The hardest hole at Augusta National, according to a Top 100 Teacher
Although the pros can make it look easy at times, make no mistake, Augusta National is a difficult golf course. The greens are as slippery as you’ll ever see, the elevation changes are dramatic and the pitch to the putting surfaces will put you in a bind if you get out of position.
Most people will never get the chance to play Augusta National (save for the lucky few), so learning about the intricacies of the course has to come through proxy. But talk to anyone who has gotten a crack at the course and they’ll give you the same stories.
Augusta National is famously mum on all aspects of their club, but thanks to the few who are welcome on the grounds — not to mention the yearly Masters Tournament — we can shape a perception of it.
One of the most intriguing questions about Augusta National is what’s the hardest hole out there? The pros make all of them look easy, but surely one (or more) would give amateurs absolute fits.
Several holes have been the most difficult scoring holes in the past decade — Nos. 1, 4 and 11, just to name a few — but according to one Top 100 Teacher, one hole sticks out in terms of difficulty at the famed course.
“I’ve woken up many times in the middle of the night with the nightmare of No. 5,” Sean Foley said.
The hole might not look daunting on the scorecard, measuring at just 405 yards from the member tees, but this hole is a beast. The bunkers on the left side of the fairway are so deep that if you get in them, you can’t even see where you are hitting. And the green is one of the most difficult on the course.
“You get to have about a 5- or a 6-iron into a green that has about a seven-foot area where you can land it and keep it on the green,” Foley said.
Three-time Masters winner Gary Player went so far as to say leaving the ball in the wrong spot when approaching the green forces you to “have to be Houdini to escape with par.”
In 2019, the hole played as the hardest on the course during the Masters, playing .336 strokes over par for the duration of the tournament.
So, if you ever do get a chance to tee it up at Augusta National, don’t take the 5th hole lightly. Avoid the fairway bunkers, and whatever you do, don’t miss short left or short right of the green.
“I’ve never been on that hole and felt comfortable watching my guys,” Foley said. “I think it’s one of the hardest holes in the history of the game.”
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