Well, if you’ve not checked out the HOLE-BY-HOLE FLYOVER at the Official Masters website, you’re missing out on an education in golf course topography. The embedded link I provided showcases the official start of Augusta National’s Amen Corner. The long, difficult 505-yard par4 11th, known as White Dogwood, is probably my personal favorite and provides a great example of just how demanding many of the tee shots are at Augusta National. There might not be a lot of thick US Open rough protecting the fairways, but there are slews of tall Georgia Pines standing ready to defend. Hitting the fairway is obviously the first challenge on this hole, but White Dogwood administers a 2-part test, with the overall grade being weighed most heavily on the approach into the green. Take note of just how contoured the fairway is as you get closer to the green, particularly a mere 25 yards from the front apron, as the mounds and slopes dare a player to attempt a run-up recovery shot from a potential pine straw lie from long range. Ben Hogan said of the par4 11th, “If my approach ever hits that green, it’s because I pulled it left.” It’s just one of 18 splendid holes on what is arguably the most demanding 2nd-shot golf course in the entire world.
Furthermore, checking out all of the holes via the flyover will reveal two things that are seldom captured in their true essence by a television camera lens during the telecast: the elevation changes from both the tees and greens, and the undulating fairways. The players this week will face a litany of challenging lies, most of them coming from the fairway itself. Given the notoriously challenging nature of Augusta National’s greens, how the players execute those uneven lies from the fairways this week will differentiate those who have good looks at birdies from those merely trying to 2-putt for par.
Checkout the flyover, it’s awesome.
PS – anyone know if the footage from the flyovers are actual footage, or are they virtual – i.e. computerized graphics? I honestly can’t tell.