Masters: Ranking the first nine holes at Augusta

Martin Kaymer and Bernhard Langer on the first tee at Augusta. (Getty Images)
Martin Kaymer and Bernhard Langer on the first tee at Augusta. (Getty Images)

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The Augusta National golf course is marked by so many historical and familiar holes it's hard to keep track of all of them.

The second nine is more memorable -- if only becasue we've seen it more often but the first nine is just as fun (and actually used to be the second nine).

Here's an overview of those nine:

Favorite holes

No. 1 -- Tea Olive -- Par-4 -- Beautiful, wide-open 445-yard monster is the perfect way to kick off the Masters (and one of the hardest holes on the course). One of my favorite memories of being on the grounds was watching Phil Mickelson come out in 2012 to watch Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player hit the ceremonial tee shots. Magic.

No. 2 -- Pink Dogwood -- Par-5 -- Second shot into this green is one of the more underrated difficult shots on the course. You're hitting down into a green with an opening the size of an F-350 and trying to stop it on a lightning-fast surface. Makes Louis Oosthuizen's double-eagle in 2012 that much more impressive.

No. 6 -- Juniper -- Par-3 -- Maybe the best spot for patrons on the course is under the No. 6 tee. You get a great view of Nos. 6, 15, 16, and 17.

Next-favorite holes

No. 4 -- Flowering Crab Apple -- Par-3 -- Site of Phil Mickelson's infamous triple bogey in 2012. The most underrated spot on the course for patrons is behind the No. 3 green -- you can watch approach shots at No. 3 and be 15 feet from tee shots on No. 4.

No. 7 -- Pampas -- Par-4 -- Watched Patrick Cantlay hole out here in 2012. A straight number with a wicked landing pad for approach shots. I feel like I'd make an 11 if I played it.

Geoff Shackelford wondered if it looked a little more sparse post-ice storm this winter:

No. 9 -- Carolina Cherry -- Par-4 -- I don't know how anybody ever hits shots on this elevated, sloped green. Has historically played to a 4.14 scoring average. Great ending to the first nine.

"It's still Augusta, but not my favorite" holes

No. 3 -- Flowering Peach -- Par-4 -- One of the toughest holes on the course (3.28 scoring average historically) is also one of my least favorite.

No. 5 -- Magnolia -- Par-4 -- It's not necessarily a bad hole (none of them are), but patrons are never on it and it's set up poorly for viewing. No. 5 is known by most as "the hole you have to cross at 6 a.m. to get prime seats on No. 16 on Sunday."

No. 8 -- Yellow Jasmine -- Par-5 -- Still the loudest roar that I've ever heard at Augusta is when Tiger Woods eagled No. 8 in 2011 when he was trying to make a charge on a massive leaderboard. He had just birdied Nos. 6 and 7, dropped an eagle putt on No. 8 and parred No. 9 for a first-nine 31. Alas, he played the second nine in 36 and Charl Schwartzel took home the green jacket.

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CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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