Augusta, Georgia, United States of America
“If there’s a golf course in heaven, I hope it’s like Augusta National. I just don’t want an early tee time.” Said Gary Player, summing up the opinion of golfing fanatics throughout the world. Co-designed by Bobby Jones after he retired, the course was built on the site of a disused nursery and the idea of beautiful flowering shrubs exists to the present day; every hole carries the name of a flowering tree from the Tea Olive to the Fire Thorn.
Just as soon as you have completed Amen Corner, the 11th, 12th and 13th holes, probably congratulating yourself for still being there, putting comes into play. The 14th hole is widely regarded to have one of the most challenging greens around. Named The Chinese Fir, it’s the only hole on the course without a bunker, but a sloping fairway may kick you into trouble on its right. Once you get to the green you’re likely to forget how you got there; a drop-off at the back, a steep ridge to climb at the front of the green and a lightning fast bentgrass surface will test your putting ability to the extreme. Augusta stays in any golfers mind for its green beauty and the difficulty of the course and is credited as the main inspiration for many of America’s courses and designs. Next time you play it, it is likely to be different – course changes are part of the philosophy of the Club.
(Image from Flickr user gomattolson)