It took our staffer 9,837 steps to walk all 18 holes at Augusta National.

How tough a walk is Augusta National? To find out, we tracked every step, flight and calorie burned

It took our staffer 9,837 steps to walk all 18 holes at Augusta National.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Even causal golf fans know of the heaving fairways and undulating greens of Augusta National, and how you can’t really grasp just how hilly the course is from watching on TV. 

I’m not going to lie, I always thought that was just a slightly-blown-out-of-proportion half-truth perpetuated by the Masters myth-making machine.

So when I learned I was going to have the chance to set foot on the fabled course for the first time last Saturday morning, I decided to conduct an experiment: Walk all 18 holes using my Fitbit to see if the data lived up to the hype. 

The rules for this experiment were simple: walk from tee to green, measuring my steps, heart rate, miles walked, floors climbed and calories burned. I also marked down time stamps on the 1st tee, at the turn and when I completed what I now consider the best walk in golf. 

As you can see below from my initial stats (unadjusted for metrics gathered before commencing my walk), hoofing it around Augusta undoubtedly qualifies as a serious workout.

It’s important to note my baseline resting heart rate was 66 beats per minute when I woke up that morning, as well as the fact that I walked the course as it was set up for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Keep that in mind as you scroll to see the step-by-step breakdown of every hole at Augusta.

Hole 1: Tea Olive, 365-yard par 4

Steps: 652
Heart Rate: 108 bpm
Calories: 58
Miles: 0.21
Floors: 3
Total steps taken: 652

Start time: 10:37 a.m. 

Notes: I’m still not over the fact that I’m at Augusta National! This first part of the fairway is — yep, it’s true — a much steeper downslope than it appears on TV. I’m not looking forward to climbing back up this hill. and it’s only the first hole. 

Hole 2: Pink Dogwood, 515-yard par 5

Steps per hole: 840
Heart Rate: 113 bpm
Calories: 70
Miles: 0.29
Floors: 0
Total steps taken: 1,492

Notes: I never realized until now how long par-5s can be, but at least this hole is back down the hill.

Walking the par-4 third, Flowering Peach, felt like a break after the beast that is Pink Dogwood.

Hole 3: Flowering Peach, 340-yard par 4

Steps per hole: 671
Heart Rate: 105 bpm
Calories: 61
Miles: 0.19
Floors: 4
Total steps taken: 2,163

Notes : 340 yards seems like nothing compared to the 2nd hole. Nice of Augusta to give me a little break after walking that 515-yard beast.

Hole 4: Flowering Crabapple, 170-yard par 3

Steps per hole: 522
Heart Rate: 136 bpm
Calories: 39
Miles: 0.10
Floors: 1
Total steps taken: 2,685

Notes: Another downhill! Also, this tee shot is scary. 

Hole 5: Magnolia, 400-yard par 4

Steps per hole: 536
Heart Rate: 119 bpm
Calories: 33
Miles: 0.23
Floors: 4
Total steps taken: 3,221

Notes: My legs are starting to feel it. 

Par-3s are a blessing on this walk.

Hole 6: Juniper, 165-yard par 3

Steps per hole: 225
Heart Rate: 143 bpm
Calories: 34
Miles: 0.11
Floors: 1
Total steps taken: 3,446

Notes: Well, I’m really glad I brought some water, but I’m starting to wish I hadn’t worn so many layers for this. I’m heating up! 

Hole 7: Pampas, 330-yard par 4

Steps per hole: 565
Heart Rate: 135 bpm
Calories: 53
Miles: 0.19
Floors: 4
Total steps taken: 4,011

Notes: Finally, another semi-flat hole! Err…not so much as you approach the green.

Hole 8: Yellow Jasmine, 480-yard par 5

Steps per hole: 755
Heart Rate: 134 bpm
Calories: 57
Miles: 0.27
Floors: 9
Total steps taken: 4,766

Notes: Steady uphill climb. We’ve got this, though I’m definitely starting to feel peckish.

Walking Augusta National is no joke.

Hole 9: Carolina Cherry, 395-yard par 4

Steps per hole: 609
Heart Rate: 140 bpm
Calories: 61
Miles: 0.22
Floors: 2
Total steps taken: 5,375

Time at the halfway mark: 11:46 a.m.

Notes: OK, now I really wish I’d brought a snack with me. 

Hole 10: Camellia, 450-yard par 4

Steps per hole: 752
Heart Rate: 128 bpm
Calories: 59
Miles: 0.26
Floors: 1
Total steps taken: 6,127

Notes: That guy’s lemonade looks so good. I wonder if there’s a concession stand around here somewhere. Wait, focus on the course not the food! 

Hole 11: White Dogwood, 400-yard par 4

Steps per hole: 392
Heart Rate: 136 bpm
Calories: 27
Miles: 0.23
Floors: 1
Total steps taken: 6,519

Notes: Wow, I’m standing at the start of Amen Corner. *Takes a few moments to take it all in.* Now, about those chicken sandwiches and lemonades…

Azaleas, Hogan’s bridge, what’s not to like about Golden Bell?

Hole 12: Golden Bell, 145-yard par 3

Steps per hole: 465
Heart Rate: 120 bpm
Calories: 65
Miles: 0.08
Floors: 1
Total steps taken: 6,984

Notes: OMG this is where Tiger iced the tournament in 2019. And that’s where he teed off. And that’s where Molinari splashed his ball in the water. This is too cool. And look there’s Hogan’s bridge! I’d be lying if I said I didn’t stop to admire my surroundings for a few minutes. Still hungry, yes, but I think I can make it home without stopping for food. 

Hole 13: Azalea, 455-yard par 5

Steps per hole: 440
Heart Rate: 114 bpm
Calories: 38
Miles: 0.26
Floors: 2
Total steps taken: 7,424

Notes: Running out of water. I better hurry up. 

Hole 14: Chinese Fir, 380-yard par 4

Steps per hole: 393
Heart Rate: 119 bpm
Calories: 26
Miles: 0.22
Floors: 5
Total steps taken: 7,817

Notes: Another hole, another big elevation swing. I’m really starting to get tired of these hills, Augusta…

Firethorn is appropriately named because with two longer holes in a row, you definitely feel the burn on this one.

Hole 15: Firethorn, 475-yard par 5

Steps per hole: 460
Heart Rate: 138 bpm
Calories: 43
Miles: 0.29
Floors: 0
Total steps taken: 8,277

Thoughts: Two meaty holes in a row. I can’t imagine walking AND playing this course like the pros. Granted, their caddies probably don’t forget snacks. 

Hole 16: Redbud, 145-yard par 3 

Steps per hole: 540
Heart Rate: 135 bpm
Calories: 48
Miles: 0.09
Floors: 2
Total steps taken: 8,817

Notes: Whew, a short hole (finally!). So this is where they skip balls across the water during practice rounds? And where Justin Thomas made an ace? That’s pretty cool! 

Hole 17: Nandina, 370-yard par 4

Steps per hole: 485
Heart Rate: 142 bpm
Calories: 41
Miles: 0.23
Floors: 3
Total steps taken: 9,302

Notes: Almost there! But oh look, another hill to climb. I’ll never question Jim Nantz’s constant emphasis on Augusta’s undulations ever again! 

Augusta definitely saved the best (read hardest) for last. The hill up to the 18th green is steep!

Hole 18: Holly, 385-yard par 4

Steps per hole: 535
Heart Rate: 136 bpm
Calories: 50
Miles: 0.24
Floors: 7
Total steps taken: 9,837

End time: 12:55

Noted: Final hole, lets goooo!  

*Five minutes later*

I feel like I’m going to die climbing back up this mini-mountain to the 18th green. I hope there’s someone with a space blanket and a Gatorade waiting for me. 

The final tally of steps, flights, miles, average heart rate and calories burned was impressive.

Final Tally

Total steps: 9,837
Average heart rate: 129 bpm
Total calories: 829
Total miles: 3.71
Total floors: 50

Total Time: 2 hours, 18 minutes

Parting thoughts: I wonder what the record for most sandwiches ever consumed on the grounds of Augusta is, because I’m about to break it. Could also use a nap. And, man, do I have a new appreciation for the caddies lugging heavy staff bags around this place.  

Now, about those elevation changes…  

The total floors ascended while walking Augusta National (50!) is the equivalent of climbing to the top of the Washington Monument, or about two-thirds of the way up the 77-floor Chrysler Building, in New York City. 

Now imagine doing that while trying to smash drives, hit delicate wedge shots and drain 10-foot sliders between every couple of flights.

In terms of calories burned (829 in total), the average Peloton rider burns 400-700 calories in a 45-minute ride. If running is more your speed, the average person running at 6 miles per hour will burn around 560 calories in an hour. An hour of boxing (800 calories) doesn’t even top the walk at Augusta.

Give us the walk around Augusta any day.

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