Three holes to watch around Augusta this week

Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry walk over the Hogan Bridge on the No. 12 hole during Practice Round 2 for the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

Few courses pack a punch quite like Augusta National. Here’s three holes sure to play a key part in deciding this year’s Green Jacket winner 

  • 2nd – Pink Dogwood – Par-5 measuring 575-yards 

Players will be hoping for a quick start around Augusta and no hole played easier than the swinging, downhill par-5 second which averaged 4.467 for the field in November. Get your drive turning over from right to left and this par-5 is a comfortable reach in two, with a funnelling green to accessible pins coughing up 12 eagles and 159 birdies in 2020. 

  • 5th – Magnolia – Par-4 measuring 495-yards 

The par-4 fifth hole was plenty tough before 40 yards were added to it ahead of the 2019 renewal. At an imposing 495-yards, it was no surprise to see ‘Magnolia’ play toughest of all 18 holes around Augusta in November where it played at a score average of 4.272. The fifth hole yielded just 12 birdies over four rounds but players would happily take their four and run with birdies easier to come by elsewhere. 

  • 12th – Golden Bell – Par-3 measuring 155-yards 

For all the talk of hitting distances, rolling back the ball and stiffening the game’s defence against technology, smart design can trump just about anything and the diminutive par-3 12th at Augusta is a fine example of that. Left unchanged since the course first opened in 1933, the shortest hole on the golf course sees players hit to a slender putting surface, protected by Rae’s creek at ground level and an unpredictable wind from on high. With as little club as a wedge in hand, expect the hopes of many to take a swim coming down the stretch on Sunday. 

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