The 5 hardest holes at Augusta National Golf Club

The 5 hardest holes at Augusta National Golf Club

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.

About the author

Jay Flemma

Jay Flemma

Starting with a blog and a dream, Jay Flemma launched his first sports-writing website in 2004. Some 13 years and 25 major golf championships later, Jay has won multiple national sports writing awards. Besides GNN, his work has appeared in numerous books as well as on-line at Cybergolf,, GolfObserver, and many other sites and print magazines. When not trying to find a lost golf ball, Jay is an entertainment, copyright, Internet, sports and trademark lawyer in Manhattan. His clients have been nominated for Grammy and Emmy awards, won a Sundance Film Festival Best Director award, performed on stage and screen, and designed pop art for museums and collectors. Jay lives in Forest Hills, N.Y., and is fiercely loyal to his alma maters, Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and Trinity College in Connecticut.