position of the flag but most will lay up leaving themselves with just a short iron into the green. The difficulty of the hole usually depends on the position of the flag and with the slopes on the green being very deceiving, it will be fun to see how many birdies will actually be made.
Hole 4 – Flowering Crab Apple
Par 3 – 240 Yards
The fourth hole is the first par 3 on the course and is the longest par 3 on the course. A beautiful hole that sees players hitting long irons downhill towards the green. It is considered the hardest hole on the course and can demand a lot off the players if the tees are pushed further back, which is ultimately why only ten birdies were made at this hole last year. The green slopes from back to front which could be an issue for most players if the ball is struck cleanly with a touch of spin, as they witness their ball role towards the two bunkers at the front of the green.
Hole 5 – Magnolia
Par 4 – 455 Yards
This dogleg left plays uphill making it a challenge for all golfers. The hole is dominated by bunkers and two of which are situated in the middle of the fairway. A huge tee shot is needed to avoid these bunkers and if they are avoided a mid iron will be the selected club for the second shot. The green is considered the hardest on the course as it slope from back to front. Subtle breaks and small hollows cause major problems with reading the line of the putt.
Hole 6 – Juniper
Par 3 – 180 Yards
An elevated tee means it is all downhill to the green, is usually viewed by the followers from the hillside below the tee as they watch the ball fly over their heads. This hole was the highlight of Welshman Jamie Donaldson’s debut in the masters as he caught his tee shot perfect and saw it roll gentle into the hole for a hole-in-one. Those who find the right tier on the green will set themselves up for a great birdie chance.
Hole 7 – Pampas
Par 4 – 450 Yards
The 7th hole has been extended in recent years to compensate for the increase in big hitters in the field. The tree line compresses the fairway into a narrow strip making the tee shot one of the hardest on the course. The approach shot is arguably the hardest shot these players will ever play as they hit into a small green guarded by three bunkers at the front and two at the back. Finding any one of these bunkers could result in a bogey or worse.
Hole 8 – Yellow Jasmine
Par 5 – 570 Yards
A good drive avoiding the bunker on the right can leave players with an inviting shot left in, creating a great birdie chance for most. It is the second longest hole on the course and is played uphill, but is still considered a birdie opportunity. None the less two or three good shots are needed to set up the birdie chance. No bunkers are situated around the green making it easy for a pitch and run to be played if the second shot falls short of the green.
Hole 9 – Carolina Cherry
Par 4 – 460 Yards
The ninth hole is an immaculate finish to the front nine where birdies are not rare. A good angle into the green is needed with most players driving to the right of the fairway in order to find this perfect angle. An over-spinning wedge into the elevated green can cause the ball to spin back off the green and twenty to thirty yards down the fairway.
Hole 10 – Camelia
Par 4 – 495 Yards
The tenth hole introduces the back nine in great style as this long par 4 as been the start to many players downfall in the past. Most recently Rory Mcilroy. Mcilroy was the leading the 2011 Masters and unfortunately hooked his tee shot on this fateful hole resulting in the start of the Northern Irishman’s downfall. Overhanging trees down the left of the fairway means the big hitters are unable to cut the corner and ends in a long second shot into the green. If the green is missed, a good up and down is needed to save par or a bogey or worse is likely to occur. The Masters has been won and lost on this hole many times before.
Hole 11 – White Dogwood
Par 4 – 505 Yards
The start of Amen Corner begins with the longest par 4 on the course. A par on this hole usually makes progress against the field. A drive down the right of the fairway is essential off the tee in order to eliminate the chance of hitting the approach shot into the water hazard to the left of the green. The players will try to shape the ball from right to left but if they leave the ball out to the right of the green, the ball could finish in a bunker to the back of the green or in a hollow at the front. Nothing but two perfect shots are needed to make par on this hole, anything less could see players fall down a number of places on the leader-board.
Hole 12 – Golden Bell
Par 3 – 155 Yards
The 155 yard par 3 is the most famous in golf. A creek at the front of the green and three bunkers also surrounding it, means the tee shot needs to be near perfect. The distance of the hole is the only thing that helps the players, with a short iron being used and is ultimately easier to control. The wind is often a major factor when playing this hole, more so than any other hole. Club selection is vital.
Hole 13 – Azalea
Par 5 – 510 Yards
A slight draw off the tee can get the players into a position where only an 8 iron might be needed. The final hole of Amen Corner combines a the two previous holes before, with a creek at the front of the green and four bunkers at the back. The audience of the 2010 Masters were treated to a sublime shot from Mickelson on this hole. His second shot out of the pine straw was a recovery shot like no other.
Hole 14 – Chinese Fir
Par 4 – 440 Yards
The tee shot on 14 is basic for these players, with a relatively straight shot is needed to right hand-side of the fairway. The approach shot however is much harder, with players hitting into a multi-tiered green which is heavily sloped. Miss the green and a par save is less than likely, but a shot to within 20 ft of the pin will be considered a great shot. Fourteen is also the only hole on the course with no bunkers, which could be the difference between a bogey and a par.
Hole 15 – Fire Thorn
Par 5 – 530 Yards
The 15th is considered the easiest on the course, but similar to the other holes a perfect shot is essential to set up a birdie chance. A big drive is needed in order for players to then reach the green with their second shots and with the pond just in front of the green, these approach shots must carry the water and stay on the green. The is most famous for the albatross made here in 1935 by Gene Sarazen, hence why the bridge that runs over the pond is called the Sarazen Bridge. The 15th is also the hole in which Tiger hit a stroke of bad luck when his shot hit the flag and shot back into the water at the front of the green. He then played his drop shot from the wrong position which he was given a two shot penalty for and ultimately finished with an 8. Unlucky for some but not for others.
Hole 16 – Redbud
Par 3 – 170 Yards
Water dominates the left hand side on this with two bunkers to the right of the green also adding to it’s difficulty. The water generally doesn’t cause a problem for most, it is finding the correct tier on the green that creates the real challenge. A significant right to left slope can create wonderful birdie opportunities for the players. The most memorable shot played on this hole was of course Tiger Woods’ chip shot in 2005 that rested on the edge of the hole before falling in and caused a massive roar among the audience.
Hole 17 – Nandina
Par 4 – 440 Yards
The 17th has undergone major construction with the likes of the Eisenhower tree being no more. A harsh winter storm damaged the tree to a point of no return. With the absence of the tree the tee shot will be less demanding therefore leaving the players with a mid iron into the green. The green itself has two sides to it, almost like a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde green in the fact the left hand side of the green is tame and causes no problem, in contrast to that of the right hand side which is capable of ruining a scorecard in just one shot.
Hole 18 – Holly
Par 4 – 465 Yards
Every player dreams of walking down the 18th in contention for the green jacket, it is a memory that will stick with them for a lifetime. The slight dogleg right creates problems from tee to green. A narrow gap between the tree lines gives no room for error and has a large bunker at the end of the fairway which is not easy to miss. The green runs from back to front with two bunkers guarding the front. This hole played a major part in Adam Scott’s win last year with the Australian making a wonderful birdie for the outright lead. This lead was short-lived as the Argentine Angel Cabrera hit his approach shot to within five foot and holed the putt to extend the play-off. Two birdies within the space of five minutes changing the lead multiple times certainly entertained the Augusta crowd.