Masters 18th Hole: Moments From Augusta National’s Par-4 Holly

Augusta National is home to one of the famous finishing holes in golf. An uphill dogleg-right hole features two massive bunkers as the hole bends slightly to the right. The only matter for concern is the treeline along the edges, which is only for those who look to cut the corner tightly.  

For those who want to drive hit down, the center would require a middle iron for a second shot to a deep, narrow green which is guarded by one bunker short-left and another hard right.  

It has good sightlines for spectators, two distinct tiers, and contoured surroundings even without any addition. These two tiers are situated uphill and have bunkers front left, and right. With the slope, the front hole locations are more accessible. 

This 18th hole is named after American Holly, a medium-sized native evergreen tree mostly used in Christmas decorations that is present on the hole.  

It is Par 4 and 465-yard challenge course, with an all-time difficulty rank of 7. Its home Augusta National Golf Club, was founded in 1932 and started to host the annual Master’s Tournament in 1934.  

Designed by Alister MacKenzie, many big names have played in the course. In 1958 a mounding on the left of green was built. In 1967 double bunker was built on the left in the fairway landing area.  

In 2002 the hole saw major readjustment where the tees were moved by 55-60 yards, repositioned to the golfer’s right by five yards. The size of the bunker was increased by 10%, with trees added left of it. 

When it comes to the performance, the worst was by Kelly Kraft in 2012, who scored seven over (5-5-6-7). Another low score was by John Huston in 1997, who recorded an eagle, two birdies, and a par to play the hole in 4 under for the week. Art Wall Jr. in 1959, Gary Player in 1978, and Mark O’Meara in 1998 are the only three Masters leaders that led the final hole.  

The specialty of this hole is that it creates the most photogenic tee shots as the player drives through a chute created by the gallery and pine trees along both sides of the ground. And two players have made the best of all, Byron Nelson and Bubba Watson.  

The hole also saw Gary Player become the first foreign-born to win the Masters by defeating the defending champion Arnold Palmer and amateur Charles Coe by one stroke. It was the first of three green jackets he would earn and the second of his nine major titles.  

Another wonder the hole witnessed was the final round of the 1975 Masters, where Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and Tom Watson were all in contention.  

Jack Nicklaus won his fifth Masters by one stroke ahead of Miller and Weiskopf in the finale. That year’s tournament saw its first black player when Lee Elder competed but missed the cut by four strokes.  

Similarly, it saw the rise and fall of many prominent golf players. From 2019 onwards, the course started to co-host the Augusta National Women’s Amateur with Champions Retreat Golf Club. But another rise that cannot be ignored was that of Tiger Woods.  

In 1997 no one cared much about him since he was just another outstanding player who turned professional-just a year before at 20 years of age.  

On the 18th hole, he scored a record score of 270 (닋18) in the final round with his famous 12 strokes, which Dustin Johnson would only break in 2020.  

The broadcast of that performance set television ratings records for golf as it was watched by 44 million viewers in the United States. He became the youngest and the first non-white player to win the title. From then on, he never had to look back.  

From that April till June, he became the number one player in the world rankings.  

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