Augusta National Hole-by-Hole; A Complete Course Breakdown

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 02: A view down Magnolia Lane prior to The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 02, 2021 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 02: A view down Magnolia Lane prior to The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 02, 2021 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 11: A general view of the 16th green during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2021 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Augusta National Golf Club is the most famous golf course in the world and hardly needs an introduction. Even the most casual sports fans can tell you something about the Mecca of golf.  In addition to being the most famous golf club, Augusta National is also the most exclusive.

There is no application process to join as membership is invitation only. The club has about 300 members and 40 of them are CEO’s. Dwight D. Eisenhower and Robert W. Woodruff were members. Peyton Manning and Roger Goodell are members. Two of the five wealthiest people in the world, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are members. Augusta National’s exclusivity was quite controversial until recently. For over 50 years the only members were white males. The club didn’t invite an African-American man until 1990 (Ron Townsend) or women until 2012 (Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore).

Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts founded Augusta National, which was designed by Jones and Alister MacKenzie, in 1932. The club sought to host the US Open every year, but the US Open is held in June and Georgia is exceptionally hot during the summer.

In 1934, Augusta National hosted the Augusta National Invitational for the first time. The tournament has been held ever since, apart from 1943-1945 due to World War II. Roberts convinced Jones to rename the event and in 1939 the Masters Tournament was adopted. Roberts served as the club’s chairmen for 45 years from the club’s opening until the day he concluded his life on the banks of Ike’s Pond on the course.

The Masters hasn’t always been the prestigious event it is today.

In fact, the tournament was quite unsuccessful at first. Opening an exclusive club for the wealthy during the Great Depression is less than ideal timing.

The term “major” didn’t exist in golf until the 1960’s. Until then, the four biggest events were the US Open, The Open Championship, US Amateur, and The Amateur Championship (British Amateur). In 1960 Arnold Palmer was flying to Europe to play in his first Open Championship with Bob Drum, the journalist who discovered him while he was still in high school. Palmer floated the idea of a grand slam of golf with two tournaments to replace the amateur events.

The USPGA event was an obvious choice for a third and Palmer decided that the Masters should be the fourth because it had the largest prize pool. Conveniently, Palmer had just won the Masters that year for the second time in his career. Although Palmer never achieved the career grand slam himself – the PGA Championship eluded him as he had three career second place finishes – he did create one.

The average course length on the PGA Tour is about 7,200 yards. Augusta National is one of the longest courses the pros play each year, but that wasn’t always the case. In 1997 Tiger Woods bombed and gouged his way to a 12-shot win, the largest margin of victory in tournament history.

The course was playing 6,925 yards that year and Augusta National sought to “Tiger-proof” the course by lengthening it. Tees were moved back on half of the holes and the Ryegrass fairways were narrowed. Today the course plays 7,510 yards. The course has over 160 feet of elevation so many holes play much longer or shorter than the number on the card.

The elevation is most significant on the greens. In the modern game where every player can drive the ball 300 yards, the only defense the course has are its fast, undulated Bentgrass greens. The greens are what set the course apart from any other in the world and have allowed Augusta National to withstand the test of time and evolving technology. A player is around 80% more likely to three-putt here from any distance than the average PGA Tour stop. Jack Nicklaus sums it up best saying, “When I played in 1959, my first year, I hit 31 greens in regulation in 36 holes. I had eight three-putt greens. I shot 150. Arnold [Palmer] shot 141. He was leading the tournament. He hit 19 greens in regulation. I’m sitting there thinking, what does that tell me? It’s telling I’d better learn how to putt these greens. Because I can play the golf course. So that’s what I set out to do.”

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AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 11: A general view of the 15th green during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2021 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Great Augusta National

Augusta National has four par 3s, four par 4s, and ten par 5s. The following is a hole-by-hole breakdown with the name of the hole, yardage, handicap, and a quote from a player.

1.)   Tea Olive

Par-4 445 (2) – A dogleg right that plays uphill. The narrow landing area with trees on the left and bunker on the right side of the fairway requires a precise tee shot. If the wind is blowing from the west or the north, players will be playing their approach with a mid-iron, which makes the green difficult to hold. A pin anywhere left is tough to stick it close but anything on the right is gettable.

Phil Mickelson: “It’s a tough opening hole. … It’s one of the three or four most difficult holes on the golf course, and actually, I just love starting with a par. I don’t even think about trying to birdie the first hole out here anymore.”

"1 – Tea Olive"

2.)   Pink Dogwood

Par-5 570 (17) – A dogleg left that plays steeply downhill from the fairway bunker to the green. Hitting the fairway on this hole is crucial to scoring under par. The green slopes severely from left to right so players will err to the right because anything left makes it difficult to make 5. The most difficult hole is perched on the left and the easiest is on the right.

Patrick Reed: “If you can keep the ball on the fairway off that tee, you’ve got a good opportunity to hit the green in two. Even if it’s into the wind, you can hit a 3-wood and reach. The two [greenside] bunkers are not a bad spot. The goal is to get the ball in play off-the-tee and to play aggressively from there.”

"2 – Pink Dogwood"

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3.)   Flowering Peach

Par-4 350 (14) – There’s a lot of strategy involved off the tee on the shortest and easiest par 4 on the course. Most players will hit driver and get it as close as possible, but those who go less than driver will only have a 100-yard approach. The left pin location is tough to get close to and the right is attackable. This hole played a half-shot more difficult on Sunday than on Saturday last year.

Tommy Fleetwood: “Some people like to lay up, some like to hit driver. I like to hit driver, get it up as close as possible and work it out from there. The 50-yard pitch into the green is one of the hardest in golf because it’s so, so hard to get it close to the various pins. It’s a fast, fast green from right to left.”

"3 – Flowering Peach"

4.)   Flowering Crab Apple

Par-3 240 (3) – Any player who plays this hole at even for the week is gaining shots on the field. The front pin location makes this hole significantly more difficult whereas a back right pin makes it easier to make par.

Jason Dufner: “I’m usually hitting a 3-iron, sometimes a 5-wood. It’s probably the toughest hole on the golf course, to be honest. I’m just trying to get it on the green. That front-right bunker plays ok to a couple of the hole locations. You’re not going to make worse than a 4 from the front-right bunker, and you’ll have a pretty good chance at 3. It’s just one of those holes where you’re trying to make par. I think I made birdie once. The front-left pin is extremely tough. It’s not very wide, maybe 12 to 14 paces at the most. You’re probably better off in that left bunker when the pin is in the front.”

"4 – Flowering Crab Apple"

5.)   Magnolia

Par-4 495 (5) – One of the most recent renovations at Augusta National occurred in 2019 when this hole was lengthened. This change brought the fairway bunkers into play causing most players to miss right off-the-tee. Anything in the fairway bunkers is a punch-out and a likely bogey unless the player can scramble for par from 100+ yards out. As one of the hardest greens on the course, there isn’t any pin position that makes it easier to throw a dart.

Rory McIlroy: “Hitting off the 5th is not the hardest tee shot on the course, but you need to hit it up the right side. However, it’s the second shot that makes this hole difficult no matter where the pin is because you have to try and get the ball on the right level of the green. The green itself is so slopey and full of little hollows. If you misjudge one a little and it comes up short, then you have that massive hill to play over before even reaching the putting surface.”

"5 – Magnolia"

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6.)   Juniper

Par-3 180 (10) – With views of 6, 15, 16, and 17, this might be the best spot for patrons to spectate. This hole plays so downhill that the patrons can sit on the slope and watch the ball fly in over their heads. The front left hole placement is a great birdie opportunity as the two backboards will funnel the ball towards the hole.

Jim Furyk: “Number 6 is interesting because if the pin is front left, you have a chance to put the ball on the green and feed it down to the hole. Back-left is almost impossible to get the ball to it. You’re going to be putting from 20 feet short and rarely do you get the putt to the hole because it’s quick and you don’t want to knock it by. That top-right pin, it’s tough to get the ball to stop on that level.

"6 – Juniper"

7.)   Pampas

Par-4 450 (7) – This hole features one of the narrowest fairways on the course. The trees on the right and left are a harsh punishment for not finding the short grass and make it nearly impossible to find the elevated green in two. The best a player can hope for after an errant tee shot is rolling something into the greenside bunkers and getting up and down for par. The front pin locations tend to be the most difficult. It’s important to miss in the right place on this hole because if you short-side yourself, you’re looking at 30 feet for par.

Tiger Woods: “Although the seventh fairway is pretty straight, it presents a very difficult tee shot because growing tree branches on both sides have narrowed the opening to the green. I hit 3-wood when there is no wind. That generally leaves about an 8-iron in. This is another green where you can use the slope to get close to the hole. If the flagstick is on the right side, the play is to hit your approach to land in the bowl on that side so the ball can channel down toward it. The pin on the far right, though, is no joke. You just have to put the ball in that same bowl and putt over to the hole. If you short side yourself there, you have zero chance of getting it up and down.”

"7 – Pampas"

8.)   Yellow Jasmine

Par-5 570 (15) – The fairway bunker on the right is in play and it’s better to be in the left rough than the bunker. The second half of this hole is uphill leaving a blind approach. The longest hitters can get home in two with a couple of good hits provided there’s no north wind. The large mounds protecting the green make for a tricky pitch shot to get up-and-down. Nonetheless, this hole is a birdie opportunity.

Jordan Spieth: “I have told people I’d rather hit a ball in the water on numbers 11, 12, or 13 than hit into the fairway bunker here. That’s not actually true, but it shows how frustrating it is to hit it in there. Avoid the bunker and you can reach the green in two. Even if you don’t, there aren’t many pitch shots that will keep you from getting close. All of the hole locations except the back-right are very accessible. Some courses never give your brain a break. Augusta National only gives you a couple, and the second shot here is one of them. It’s one of the few shots where you don’t have to be super precise. Yes, you can get in trouble among the large mounds on the left, but there is a lot of room to the right where you still have good angles to the hole. It’s a blind shot where you’re just trying to hit it with a nice hook over that upslope. It’s a fun shot to hit, and when that delayed roar echoes down the hill, you know you hit a great shot. It’s one of the most underrated holes on the course.”

"8 – Yellow Jasmine"

9.)   Carolina Cherry

Par-4 460 (12) – This hole features a downhill tee shot to a wide landing area and an uphill approach to a green sloping left-to-right. When the hole location is on the back left, it’s nearly impossible to get it close.

Vijay Singh: “The longer you drive it, the easier the hole is. Generally, you want to take the drive as close to the trees on the right as possible. Depending on the conditions, bigger hitters can just blow it over the [left] trees and be hitting a nice wedge in from the flat. Being on the correct tier of the green is so important. The 9th green is one of the harder greens to read at Augusta, because of those tiers.”

"9 – Carolina Cherry"

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(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images) /

10.)  Camellia

Par-4 495 (4) – A right-to-left tee shot is a necessity on this downhill par-4. They say the Masters doesn’t start until the back-9 on Sunday and Rory McIlroy saw the green jacket lifted off his shoulders on this hole in 2011. Leading by one, Rory’s tee shot hit the tree. He made triple and finished T15.

Justin Rose: “There’s not really a massive emphasis on distance because you get a lot of help from the hill, but you have to keep it far enough left to hit the hill. If you bail out to the right at all, there’s a plateau that holds up the ball. The second shot always plays longer than it looks. That huge bunker about 60 yards short of the green messes with your depth perception You’re always trying to leave the ball short and left of the hole. That green slopes hard back-right to front-left. If you miss too far left, then it runs off and there’s a couple trees there that are tricky. Anything missed right into that bunker is a tough up-and-down.”

"10 – Camellia"

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AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 04: Signage indicates directions to areas such as Amen Corner during a practice round prior to the start of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 4, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images) /

11.)  White Dogwood

Par-4 520 (1) – This is the first hole of Amen Corner; the most famous three-hole stretch in the world. This year the tee has been moved back 15 yards, the fairway has been recontoured, and several trees have been removed on the right side. The longest par 4 is the hardest hole on the course and the most demanding off-the-tee. With water left of the green and a downhill chip on the right there’s not a good miss on this hole.

Jordan Spieth: “If you don’t find the fairway, you have a lot of work to do. On the approach, the left hole locations are closer to the water but are easier to deal with because bail-out shots to the right still find the green. It’s those middle-right hole positions that are the most difficult. You don’t want to play left of them because of the water, but if you miss the green right, you have a testy chip. If the ball rolls more than three feet past the hole, it’s likely to go another 20 feet past.”

"11 – White Dogwood"

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AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 11: A general view of the 12th green during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2021 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

12.)  Golden Bell

Par-3 155 (8) – The shortest hole on the course is simple but not easy. Players will play this hole under par for the week but everyone in the field would sign up for four pars right now. The wind makes this hole more difficult than pin placement. A year after Tiger Woods saw his playing partners hit it in the water which helped him to his 15th major win, Tiger made a 10 on this hole.

Justin Thomas: “All I try to do is hit the green. That’s the only thing I’m worried about. I don’t care where the pin is or what the number is. I’m just trying to flight something and put it on the green.”

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13.)  Azalea

Par-5 510 (18) – The easiest hole on the course is a great risk-reward hole. A draw off the tee is a necessity. Errant tee shots and over the green can bring big numbers into play. The green slopes from back-to-front and left to right and players will have tap in eagles when the pin is in the front right. Rae’s Creek protects the front of the green forcing players who miss the fairway to lay up. Justin Thomas was in contention last year before making a triple on Azalea thanks to a poor tee shot and Rae’s Creek.

Tiger Woods: “When I think back to all of the Masters I’ve played, several favorite spots come to mind. I put the tee box at 13 at the top of the list. Why? In my early days at Augusta National, I remember hearing one of the coolest sounds in all of golf — the distinctive tone of a persimmon clubhead striking the ball. You’re back there all by yourselves — just players and caddies — and that sound among the pines was one of the sweetest I’ve ever heard.”

"13 – Azalea"

14.)  Chinese Fir

Par-4 440 (11) – The only hole on the course without a single hazard is an uphill, dogleg left with the largest green on the course. The green slopes significantly from left to right. A back-left pin location is tough to get at but anything on the lower right will allow players to funnel the ball towards the cup.

Adam Scott: “The tee shot is one you have to pay attention to, but it’s not overly difficult, especially if you can draw the ball.  This hole provides another example of a green that dictates how you play your approach shot. The toughest pin placement is probably middle or back left. Hitting that little left-hand shelf is risky because if you miss left, then you really have no shot to get it close due to the pitch of the green.  The putting surface is much like that of 5, where you can take your medicine and play to the middle some 30 to 35 feet away and play for a two-putt par.  It can be an opportunity hole at times, too. We’ve seen some feeder pins and some exciting things happen here. It’s the beauty of the Masters. You can turn the tournament on its head by making a two here.”

"14 – Chinese Fir"

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AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 11: A general view of the 15th green as Marc Leishman of Australia putduring the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2021 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

15.)  Firethorn

Par-5 550 (16) – This hole is one of the best scoring opportunities on the course but all of Augusta National’s par-5s are high risk, high reward. The green slopes from back to front so players must be careful not to spin the ball too much or they will find the water in the front. There’s a severe downslope behind the green and if players catch that on the fly, the ball will ricochet into the water behind the green.

Dustin Johnson: “The tee shot is pretty flat, but the second shot is downhill a good ways. The green is not that deep, even on the right side, because the first eight paces — if your ball lands there, it comes back into the water. If you miss it right [off-the-tee], you’ve really got no chance. Depending on the direction of the wind, from the far-left side I still have a chance, but if I miss it right, zero chance.”

"15 – Firehorn"

16.)  Redbud

Par-3 170 (13) – The pin location here determines the difficulty as much as any on Augusta National. The green slopes severely from right to left. The Sunday back left pin location will filter an abundance of tee shots near and maybe in the hole. A back-right hole placement requires a precise tee shot or else players will be facing a 40-foot uphill putt.

Jack Nicklaus: “Basically, I see the middle of a green and a ridge, which is going to direct the ball to one side of the green or the other. It doesn’t look that much from the tee, but once you get on the green — throw a ball on it and watch it roll back — it rolls to a pretty consistent spot. So, when the pin is on the left side, it’s more about making sure you have the right distance than it is about accuracy.”

"16 – Redbud"

17.)  Nandina

Par-4 440 (9) – This hole features an uphill, semi-blind approach into an elevated green. It’s better to be right than left off-the-tee to have an angle to get the ball on the green. The green feeds from left to right, so the back left pin location is the hardest on this hole. Any slight miss will cause the ball to roll right leaving a difficult two-putt.

Jason Day: “It is a demanding tee shot. If you get a good drive away you might have a wedge in your hand, so it is a hole that might not bring any fears, but it is one you have to respect. If you add variables like weather and wind, then the approach becomes tricky. Long is dead and short brings problems as well. You don’t want to kill your momentum here with a mental error. The second shot is imperative. From the fairway you can’t see the back of the green, you only see the lip of the front bunker. The depth perception makes it feel like it’s not very deep even though it is.”

"17 – Nadina"

18.)  Holly

Par-4 465 (6) –A good tee shot will land in the fairway just short of the bunker. The easiest pin location is at the front of the green and the hardest is at the back. The finishing hole at Augusta is challenging and has the potential for a birdie-bogey two-shot swing.

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Tiger Woods: “My tee-shot strategy is dictated by the wind. If it’s out of the north, more of a headwind, I’ll hit driver. If it’s calm, I’ll hit 3-wood. Basically, I’m using a club that puts me just short of the closest fairway bunker on the left side. From there, it’s about a 5-iron to 8-iron to the green, depending on conditions. The most difficult hole location is back-left. Masters officials don’t put it there very often, but it’s a bear, only about a yard and a half beyond the crest. There’s a lot of room behind it, but long is not where you want to go.”

"18 – Holly"