It's true to say that we're more familiar with the holes at Augusta National than any other golf course used on the PGA or European Tours. Those wonderful pictures beamed back from Georgia each year have become ingrained in our minds and the familiarity adds enormously to our enjoyment. But seeing the course in real life provides some fresh and unexpected angles. Dave Tindall was lucky enough to attend the last four Masters and here he takes us through all 18 holes at Augusta National with photos from his own collection.
"The 10th is a majestic hole where right-handers have to sling a big draw around the corner. Bubba loves to bend a fade/slice. The more action on the ball the more it bounds away down the fairway. I was staggered by how near the white cabins are to the tee."
1st hole (Tea Olive) 445 yards, par 4: A first glimpse of the contoured greens and shaved run-off areas. Par always a good score here. There's the 8th green to the right.
2nd hole (Pink Dogwood) 575 yards, par 5: This is looking back up the hill and gives a sense of the massively wide fairway (spot a little Lee Westwood walking down the right). Jason Day nearly took me out with his drive into trees down the right one time. He made birdie. Plenty of room to escape from these trees.
3rd hole (Flowering Peach) 350 yards, par 4: This is Westwood taking driver. Boom one long and straight over the left-side bunkers and it's just a flick with a wedge left in. If I've backed a player, my realistic ideal is a par at the 1st, a birdie at the 2nd and a birdie here.
4th hole (Flowering Crab Apple) 240 yards, par 3: As a punter, this is an early hole you really fear. From the tee the putting surface looks tiny. Winds swirl and hitting the green promotes a sigh of relief. Phil Mickelson broke my heart here with a triple bogey in the final round in 2012.
5th hole (Magnolia) 455 yards, par 4: Perhaps the least-known/viewed hole on the course. After the easy-to-watch loop of the first four holes, this is where the players 'go out into the country'. As you can see, it's one of the many holes at Augusta where it's best to hit a draw off the tee (or fade for lefties). Bit of a hidden secret this part of the course. When you walk off the left side of the putting surface, there are spectacular views down to the 6th and 16th greens way below.
6th hole (Juniper) 180 yards, par 3: From the elevated tee, this plays 180 yards downhill. Unexpectedly, players hit over spectators' heads (you can see them sat halfway down the slope). A birdie chance but you need to hit the right part of the green. Long is dead; short leads to that oh-so-familiar sight at Augusta of a ball trickling forlornly off the putting surface and back down the hill.
7th hole (Pampas) 450 yards, par 4: If you're a manic leaderboard refresher, you'll be more than glad to see a '4' pop up on your player's scorecard on one of the front nine's less celebrated but more dangerous holes. Requires a straight drive to one of Augusta's narrower fairways and, ideally, a long one too as five bunkers protect the elevated green so coming in with more loft on the club is a big plus.
8th hole (Yellow Jasmine) 570 yards, par 5: The tee has been moved back so the bunker down the right of the fairway is in play a lot more on this uphill hole. Bombers can clear it and go for the green in two and hopefully get a nice roll off one of the slopes which guard the green. Far from an easy birdie chance although punters are inevitably disappointed not to see their man shoot a '4' here.
9th hole (Caroline Cherry) 460 yards, par 4: Lovely viewing hole from the back of the green. The long hitters can blast one down to the wide landing area that sweeps down to the bottom of the hill. A precise second shot is needed to the three-tiered green as long is in putt/chip-off-the-green territory while short means the ball tumbling back down the hill. A par please!
10th hole (Camellia) 495 yards, par 4: A majestic hole where right-handers have to sling a big draw around the corner. Bubba loves to bend a fade/slice. The more action on the ball the more it bounds away down the fairway. I was staggered by how near the white cabins (see for yourself - they're just behind the trees on the right) are to the tee. Rory backers won't need reminding that he was left floundering in them during his infamous meltdown in 2011 after a horrid snap-hook off the tee.
11th hole (Magnolia) 455 yards, par 4: It's a right old hike to get to the back of the elevated 11th tee but the view is worth it. The tee-shot is intimidating as it requires hitting through a chute and then, of course, there's the watery grave waiting down the left side of the green. Many will bail out right and this is when it pays to have a bit of magic in the wrists (e.g. Mickelson, Cabrera, Day) to get up and down. You'll take a '4' 'here all day.
12th hole (Golden Bell) 155 yards, par 3: The panoramic view of the 11th green, Hogan's Bridge and the 12th green is so crazily familiar that, to see it in real life, feels as if you've walked through the television screen like Mike Teavee off Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The tee-shot is tricky and the wind can switch but I greedily hope for birdie here in calm weather as it's just 155 yards. Players say putting it in the front bunker is a decent miss.
13th hole (Azalea) 510 yards, par 5: This pic shows the big sweeping corner at 13. Note the manicured fairways. We're using to putting on rougher surfaces than that! The big hook or huge fade is the chief weapon here. Bubba and Rory love the hole; others can't crack it. Punters secretly hope for eagle but also breathe out when the approach shot clears Rae's Creek.
14th hole (Chinese Fir) 440 yards, par 4: A four here will do nicely (as long as your man birdies the two par fives either side!). It's a trappy hole due mainly to the multi-plateaued putting surface. There's a very narrow margin between a ball curling to gimme range or catching a slope and running away off the green.
15th hole (Firethorn) 530 yards, par 5: An easier tee-shot than 13 as the fairway is massive although trees down the left can pinch the landing area. The second shot is scarier, though, for those going for it in two and relief is even more palpable when the ball lands and comes to a stop. It's often forgotten there's water over the back too. Again, par feels like a disappointment; six is a body blow. That Fred Perry cardigan I'm wearing, I lost on the grounds somewhere. Still gutted.
16th hole (Redbud) 170 yards, par 3: While I was staggered by the undulations at the first and second holes, 16 was a bit of a surprise. To the naked eye the green doesn't appear to slope as much as you'd think given how balls can run all the way down to the bottom of the green - a good thing on Sunday but bad when the pin placement is top front. Spectators gather on a big mound on the other side of the water, another surprise in real life as the Masters is typically shot close up and you don't see that on TV.
17th hole (Nandina) 440 yards, par 4: This is another of Augusta's happy-to-make-par holes. The green seems to slope everywhere so it's not common to see approaches to the raised green get near the hole. There were just four birdies on the weekend at 17 last year which proves the point.
18th hole (Holly) 465 yards, par 4: Perhaps the only Augusta hole I found slightly underwhelming. The view from the tee and elevated walk are impressive but the green looks better on TV. Perhaps it's the lack of a stand that denies it the theatre of a closing hole at an Open Championship. Dream scenario: Your player's approach catches the slope, the ball rolls back towards the front Sunday pin and he holes a 10 footer for a winning birdie.