Majors: The Masters / The Host Facility

From the Fairway: A Lone Palm and a Lot of Trouble on the 4th Hole at Augusta

Last Updated on Sunday, 03 April 2016 22:18 Sunday, 03 April 2016 19:53

Augusta National 4th HoleCanadian Press

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Doug Ferguson/AP) — In the 79 years the Masters has been played, only one player has made a hole-in-one on the long and deceptively difficult par-3 fourth hole.

The golf ball remains in a special place.

"I gave the ball to my mother," Jeff Sluman said. "She still has it in her grave."

The first par 3 at Augusta National doesn't get nearly as much attention as the last two par 3s, mainly because it is so early in the round and because it has neither water (Nos. 12 and 16) or steep elevation (No. 6). It is simply as stern a test as there is on the golf course.



From the Fairway: Augusta National Holes 10, 11, and 12 are Toughest

Last Updated on Monday, 04 April 2016 07:26 Sunday, 03 April 2016 19:14

Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods at the 2015 Masters Practice RoundCanadian Press

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Doug Ferguson/AP) — A hole-by-hole look at Augusta National, site of the 80th Masters to be played April 7-10, 2016, with famous shots played at each one, the average score and where each hole ranks in difficulty since 1934:

No. 1, 445 Yards, Par 4 (Tea Olive)

This slight dogleg right plays uphill and has a deep bunker requiring a 317-yard carry off the tee. The bunker has a tongue in the left side, so anything that enters the front of the bunker might be blocked by the lip. A bunker is left of the green, which falls off sharply at the back and to the right.

Masters Highlight: Charl Schwartzel pitched a low-running shot from the right mounds across the green and holed the shot for a birdie to begin the final round of his 2011 victory.

Masters Lowlight: Rory McIlroy was one shot behind going into the weekend in 2012. He went over the back of the green, chipped through the green and down into a swale, barely got his next shot onto the green and two-putted for a double bogey on his way to a 77.

Average Score and Rank: 4.23 (6th)



Best Seat for Masters’ Finish Requires Chair, Early Arrival

Last Updated on Sunday, 12 April 2015 19:50 Sunday, 12 April 2015 19:42

Chairs at the MastersCanadian Press

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Teresa M. Walker/AP) — Grabbing a front row spot for the chance to watch a historic finish at the Masters is easy: Be at the gate when the doors open, walk briskly to No. 18 and plop down a chair.

Then wander off.

Grab some breakfast, go shopping or walk around Augusta National enjoying the day. When golfers start on the back nine, return to find that chair still in the same spot.

Yes, the Masters takes saving a seat to an entirely different level.

"You know if you put your chair down, nobody's going to move it," Anne Costigan of Baltimore said. "It's safe where it is. Nobody does that. It's so unique."



From the Fairway: Piece of Eisenhower Tree Heading to Presidential Library

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 April 2015 21:42 Wednesday, 08 April 2015 21:39

Eisenhower TreeCanadian Press

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Jim Litke/AP) — Men in green Masters jackets gave a warm round of applause to a large wood chip.

It wasn’t just a scrap from any old tree. To be exact, it was a 6-inch-thick, 4 1/2-foot-in-diameter cross-section of timber cut from the Eisenhower Tree, a soaring loblolly pine that stood like a sentinel guarding the left side of the 17th fairway at Augusta National for some 80 years.

Tributes rolled in when the tree was felled by an ice storm in February 2014, in no small part because of its connection to former president and Augusta member Dwight Eisenhower. Masters officials eulogized the tree at the start of last year’s tournament as if it was a deceased family member.



From the Fringe: Will Masters Boast World’s Most Beautiful Parking Lot, Too?

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 April 2015 21:36 Wednesday, 08 April 2015 21:28

Billy PayneCanadian Press

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Jim Litke/AP) — Owning what is arguably the most beautiful golf course in the world apparently isn’t enough for members of Augusta National. Soon they may lay claim to the world’s most beautiful parking lot, too.

Chairman Billy Payne hinted as much while fielding questions following his annual "State of the Masters" address.

The club recently bought a roughly 2-square-mile parcel of land just north of the golf course that has been used as a parking lot for the Masters. Berckman’s Road, which currently separates the two properties, will be diverted farther north to form one contiguous parcel.

“While it will continually be maintained every year as a parking lot, it will look appropriately as though it belongs inside the fences of Augusta National,” Payne said.



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