Published March 31, 2012
A hole-by-hole look at Augusta National, site of the 76th Masters to be played April 5-8, with famous shots played at each one, 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 pitched a low-running shot from the right mounds across the green and holed the shot for a birdie to begin the final round of his 2011 victory.
Average score and rank: 4.23 (tie for 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. It is the only par 5 that has not yielded an albatross.
Masters memory: Phil Mickelson hit his tee shot into the creek on the left, took a penalty drop, then went for the green with a driver off the deck that he had to bend some 80 yards around the trees. It reached the front of the green, and he made a 90-foot birdie putt to get into contention in 2003.
Average score and rank: 4.80 (16th)
No. 3, 350 yards, par 4 (Flowering Peach): One of the best short par 4s in golf, this hole that 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 tee to stay short of four bunkers on the left side.
Masters memory: Jeff Maggert was leading in the final round in 2003 when he found a fairway bunker to the left. His shot ricocheted off the face of the bunker and struck him in the chest for a two-stroke penalty. He took triple bogey on the hole and never recovered.
Average score and rank: 4.09 (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: Jeff Sluman made the only ace on this hole in Masters history with a 4-iron from 213 yards in 1992. It carried him to a 65 and a share of the first-round lead.
Average score and rank: 3.29 (4th)
No. 5, 455 yards, par 4 (Magnolia): An uphill, slight dogleg to the left with two very deep bunkers guarding the left side some 300 yards from the tee. 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.
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: 4.27 (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. He missed the playoff between Ben Hogan and Sam Snead by one shot,
Average score and rank: 3.14 (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 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: 4.15 (tie for 11th)
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 and 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: 4.84 (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: 4.15 (tie for 11th)
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: Ben Crenshaw was at the front of the green with the pin to the back. With his challengers watching from the fairway, Crenshaw holed a 60-foot birdie putt and went on to win by two shots over Tom Watson.
Average score and rank: 4.32 (1st)
No. 11, 505 yards, par 4 (White Dogwood): Amen Corner starts here. The tee was lengthened by 15 yards in 2006, but some pine trees have been removed on the right side, although the landing area is still tight. 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: 4.29 (3rd)
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: Fred Couples' tee shot came up just short of the green and began to tumble down the bank into Rae's Creek when it was stopped by a blade of grass. He chipped to 4 feet to save par, and went on to beat Raymond Floyd by two shots in 1992.
Average score and rank: 3.29 (2nd)
No. 13, 510 yards, par 5 (Azalea): An accurate tee shot to the center of the fairway sets up players to go for the green. 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: 4.80 (17th)
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: Horton Smith chipped in for birdie from 50 feet in the final round on his way to a 72 and a one-shot lead over Harry "Lighthorse" Cooper in 1936.
Average score and rank: 4.18 (8th)
No. 15, 530 yards, par 5 (Firethorn): 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: 4.79 (15th)
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: 3.16 (9th)
No. 17, 440 yards, par 4 (Nandina): The Eisenhower Tree to the left of the fairway is prominent at 210 yards from the tee, requiring another accurate tee shot. The green is protected by two bunkers in the front.
Masters memory: Jack Nicklaus made his final birdie in 1986 with an 18-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: 4.16 (10th)
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 to a green that has a bunker in front and to the right.
Masters memory: Arnold Palmer was tied in 1960 with Ken Venturi, who was in the clubhouse at 5-under 283. He hit 6-iron into 6 feet and made the birdie, becoming the first Masters champion to birdie the last two holes to win by one stroke.
Average score and rank: 4.23 (6th)