A guide to the first 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 17
Augusta National Hole 17 Par 4 440 yards
The 17th shares many characteristics with the 14th, most notably its straight, narrow shape and severely sloping putting surface. After a well-placed drive, a mid to short-iron remains to a green that is shaped like an upturned bowl. Distance control is key on approaches, as balls often spin back off the front of the green. A notable absentee in recent years has been the Eisenhower Tree, which came down in 2014 after suffering extensive damage in a relentless storm.
Langer: “This hole is more straightforward since the Eisenhower Tree came down. There is more room off the tee but the green can get very slick, especially on the right.”
Best ever score: 2 Worst ever score: 7
Memorable moment: Despite the undeniable brilliance of his career, Jack Nicklaus was nobody's favourite at the 1986 Masters. It had been 11 years since Nicklaus had last won the tournament, so for the 46-year-old to take the outright lead on hole 17 was astounding.
Facing a 12-foot putt for birdie to edge ahead of Seve Ballesteros and Tom Kite, Nicklaus rolled it in and raised a defiant left arm in celebration. He sealed victory on the 18th to cap one of the most remarkable Masters wins Augusta National has witnessed.
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Worst moment: There aren't many better positions to be in than the one Stuart Appleby found himself in during the third round in 2007. It counts for little, though, if you can't see it through.
With a four-stroke lead heading onto hole 17, Appleby sent his tee shot to the left. The problem was that it kept going left until it landed in a bunker on the seventh. He would find another bunker - this one on the correct hole - and then three-putted to score a triple-bogey.
In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."
Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points.
Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X
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