Bernhard Langer’s guide to Augusta National

Bernhard Langer is a Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador. Mercedes-Benz is a Global Sponsor of The Masters. Photo by Getty Images

It’s Masters week and who better to give us a guide to the venerable venue, Augusta National, than German legend Bernhard Langer. The Masters champion of 1985 and 1993, Langer made his Augusta debut in 1982 and will be making his 34th Masters appearance come Thursday.

Hole 1: Tea Olive, 445 yards, par 4

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.”

Hole 2: Pink Dogwood, 575 yards, par 5

Langer: “The driving line is left of the bunker on the right. As it’s downhill the green is within reach but because it’s so severe and narrow it’s no bad thing to be in a front bunker for two or to have a full pitch into the green.”

Hole 3: Flowering Peach, 350 yards, par 4

Langer: “A short par four but the green is only about 11 yards deep on the left side. It is very easy for the second shot to spin down the slope in front of the green or for it to go through the back, so short-iron precision is critical.”

Hole 4: Flowering Crab Apple, 240 yards, par 3

Langer: “This is a difficult par three because the hole plays so long it can be difficult to generate both the necessary height and distance off the tee. It is better to be in the front bunker than past the flag.”

Hole 5: Magnolia, 455 yards, par 4

Langer: “The fifth green is extremely difficult so as much distance as possible on the tee means you can play into the green with as much height as you can to stop the ball quickly. A nearly perfect shot can finish 50 feet from the hole.”

Hole 6: Juniper, 180 yards, par 3

Langer: “A great par three, but perhaps too severe with the top-right corner pin position. I need to stop a long-iron tee shot on an area that is roughly 10 yards deep and eight yards wide.”

Hole 7: Pampas, 450 yards, par 4

Langer: “This hole demands a narrow, long tee shot through the trees and then real precision is key to the approach to find the right part of the small, elevated green.”

Hole 8: Yellow Jasmine, 570 yards, par 5

Langer: “This uphill par five plays so long that it is very difficult to find the right part of the green with the second shot. There is a severe slope in the middle of the green so even approaching with a wedge requires great accuracy and control.”

Hole 9: Carolina Cherry, 460 yards, par 4

Langer: “Drives must be drawn from right to left or tee shots will find the trees. Even the perfect shot leaves a difficult shot from a downhill lie to an uphill green. If the second shot is short the ball could run back down the fairway for 60 or 70 yards.”

Photo by Getty Images

Hole 10: Camellia, 495 yards, par 4

Langer: “This is another tee shot that demands a draw. The fairway falls to the left side and catching the slope means you can take more loft into the green. Problems from the left of the fairway often come from overhanging branches.”

Hole 11: White Dogwood, 505 yards, par 4

Langer: “This used to be one of golf’s widest fairways but now trees on the right and with the tee pushed back it is one of the hardest driving holes. With water left of the green I aim perhaps 10 yards on from the green’s right edge. Try and make par and get out of there.”

Hole 12: Golden Bell, 155 yards, par 3

Langer: “The green is angled from front-left to back-right and so is Rae’s Creek. Due to Amen Corner’s swirling winds I agree with Jack Nicklaus, in playing over the bunker even though the landing area is only about nine yards deep.”

Hole 13: Azalea, 510 yards, par 5

Langer: “I love this hole, classic ‘risk and reward’. The tee shot needs to hook around and hug the left of the fairway by the creek because that shortens the second shot and gives you a flatter lie. Even then the second shot is played above your feet.”

Hole 14: Chinese Fir, 440 yards, par 4

Langer: “With the fairway sloping from left to right, another hook helps here as long as you set it off on the right line. Wind direction and pin placement dictate what club to take next, hitting into one of the hardest greens on the course.”

Hole 15: Firethorn, 530 yards, par 5

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.”

Hole 16: Redbud, 170 yards, par 3

Langer: “The water on the left tempts you to aim for the right half of the green but that can leave a wicked, curling putt if the pin is low and left. You want to avoid putting with your back to the hole – it can happen.”

Hole 17: Nandina, 440 yards, par 4

Langer: “This hole is more straightforward since the Eisenhower Tree came down two years ago. There is more room off the tee but the green can get very slick, especially on the right.”

Hole 18: Holly, 465 yards, par 4

Langer: “This tee is one of golf’s tightest and longest shoots. The key is to hit a slight fade for the dogleg, then it could be a mid-iron or much longer club to the elevated, two-tier green, depending on the pin and the wind. There is a birdie chance if you find the right plateau.”

Bernhard Langer is a Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador. Mercedes-Benz is a Global Sponsor of The Masters

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