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The Best Designed Holes at Augusta National, According to Masters Legend Jack Nicklaus

(David Cannon/Getty Images)
Course Spotlight

Jack Nicklaus, Masters legend, says that Augusta National has the best designed holes.

By Using Brendon Elliott, PGA
Published on

Scenic view on the No. 12 green at Augusta National. Augusta, GA. Photo by Kohjirokinno/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images.

What are some of Augusta National Golf Club’s top holes from an architectural perspective?
Opinions differ greatly.
The best holes are difficult to choose. From Amen Corner, to the dramatic 16th and the final 18th, there is so much history, and memorable moments, on each hole.
So I asked someone who might have a little more course knowledge than most golfers – and an unmatched resume in the Masters.
That’s Jack Nicklaus, a six-time Masters Champion, 18-time major title winner and, arguably, one of the golf’s GOATs.
I asked Mr. Nicklaus what his four favorite Augusta National holes were from a design standpoint.
Here’s what he had to say.
Hole No. 7; Pampas; Par 4, 450 yards
“I think seven is a beautiful little hole; a little, short, par four. You need to be precise with your first shot. Then it’s a very demanding little second shot. It’s very difficult to recover from if you get off track.”
(Photo by Augusta National via Getty Images

(Photo by Augusta National / Getty Images)
In 1986, Nicklaus played the seventh green at 360 yards. Jack describes it as a small hole. The real defense of seven, whether it was 360 yards or 450 today, is its green complex. Three bunkers are located at the front of this slick and treacherous green, and two others are located at the back.
Byron Nelson made a historic drive on this hole in 1937. He then two-putted for a birdie. The hole was 320 yards long at the time. In 1937, it was indeed an impressive feat.
Hole No. 10; Camellia; Par 4, 495 yards 10; Camellia; Par 4, 495 yards
“I think number 10 is a beautiful hole. It rolls down the valley and the green is at the bottom. Of course, the trees that surround it. Ten’s a gorgeous hole.”
(David Cannon/Getty Images)

(David Cannon/Getty Images)
The view is stunning from the 10th hole tee. It looks down the hill and to the green. Over the years this hole has seen a lot of drama. From Rory visiting the cabins on the left, to Bubba’s crazy hooking wedge from the trees on the right.
In 1986 Nicklaus began the final round of his back-nine charge with a birdie putt from 25 feet on the 10th. Greg Norman, a co-leader who started the round with a six shot lead, made double bogey 6 on 10. This three-shot swing was what propelled Nicklaus to a one-shot victory.
Hole No. 12; Golden Bell; Par 3, 155 yards
“Let’s see . . . No. 12. Yes, 12 is an incredibly beautiful natural little hole on the water. It’s a beautiful but scary hole.”
(David Cannon/Getty Images)

(David Cannon/Getty Images)
Even the shortest holes can cause the best players to tremble. Players likely start thinking of the 12th very early into their rounds – especially on Sunday when they are in the hunt. There have been many famous Golden Bell catastrophes, but also some amazing moments of good luck that led to the Green Jacket.

Fred Couples had some very rare Masters luck in 1992. His 8-iron hit the front bank and instead of rolling back into Rae’s Creek, the ball stopped inches from the water. Couples continued to climb up and down and win the Green Jacket.
Hole No. 13; Azalea; Par 5, 545 yards 13; Azalea; Par 5, 545 yards
“Well, I think 13 is a totally natural hole. It’s just perfect. The creek runs on the left, and the ball needs to be played around and to the right. The creek crosses the green in front, and the green is set into the hillside. So, I think that’s a beautiful hole.”
(David Cannon/Getty Images)

(David Cannon/Getty Images)
The iconic 13th hole has been the site of many memorable moments throughout the years. In 1986 Nicklaus knocked a 3-iron to 30 foot in the final rounds and two putted for a Birdie. Nicklaus’s sixth and last Green Jacket was won at age 46.

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Scenic view of No 12 green at Augusta National. Augusta, GA (Photo by Kohjiro Kinno /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)