Golf / The 57th US Masters: Colin Montgomerie shows how Augusta can be

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Colin Montgomerie played the Masters for the first time last year. Despite the fact that it did not suit his style, he immediately took to the course and finished joint 37th. Here is his guide to one of the world's greatest courses.

1 Tea Olive 400 yards, par 4

The start of the Masters is special and a good opening drive really helps to settle you. There's room for my normal fade off the tee here, but I have to start it far enough left to avoid the bunker on the right. Then you're faced with about an eight-iron to a sloping green and if you go big or left you can virtually forget making par.

2 Pink Dogwood 555 yards, par 5

A dog-leg left where you have to aim at the right-hand bunker and draw the ball down the hill. You can get on in two with a good drive and long iron, but I don't mind going in the greenside trap. It's probably easier to get up and down from there than two-putt if you are above the hole.

3 Flowering Peach 360 yards, par 4

Many players prefer a three-wood or iron here to avoid the bunkers on the left. You're still left with a wedge, but it has to be perfect to the yard because the right to left slope on the green is vicious. It's a birdie chance, but you have to be so careful.

4 Flowering Crab Apple 205 yards, par 3

Usually a four-iron with a high fade so that the ball stops quickly. A difficult hole and you walk off happy if you've made a three. You're never losing to the field if you do that.

5 Magnolia 435 yards, par 4

A very challenging four. The drive calls for another draw, then it's a five or six-iron to a green where it's fatal to go big. Do that and you've next to no chance of saving par on the plateau green. The distance of the iron shot is what counts.

6 Juniper 180 yards, par 3

Downhill and it usually plays a six-iron. There is a ridge on the back right where the flag was placed twice last year. It is very difficult to get the ball up and hold it there. You just have to try to hit the green and two-putt.

7 Pampas 360 yards, par 4

Either a two-iron or three-wood because this is the tightest driving hole on the course and you must hit the fairway. Then an eight or nine-iron to a pin normally placed just over the front bunkers. As long as you carry them you're hoping for birdie because the ball spins back.

8 Yellow Jasmine 535 yards, par 5

Very few get on in two. The hole is uphill and bends left. You can be blocked out if you stay well away from the bunker on the right off the tee. The flag is normally tucked behind some mounds and even with a little pitch it's tricky. You're not unhappy with a five here.

9 Carolina Cherry 435 yards, par 4

The fairway slopes left to right, so you try to draw your drive and then go in with anything from a five to an eight-iron depending on the pin placing. If it's near the front you can easily spin back 60 yards down the rise short of the green. This is probably the quickest, slopiest green on the course.

10 Camellia 485 yards, par 4

The fairway falls away down the left and a big draw is favoured. You can drive 320 yards on the ideal line and that's why this is a par-four and the shorter 13th a par-five. If you stay out right you might need a three-wood to get on as opposed to a six-iron.

11 White Dogwood 455 yards, par 4

The lake front and left of the green is the biggest worry - especially to a natural fader of the ball like me - but go too far right and you're faced with an awful chip.

12 Golden Bell 155 yards, par 3

A seven or eight-iron is all that is needed, but it's such a tiny target and you're in the lap of the gods. You hit it up in the air and just hope it carries the lake.

13 Azalea 465 yards, par 5

This is the most ridiculous dog-leg and needs the biggest hook off the tee I've seen. If you hit a straight drive you're in the trees and you have to lay up short of the creek. The big hitters might only use a seven-iron for their second shots, but even that's not easy with the ball sometimes a foot below your feet.

14 Chinese Fir 405 yards, par 4

No bunkers, but it doesn't need them. You're still looking to draw your drive, then hit something like a seven-iron to a green that slopes quite sharply left to right and off the front as well. I three-putted it twice last year.

15 Firethorn 500 yards, par 5

Definite birdie chances here, but you're coming in with a long-iron and, in making sure you carry the lake, it's easy to bounce through and leave yourself with a difficult chip back.

16 Redbud 170 yards, par 3

Usually a six-iron over the lake. The difficulty is the pin placing. Back left is not too bad because the green slopes towards the water. Top right is the hardest to get close to.

17 Nandina 400 yards, par 4

You have to place your ball up a bit to ensure you carry the Eisenhower Tree 150 yards off the tee. You only have about an eight-iron left, but you have to get the distance and direction right because the green slopes viciously.

18 Holly 405 yards, par 4

I just try to smash it through the corridor of trees at the bunkers on the left and hope my fade takes it away from the sand. It's a steep hill to the green and you're coming in with a medium iron to a flag you can only just see the top of. There are not many birdies here.

TOTAL: Par 72, 6,905 yards

Comments