A guide to the ninth hole at Augusta National, including tips from two-time Masters champion and 37-time Masters competitor Bernhard Langer
Bernhard Langer Augusta National Course Guide: Hole 9
Augusta National Hole 9
Thanks to modern technology, an elevated tee and the downhill fairway camber, the 9th has been reduced to a driver and a short iron or wedge for most of the field. The difficulty comes with the approach, however.
Three distinct tiers make distance control paramount, and it’s not uncommon to see balls trundling off the front of the putting surface. When the pin is back left it’s nigh on impossible to get close, and when it’s positioned next to the bunker on the middle level, you’ll often see players starting their ball at right angles to the cup if their approach goes past pin high.
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.”
Best ever score: 2
Worst ever score: 8
Memorable moment: After twice having to back away as both Tom Kite and Seve Ballesteros holed eagle chips on the 8th hole in 1986, Jack Nicklaus, 46 at the time, turned to the gallery and said: “Let’s see if we can make that same kind of noise here.” He holed his 12-foot birdie putt and donned the Green Jacket two hours later after completing his 18th major victory.
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Worst moment: As misses go, Lanny Wadkins has the unenviable claim to one of the worst at Augusta. After missing a par putt on Carolina Cherry, Wadkins was left with a tap-in. For reasons only he will know, he tried to make the shot by backhanding it towards the hole. He somehow missed and left with a double-bogey six.