Masters holes: Augusta National’s par-4 17th hole, explained by Nick Faldo

In the 65 years since the Masters Tournament was first televised, golf fans have seen every inch of Augusta National’s beauty in high-def close-up. What you’ve never seen is the course — hole by hole, tee box by tee box — through the eyes of 18 living Masters champions, from Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Dustin Johnson, Ben Crenshaw and beyond. Until now. Eighteen holes, 18 winners, 18 ways of seeing Augusta National anew.

Hole No. 17: Par-4 / 440 yards (Nandina)

By Nick Faldo (1989, 1990, 1996 Masters champion)

What you see off the tee: “In my day, it was possible to get to the top of the hill and leave a short iron into green. Now it plays much longer, with added trees down the right. It makes for quite a demanding tee shot.”

What you don’t know until you’ve played it: “If you’re stuck back on the upslope with a mid-iron in your hand, with very little depth perception, it makes it very difficult to judge.”

Where you will gain the greatest advantage: “If you are extremely long and can get to the top of the hill.”

Where you will make the biggest mistake: “The biggest mistake would be long right, over the green. It’s at least eight feet below the green surface, trying to land the ball on a downslope!”

Why it’s unforgettable to me: “My best memory is from ’89, when I holed a long putt up and over the ridge from the left side. It was raining; I gave it a slap and it went in with great speed! Scott Hoch kindly reminded me, ‘If you’d missed that, you would have finished fourth.'”

Did you know… Only four players have back-to-back birdies on 17 and 18 to win the Masters. Last to do it: Charl Schwartzel, in 2011.


Augusta National Golf Club via Getty Images


Augusta National Golf Club via Getty Images

generic profile image