A guide to the first hole at Augusta National, including tips from two-time Masters champion and 33-time Masters competitor Bernhard Langer
Bernhard Langer Augusta National Course Guide: Hole 1
Augusta National Hole 1 – Par 4 – 445 yards
The first hole at Augusta National frequently ranks as one of the harder holes on the golf course during the US Masters. Players often take 3-wood off the tee to avoid a fairway bunker that lurks on the right side of the hole, some 285 yards from the tee.
The fairway is narrow, the approach plays uphill and the green in surrounded by run-off areas, so par is always deemed a good score here. The hole ranks as the 6th hardest in the all-time rankings with a stroke average of 4.23
In 2011, Charl Schwartzel chipped in from an unlikely position to the right of the green for birdie, before holing his second for eagle at the par-4 3rd. He went on to claim the Green Jacket.
That same year, Rory McIlroy hit a sublime 3-wood off the first tee, leaving himself just a wedge for his second shot. He tweaked it slightly and failed to get up and down, though, leading to an opening bogey. He stumbled to a final-round 80 and finished 10 shots behind Schwartzel.
Langer: “The first priority is to avoid the right-hand fairway bunker, and then wind direction dictates how much club you need to reach the green. You must avoid going long or left and ideally you want to set-up an uphill putt.”
Best ever score: 2
Worst ever score: 8
Memorable moment: In 1975, Lee Elder became the first-ever black golfer to play in the Masters, paving the way for the likes of Calvin Peete and Tiger Woods.
Worst moment: Sam Snead is more likely to feature in the category above for most holes, but in 1961 he more than earned his place in this one. Not taking into account that the previous group weren’t yet out of range, Snead unleashed a drive that almost hit one of the players, Tommy Bolt. Snead was left in no doubt as to what Bolt, nicknamed “Terrible Tommy”, thought about his error.