Masters 2020: Every hole at Augusta National, ranked!

No golf course produces more fireworks down the stretch than Augusta National. Just when you think that this year’s Masters can’t top the one before, it does — and the drama-inducing design is what elevates the excitement. Still … some holes are better than others.

In 2018, polled 12 of our Top 100 Course Ranking panelists, which included pros, architects and scholars, and tasked them with ranking Augusta National’s holes in descending order of greatness. We awarded 54 points for a first-place vote, 51 for second, etc.

There were surprises, including the low-key 14th besting the famed risk/reward 15th. A consensus reveals that there’s not a single weak hole at Augusta National. Every hole had at least one proponent. Here are the results, and the justifications behind them.

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18. No. 17, par 4, 440 yards

141 points
Highest Rank: 5
Lowest Rank: 18

Comments: “A deceptively good hole, because the tee shot is kind of exacting”; “Green is subtle, yet powerful, especially on the mind of a player on Sunday who’s chasing a leader or trying to protect a lead”; “Just not very inspiring and tough”; “Losing the Eisenhower Tree was huge.”

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17. No. 7, par 4, 450 yards

219 points
Highest Rank: 6
Lowest Rank: 18

Comments: “With the narrowing of the fairway, they’ve made the hole more interesting. Now you’re really challenged to hit driver, because you don’t want to be approaching this green with a 5- or 6-iron”; “Approach shots can be funneled to tucked pins — always fun — but I liked it better when it was shorter.”

Jonathan Wall

16. No. 5, par 4, 455 yards

225 points
Highest Rank: 4
Lowest Rank: 18

Comments: “The green is unique and truly outstanding. I hope they lengthen the hole to require the long-iron run-in approach that was originally intended”; “Tough tee shot, interesting green.”

Jonathan Wal

15. No. 4, par 3, 240 yards

252 points
Highest Rank: 4
Lowest Rank: 16

Comments: “MacKenzie and Jones’s homage to the Eden. What’s not to love?”; “Long slog of a par-3 with not much room to miss.”

MillerBrown

14. No. 1, par 4, 445 yards

255 points
Highest Rank: 4
Lowest Rank: 18

Comments: “Overly narrow for an opening hole, but has a fantastic green”; “Toughest starting hole in the world, with great contour and mound on the green surface”; “If you don’t hit the fairway, it’s a tough opener”; “I liked it better when players were challenged to carry the fairway bunker on the right.”

Jonathan Wall

13. No. 6, par 3 180 yards

267 points
Highest Rank: 4
Lowest Rank: 17

Comments: “Interesting green where you can use contours to get it close”; “Beautiful hole. On the tee it feels like you’re hitting off of a cliff, but it plays largely level”; “Great visual deception”; “Massive undulation and tiers in that largely underappreciated green; “Great hole that gets overlooked because of 12 and 16.”

Christian Hafer

12. No. 2, par 5, 575 yards

303 points
Highest Rank: 3
Lowest Rank: 18

Comments: “Fun green and strategy with no water”; “Good early-round test of shotmaking and placement.”

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11. No. 15, par 5, 530 yards

309 points
Highest Rank: 3
Lowest Rank: 18

[Tied for 9th; awarded 11th spot due to “Lowest Rank” number]

Comments: “History probably causes me to rank this so high, but I love the feast or famine aspect”; “Such a dramatic second shot”; “Without the pond in front, not much of a hole, but dramatic in the midst of a back nine charge”; “Really interesting third shot, but first two shots don’t much matter.”

Jonathan Wall

10. No. 8, par 5, 570 yards

309 points
Highest Rank: 3
Lowest Rank: 17

[Tied for 9th; awarded 10th spot due to better “Lowest Rank” than Number 15]

Comments: “Great strategy beyond the tee shot based only on contours, not bunkers”; “Uphill battle with wonderful punchbowl green”; “Fun finish line with the great green and corresponding mounding”; “A little too goofy and luck-dependent. One foot left or one foot right at the green makes a world of difference.”

Jonathan Wall

9. No. 9, par 4, 460 yards

309 points
Highest Rank: 3
Lowest Rank: 16

[Tied for 9th; awarded ninth spot due to better “Lowest Rank” than Number 8 and Number 15]

Comments: “Love the severe false front and green contouring. Makes it truly distinctive”; “How I wish I could have played this hole with MacKenzie’s original boomerang-shaped green. Still a great hole”; “A good hole, not great”; “Requires a hard hook on the tee shot and is nearly impossible to put the tee shot in the proper position to approach the green.”

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8. No. 18, par 4, 465 yards

315 points
Highest Rank: 5
Lowest Rank: 18

Comments: “Demands execution to score, but fair”; “Great finishing hole. Most people don’t realize just how severely uphill this plays”; “Off of the tee, as narrow as a hallway in a tract house.”

7. No. 3, par 4, 350 yards

351 points
Highest Rank: 2
Lowest Rank: 16

Comments: “Really interesting — where you hit it depends crucially on where the pin is placed”; “A terrific hole, with so many choices on how to play it”; “Can wreak havoc with its uphill approach and false front at the green”; “A better hole now that many players can drive the green.”

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6. No. 14, par 4, 440 yards

399 points
Highest Rank: 1
Lowest Rank: 15

Comments: “Despite the long-ago loss of the really cool, very long ‘Duffer’s Headache’ bunker off the tee, the hole is still brilliant in its strategy from tee to green”; “Most interesting green at Augusta”; “Great ground-level green on the natural slope line with contour”; “Probably the best contoured green in the world.”

MillerBrown

5. No. 11, par 4, 505 yards

414 points
Highest Rank: 3
Lowest Rank: 16

Comments: “Fun, creative recovery shots in the face of danger”; “Such a tough test of driving now, but necessary to challenge the pros”; “So gorgeous, so hard”; “I would love to see the original creek bed restored here instead of the pond. It would make gambling great fun, even for the everyday player!”

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4. No. 16, par 3, 179 yards

426 points
Highest Rank: 2
Lowest Rank: 18

Comments: “The most fun par 3”; “The contours of the green make this hole endlessly interesting”; “Too hard when the pin is back-right, but a blast to play with every other hole location.”

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3. No. 10, par 4, 495 yards

492 points
Highest Rank: 2
Lowest Rank: 13

Comments: “Maybe the best driving hole in golf”; “Watching your drive turn and disappear on the left side of the saddle is cool to watch”; “Beautiful, historic”; “Incredible how far downhill it plunges”; “My favorite bunker in golf and it gets no action.”

Paul Severn

2. No. 12, par 3, 155 yards

543 points
Highest Rank: 1
Lowest Rank: 12

Comments: “Iconic but brutal”; “The best hole because it resists every equipment advance”; “Most people don’t know the creek is concrete-lined”; “Fraught with danger with its slender green and impossible-to-figure-out wind”; “I love this hole!”

Rob Brown

1. No. 13, par 5, 510 yards

627 points
Highest Rank: 1
Lowest Rank: 4

Comments: “Best short par-5 in the world”; “The most fun hole where anything could happen”; “The ultimate daring hole. Despite equipment advances, the hole still gets into a good player’s head”; “The most beautiful, strategic hole in golf.”

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