At Augusta National Golf Club, trouble awaits at every turn. However, during the 2017 Masters, a handful of holes have stood out as the hardest on the golf course.
For whoever puts on the green jacket on Sunday evening, negotiating these holes are at the top of the list of challenges in the final round.
The 5 hardest holes at Augusta National Golf Club
1. Hole 1 (Tea Olive) -- Par 4, 445 yards
This year: 4.54 through three rounds
Historically: 4.245 (4th hardest)
The changes by Tom Fazio in lengthening it made it so most players can’t carry the bunker off the tea, leaving them a long iron into the green instead of a wedge or short iron.
2. Hole 11 (White Dogwood) -- Par 4, 505 yards
This year: 4.37 through three rounds
Historically: 4.35 (Hardest)
The opening hole of Amen Corner, Herbert Warren Wind named it that after listening to an old jazzy spiritual, but the reference to the golf course is because if you get past 11, 12 and 13 even par or better, you say “Amen.” With water left, swales right and gargantuan length, there is good reason why it plays the hardest hole on the course.
3. Hole 18 (Holly) -- Par 4, 465 yards
This year: 4.30
Historically: 4.159 (8th hardest)
It’s fitting that the closing hole should make this list, because a truly great 18th hole is a summation of all that came before it. At a major championship, the 18th should demand your best drive of the day and your best second shot. The tee shot must be threaded between the bunker of the left and the trees on the right. Once again, severe chipping swales guard the green, so getting up-and-down to save your green jacket will induce white-knuckle terror.
4. Hole 12 (Golden Bell) -- Par 3, 155 yards
This year: 3.26
Historically: 3.094 (13th Hardest)
So much has been written about 12, from Nakajimi and Weiskopf to Spieth and McIlroy. It’s a pint-sized terror that will sink your scorecard.
5. Hole 17 (Nandina) -- Par 4, 440 yards
This year: 4.23
Historically: 4.148 (9th hardest)
This was a surprise given the number of birdies No. 17 surrenders on Championship Sunday.