5 key holes at Augusta National

2019-04-10 10:38
masters, augusta national
Masters (Getty Images)

Augusta - Five key holes at the 83rd Masters which begins on Thursday at par-72 Augusta National:

445-yard Par-4 1st

The opening slight dogleg right hole named Tea Olive offers a tough tee shot to start the round, with a bunker lurking right and trees to the left. A tricky second shot to a plateau-packed green shrinks the actual target area and provides many tough pin placements.

495-yard Par-4 5th

Magnolia plays 40 yards longer than before after the tee box was moved back following last year. It was repositioned across what used to be a road bordering club property, land purchased by Augusta National for an overall expansion as well as for course-stretching options. Founder Bobby Jones wanted long clubs for second shots and that's what players will have now. It will take 313 yards off the tee to clear bunkers on the left. Most will go right and short to play safe. The reward for clearing the sand is a better chance to hold the green with a more lofted club. The undulating green, already among the toughest putting challenges at Augusta National, will have plenty of people struggling but those who miss it will be in even bigger trouble.

155-yard Par-3 12th

The torment known as Golden Bell, the course's shortest hole, has seen glory and heartache. Swirling winds in the heart of famed "Amen Corner" taunt players on the tee. Pink and white flowers bordering the woods and slope beyond accent a beautiful but deadly layout. Too much punch on the shot and a back bunker awaits with a testy chip back toward Rae's Creek in store. Come up short and a watery fate is very possible, a front bunker offering some hope for the errant. Hitting for the center of the green and walking off with par all week is not so bad a result.

510-yard Par-5 13th

Azalea is a classic risk and reward hole. It takes a slight draw to set up the perfect spot for second shots. Rae's Creek guards the front of the green so if you go for it and come up short, a watery grave is quite likely. But go strong off the tee and an iron could give you an eagle putt. Laying up is no picnic either given some of the pin placements available. There's a reason the last hole of "Amen Corner" produces electrifying shotmaking most every year.

530-yard Par-5 15th

Firethorn sees pine trees pinch the landing area for tee shots and a pond fronts the green for those trying to reach in two. Laying up leaves a hard shot from a downhill lie. The green slopes to the water in the front as well. There's room over a green with some shallow areas but that means chipping back toward the water. Sergio Garcia holed an eagle put in 2017 on the way the victory. In 2018 he plunked five balls in the water for a record-high score of 13.

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