Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Look At Augusta National: #1 - 'Tea Olive'

With the Masters only about 2 months away, I've decided to give a rundown on each hole at Augusta National.

I've been to the Masters twice. Once back in 1997, I borrowed one of the pro's Class 'A' card and drove down from Myrtle Beach and watched a Friday round for free. The other time was a back in 2006, me, my old man and a couple of friends went to see a Tuesday practice round.

As we all know, there's no other golf tournament that has 1/10th the hype that the Masters has. Amazingly, the Masters lives up to every bit of that hype and Augusta National is even more amazing that you could possibly imagine.

For starters, people just don't realize how big the land that takes up Augusta National is. The entrances into the course for the fans are outrageous. It's almost like the size of an entrance to Disney World, only bigger. And the course is GREEN. Really green. Like you will be walking into a wooded area and if there's not pinestraw, there's not one single spot that you would not find to be green. It's actually a place that even non-golf fans can enjoy as long as they can appreciate the beauty and serenity of the golf course. I'm actually trying to get my mom to go for a practice round as she's really into agronomy and landscaping.

Plus, it's rather cheap to go there. I didn't pay for my tickets, but the practice round tickets I believe were $25. You can get a sandwich and a coke for $3.50. I got a nice visor that I wear all of the time on the course for only $15. Just a great experience and if you have the chance to go there, I suggest you jump at the opportunity.

A lot of people complain about the lengthening of the golf course, but I think it's just fine for the pros. Number 10 is a 495 yard par 4, but many of the pros I watched were hitting 3 woods off the tee because it slopes straight down. I found that for almost all of the pros, they could comfortably reach every green with their approach shots, but since the approach shots were longer, that mean they would leave themselves with longer putts on the green, which really is what Augusta National is about. So I found the complaints a bit silly.

Anyway, here's a look at the first hole, Tea Olive:

It's a bit more wide open that it looks. You will actually find this with a lot of the holes at Augusta.

455 yards, par 4

Original Intent:"A drive that is long and straight ... will be in a favorable position for the second. It is difficult to obtain par figures from any other position."- Alister Mackenzie, from the first Masters program

Significant Changes:

- 10 yards added to front of tee. Yardage unchanged
- Fairway bunker adjusted, 2006
- Trees added to left side of fairway, 2006
- Tee moved back 15-20 yards, 2006

Average History Score: 4.23
Average History Score Rank: 7th




Kevin said...

Man dad has been several times and he said even the food wrappers are green. So if someone throws the wrapper on the ground it blends in. He said it's heaven on earth.

Rich H. said...

When I went two years ago for the practice round, I situated myself on the right side of 15. From there I could see approach shots on 17, drives on 15 and drives on 18. I was tired and decided to sit down by a tree and it was so peaceful there I wound up falling asleep up against the tree. I woke up, sort of embarrassed until I saw a handful of other people doing the same thing.