Course Rater Confidential: What are the best, worst and most underrated holes at Augusta National?

April 10, 2020
A shot of the 11th green at Augusta National.

So maybe you’ve never played Augusta National, but lucky for you dozens of our distinguished course raters have. Some know the place better than their own backyards. To honor the Masters week that never was, we polled more than 60 of our raters — and granted them anonymity — to answer our questions about the course’s ranking, best holes, most terrifying putts, Tiger-proofing and more. We’ll roll it out all week long so check back to see the next batch of questions and answers, and you can learn more about our course raters here.

What’s the strongest hole at Augusta National?

13th – 43.7%
12th – 21.0%
11th – 11.3%
3rd – 6.4%
10th – 3.2%
14th – 3.2%
15th – 3.2%
8th – 3.2%
5th – 1.6%
18th – 1.6%
16th – 1.6%

PANELIST COMMENTS

The 10th. Perhaps the best driving hole in the world with a well-protected green and an inspiring look.

3rd hole. A short par-4 with the most interesting green on the course.

12. Great short shot with a great angled green, and it’s super risk-reward with the pin on right side. Add some wind and weeeeee!

13. So frequently it seems to play a role in the outcome of the tournament. One of those classic reachable par-5s where the line between making eagle/birdie and making bogey can be oh-so-thin.

The 13th green at Augusta National.
The 13th green at Augusta National.
Getty Images

What’s the weakest hole?

7th – 19.7%
17th – 12.9%
18th – 12.9%
4th – 9.7%
3rd – 6.4%
8th – 6.4%
16th – 4.8%
11th – 4.8%
9th – 4.8%
5th – 3.2%
14th – 3.2%
6th – 3.2%
1st – 3.2%
2nd – 1.6%
10th – 1.6%
None – 1.6%

PANELIST COMMENTS

The 18th. It’s an incredibly narrow hole, particularly given that you have to curve the ball off the tee. This is combined with a steeply uphill approach to a two-tiered green that makes the approach shot potluck for all but the very best. The 15th is also an indifferent hole. Malvolio’s line in the Twelfth Night or What You Will is the best way I can describe the hole. Some holes are born great, some achieve greatness, and 15 at Augusta National had greatness thrust upon it.

The 6th. If the green wasn’t so heavily sloped it could be found on any old goat track.

9th hole. The uphill approach shot off a downhill lie over a bunker is one-dimensional and only for the high-launch professional game.

Don’t have any good words here.

What’s the most underrated hole?

3rd – 18.0%
5th – 11.3%
7th – 11.3%
14th – 11.3%
10th – 9.7%
1st – 6.4%
6th – 6.4%
11th – 4.8%
2nd – 3.2%
9th – 3.2%
15th – 3.2%
17th – 3.2%
4th – 1.6%
8th – 1.6%
12th – 1.6%
16th – 1.6%
13th – 1.6%

PANELIST COMMENTS

The 5th. A very difficult long par-4 that plays to a unique and outstanding green.

14. Simple, bunker-less, elegant and thought-provoking.

14th hole. Bunker-less with one of the most interesting greens on the course.

I think 3; it is fabulous. Great short shot to the green, but so precise. Wonderful.

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