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Par-3 Course

The Augusta Chronicle sportswriters explain the unusual, but fun Par-3 Contest. They also debunk (maybe) the legend of the Par-3 curse. Extra: photos from past contests and a map of the course.

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Hole by Hole Guide

Fan's guide

Though Augusta National is steeped in tradition, change on the golf course has always been part of the plan. Take a tour of the Masters course at Augusta National to see what's new.

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Hole No. 1 - Tea Olive

The slight dogleg right is not the easiest tee shot golfers will face. Carrying the fairway bunker will require a drive of 300 yards, and shorter hitters will face an uphill shot to the undulating green.

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Hole No. 2 - Dogwood

A slight draw off the tee sets up a chance to reach the par-5 green in two. Bunkers in front of the green often come into play.

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Hole No. 3 - Flowering Peach

Most players opt for position off the tee with a long iron or a fairway wood. The small green, which slopes from right to left, is not entirely visible from the fairway.

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Hole No. 4 - Flowering Crabapple

This tough par-3 requires a long-iron shot to the green, which is guarded by a pair of bunkers.

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Hole No. 5 - Magnolia

The deep fairway bunkers on the left require a carry of 315 yards around the dogleg. Large humps in the green make it a challenging putting surface.

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Hole No. 6 - Juniper

This downhill par-3 usually requires no more than a medium iron to the large, undulating green. Put the ball on the wrong part of the green, however, and a three-putt is likely.

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Hole No. 7 - Pampas

The new tee installed in 2002 puts a driver back into most players' hands. The hole features a narrow fairway to an elevated, well-bunkered green.

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Hole No. 8 - Yellow Jasmine

A large fairway bunker makes this par-5 difficult to reach in two shots. A blind uphill shot awaits those who are tempted to go for it in two.

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Hole No. 9 - Carolina Cherry

The severely sloped green makes par a challenge. Accuracy off the tee is required, and approach shots that are short of the target often roll off the green.

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Hole No. 10 - Camelia

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.

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Hole No. 11 - White Dogwood

The start of Amen Corner is the most difficult hole in recent years because of its added length. A slight fade off the tee is necessary to reach the fairway. The greenside pond is more of a factor, because players have longer shots into the green.

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Hole No. 12 - Golden Bell

The shortest hole is a bear to play because of swirling winds. It's usually a medium- or short-iron shot to a narrow green that is protected by Rae's Creek in front and azaleas behind.

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Hole No. 13 - Azalea

The classic risk-reward hole became more challenging with a new tee added in 2002. A slight draw is required to get into position for the second shot to the par-5, but a tributary of the creek catches shots that come up short.

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Hole No. 14 - Chinese Fir

It's the only hole on the course without a bunker, but a severe green provides plenty of problems. Players often have to hit driver instead of a 3-wood, and a sloping fairway kicks shots into trouble on the right. Large undulations on the green make this the trickiest to putt.

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Hole No. 15 - Fire Thorn

Changes made in the last decade make reaching this par-5 hole in two shots a challenge, but plenty of birdies will be had. A pond guards the green in front, but those who lay up face a hard shot from a downhill lie.

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Hole No. 16 - Redbud

This par-3 requires anything from a short- to medium-iron shot. The green is the hole's main defense; being below the hole is a must. The back bunker and a pond on the left also pose hazards.

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Hole No. 17 - Nandina

Players must negotiate Ike's Tree off the tee, but for most it's a short-iron second shot into a rock-hard green.

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Hole No. 18 - Holly

The closing hole has become a 465-yard challenge with the extension of the tee in 2002. An accurate drive is a must, and an expanded bunker complex requires a clout of 335 yards to carry. Trees to the left of the bunkers prevent a bailout on that side, and the elevated green is guarded by bunkers.

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The challenge on 14

Watch a 3D animation showing the difficulties faced on Hole 14, widely regarded as the toughest green on the course.
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Bobby Jones on the design of Augusta National

1. Dr. Mackenzie and I believe that no good golf hole exists that does not afford a proper and convenient solution to the average golfer and the short player, as well as to the more powerful and accurate expert.

2. We have always felt that the make-or-break character of many of the holes of our second nine has been largely responsible for rewarding our spectators with so many dramatic finishes. It has always been a nine that could be played in the low thirties or the middle forties.

Alister Mackenzie on the design of Augusta National

1. There should be little walking between the greens and tees, and the course should be arranged so that in the first instance there is always a slight walk forwards from the green to the next tee; then the holes are sufficiently elastic to be lengthened in the future if necessary.

2. There should be a minimum of blindness for the approach shots.

3. There should be a sufficient number of heroic carries from the tee, but the course should be arranged so that the weaker player with the loss of a stroke or portion of a stroke shall always have an alternative route open to him.


Practice made perfect

The Masters Tournament is famous for offering players and patrons the best of everything. Now it offers a world-class practice facility that duplicates the conditions found on the course.
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Early decision set the stage for drama 

A panel of golfers, architects and media look back at the decision to reverse the nines at Augusta National and how that decision made the Masters what it is today.
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Course design follows Augusta National's lead

No American golf course has been as inspiring to golfers, architects and fans than Augusta National Golf Club.
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What would they call Amen Corner if they had to play it early in round?

If Augusta National's nines had not been reversed, would we still have Amen Corner?
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Double or nothing: Draw up 19th hole Mackenzie wanted

One hole Alister Mackenzie called for in his original plan of Augusta National Golf Club never came to fruition: the 19th.
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National hasn't always been picture perfect

Anyone who started competing in the Masters during the early 1970s might think the Augusta National was always immaculate.

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Nothing cosmetic

Here's how Mother Nature and environmentally friendly maintenance practices create awe-inspiring beauty of the Augusta National Golf Club.

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One ball rule ignored by most

Placed near the tee markers on the first and 10th hole and in plain sight, signs read "Practice rounds, use one ball only."

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