Masters Back Nine

Golfmagic's former editor Bob Warters relives memories of each hole at the home of the first major

Bob Warters
Tue, 8 Apr 2014
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No.10 Camelia

Description: Par-4, 495 yards. Historically the toughest hole at Augusta National, the tee shot requires a hard hook to gain extra distance. Drives that go too far right will leave a long second shot; if they go too far left, trees are a problem. Ranked 1st (4.32 average).

Incidents: So many here over the years as it’s traditionally the first play-off hole - Scott Hoch missing a three footer which would have beaten Nick Faldo in 1989 stands out, as does the start of McIlroy’s meltdown in 2011. But Bubba Watson’s title winning pitch from behind the trees will stick in the memory for ever.

Personal: Called to the tee in pouring rain, I found the fairway but then the giant finger bunker (twice) before pitching and four-putting for seven!

No.11 White Dogwood

Description: Par-4, 505 yards. Lengthened by more than 50 yards in the last 20 years, this hole is the start of Amen Corner. A strong fade off the tee is necessary, avoiding new trees on the right. The greenside pond is more of a factor, because players have longer shots into the green. Ranked 3rd (4.29 average).

Incidents: Ben Hogan never flirted with the pond. He’d say ‘If you see me on the green in two I’ve mishit the shot!’ Larry Mize sensationally chipped in to beat Greg Norman in 1987.

Personal: Like Ray Floyd in the 1990 playoff with Faldo, I found water (but with my third shot) and took seven.

No.12 Golden Bell

Description: Par-3, 155 yards. The shortest hole on the course is deceptive to play because of swirling winds that you can’t feel on the tee. For the pros it’s usually 7- or 8-iron shot to a shallow green protected by Raes Creek in front and azaleas behind which can gobble your ball like a black hole. Ranked 2nd (3.30 average).

Inciedents: Famously Fred Couples’ approach stuck on the bank in 1992 before he went on to win. But it’s greatest victim was probably Bobby Mitchell whom, in 1972, played the hole in 5-4-4-4 and lost the tournament to Jack Nicklaus by three shots!

Personal: My main claim to Augusta fame. I hit 6-iron to the back of the green and holed a nervy five-footer for my par! Walking over the Hogan Bridge beside the green gave me goose bumps.

No.13 Azalea

Description: Par-5, 510 yards. This classic risk-reward, dogleg-left hole became more challenging with a new tee added in 2002. A draw is required to get into position for the second shot to the par-5. The creek catches and shots that come up short. Ranked 17th (4.80 average).

Incidents: In the final round in 1994, American Jeff Maggert hit his second shot on to the green and the ball rolled in for an albatross 2 - the only time it has been achieved on this hole. You could hear the roar from the clubhouse.

Personal: After my par on 12, I so wanted to maintain my momentum after going 7, 7, 3. Sadly I topped my tee shot, hooked the next into Rae Creek and finally reached the green with a career 5-wood before three-putting for 9.

No.14 Chinese Fir

Description: Par-4, 440 yards. No bunkers here but still a difficult hole. Players often have to hit driver instead of a 3-wood to hold the ball up to the left as asloping fairway kicks shots into trouble on the right. Large undulations on the green and severe left to right slope make this the trickiest to putt on. Ranked 8th (4.18 average).

Incidents: Phil Mickelson holed out for eagle during an eagle-eagle-birdie stretch on Saturday in 2010 that helped him get into the final group. He won his third green jacket the next day.

Personal: Met sporting legends Ian Botham, Jonathan Davies, Allan Border and Laura Davies watching the action behind the 14th green.

No.15 Fire Thorn

Description: Par-5, 530 yards. Setting the tee back and planting 40-foot trees on the right of the fairway in the last decade have added to the difficulties where a turtle-inhabited pond guards the green. Those who lay up still face a tought shot from a downhill lie. Ranked 18th (4.79 average).

Incidents: 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. Seve Ballesteros had a two-shot lead over a charging Jack Nicklaus in 1986 when, concerned he had too much club for his second shot, the Spaniard decelerated and hit the water.

Personal: For years on TV I watched a tall, blond poseur in outrageous colours stand in the same spot behind the tee and be the first to applaud every shot. I made it my mission to track him down. I did in 1994 and it turns out he was a radio presenter from South Carolina who just wanted to get himself on the telly! 

No.16 Redbud

Description: Par-3, 170 yards. This par-3 requires anything from a short to medium iron. The green is the hole’s key defence and keeping the ball below the hole is a must. The back bunker and a pond can also come into play. Ranked 9th (3.16 average).

Incidents: 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 two full seconds before dropping in for birdie.

Personal: Nervously I found the water with my first attempt but encouraged to try again by my caddie, I punched a low 6-iron to the middle of the green and got my par with the second ball. 

No.17 Nandina

Description: Par-4, 440 yards. The Eisenhower Tree to the left, named after the former US President who was a member here, is prominent from the tee forcing player to aim to the right. The green is protected by two bunkers in the front and a steep roll-off to the right. Ranked 10th (4.16 average).

Incidents: Stuart Appleby had a four-shot lead late in the third round of 2007 when he hit his tee shot so far left it went into a bunker on the seventh green. He hit into another bunker on the 17th, and three-putted for a triple bogey.

Personal: It’s a steep climb from the tee that leaves you breathless when you reach the brow of the hill. Probably the fastest green on the course.

No.18 Holly

Description: Par-4, 465 yards. A huge closing challenge since the extension of the tee in 2002. Accuracy and legnth is vital uphill toward the angle of the dogleg and an expanded bunker complex at 335 yards. Trees to the left of the bunkers prevent a bailout and the elevated green is guarded by bunkers. Ranked tied-6th (4.23 average).

Incident: Sandy Lyle was tied for the lead in 1988 with Mark Calcavecchia when he hit 1-iron into the fairway bunker, then 7-iron over the lip. The ball rolled back to ten feet and he holed the putt for birdie to win.

Personal: I followed Ian Woosnam up 18 in 1991 as he smashed his tee shot over the bunkers into the crowd. His 9-iron approach reached the edge of the green and two putts were enough for victory. I was among his special guests at his celebration party.

What's your favourite Augusta hole to watch? Or maybe you would like to share your favourite memory of the Masters? Tell us in the forum below, or tweet us on @Golfmagic.

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