Hole to watch at Augusta: No. 13
No. 13: 510 yards, par 5
What’s distinctive: The course that championed the “par 41⁄2” still has the most exciting and risky par 5s in all of championship golf. The most graceful is the relentless dogleg-left 13th hole, the culminating point of Amen Corner. The hole is protected on the lower inside left by a stream that laces across the front of the green and is decidedly in play on second shots. The creek especially is a factor for second shots from the right rough – a common landing spot for drives that don’t quite make it around the bend.
What to look for: OK, so Augusta’s par 5s are not quite as scary as they used to be, but with the 2010 Masters, the first major to played under the new grooves rules, it’ll be fascinating to see how ball flight and player decision-making are affected when it comes to play from Augusta National’s 11⁄2-inch “first cut” of rough. A flyer from the rough will leave an extremely difficult recovery from a swale behind the green or from one of those four big, white, puffy-cloud bunkers. Smart players know how to use a bank about two-thirds of
the way into the green for back-boarding approach shots; anything landed too close to the front and with spin easily can zip back into the water. It’s a great short par 5 because there are plenty of options – and all of them demand precision.
Course ranking: No. 9, Golfweek’s Best Classic Course list