A guide to the fifteenth hole at Augusta National, including tips from two-time Masters champion and 32-time Masters competitor Bernhard Langer
Bernhard Langer Augusta National Course Guide: Hole 15
Augusta National Hole 15 – Par 5 – 530 yards
The par-5 15th is traditionally the easiest hole at Augusta National, with an all-time average of 4.78. Tee shots play significantly downhill and balls often take a big skip forward off the downslope, which is more pronounced the further drives are hit.
The longest hitters will only a require a mid-iron to reach the green in two, and even the shortest hitters can get home, should they wish. The 15th is not without bite, though. A pond fronting the green captures numerous balls during tournament week, whether that’s misjudged second shots or wedge approaches spinning off the green.
Langer: “It takes two great strikes to carry the water and reach the green in two, but even then it is very easy for the ball to skip through. Golfers can still birdie with a precise wedge approach. A great risk-and-reward hole.”
Best ever score: 2 (Gene Sarazen, 1935)
Worst ever score: 11
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Memorable moment: Even though Gene Sarazen’s astonishing albatross on hole 15 occurred in only the second Masters, most who witnessed it must have known it would never be matched. In the final round of the 1935 tournament, Sarazen lined up a 4-wood from 235 yards and found the hole brilliantly.
That Sarazen went on to win certainly added to the magnitude of the shot and resulted in it being dubbed “the shot heard ’round the world.”
Worst moment: Tiger Woods saw his approach shot hit the pin and roll into the water in the second round in 2013. After dropping the ball and hitting his next shot to within a few feet, Woods subsequently putted for a bogey.
However, he would later be questioned by officials over his decision to drop the ball further back from the pin than he should have; rules state the shot should be taken from as close to the original spot as possible.
Taking this violation into account, a further two strokes were added to his score on Firethorn. This moment was never likely to escape without opinions from all corners being offered, with many calling for him to withdraw.