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Yesterday, we took a look at the front 9 of Augusta National, and today, we’re going to finish the job.  While the front 9 is still realtively fresh in the minds of viewers, the back 9 is arguably the most famous stretch of golf holes found anywhere.

The Masters is known for the drama on the back 9, and while that’s not necessarily true anymore, it still looks like the stretch we’ve come to love.  And while Amen Corner might not be the gambler’s paradise it once was, even in it’s current torture track shape, it’s still revered.

After the jump…the back 9.

Camellia, par 4, 495 yards

A long par 4, Camellia is the hardest hole on the course.  While it’s downhill, Camellia still plays long.  With your drive, you want to be in the left side of the fairway as your approach shot is obscured by a greenside bunker, to a green that’s quite small itself.  Holding this green with a mid-iron is no simple task and par is a great score here.

White Dogwood, par 4, 505 yards

The start of Amen Corner, White Dogwood is another ridiculously long par 4.  The drive requires a power fade but the real fun starts on your apporach shot.  Water comes into play in the shape of a small pond on the left but that’s not the danger.  Despite what Larry Mize will tell you, being short of this green is not a simple task as the crazy slopes and slick green makes for an impossible chip of 100+ feet.  This was the hardest hole on the course in 2008.

Golden Bell, par 3, 155 yards

My favorite par 3 on the face of the earth.  While it’s only 155 yards, the green in extremely shallow and guarded by Rae’s Creek and two bunkers.  But what makes Golden Bell a true test is the winds that swirl above the tree line.  Sometimes the flag won’t move at all, but when you’re hitting a high-lofted iron, the winds come into play and can dramatically effect your ball.  A brilliant hole that requires faith in the golf gods.

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Azalea, par 5, 510 yards

While this might be one of the shortest par 5’s the pros will face all year, it can destroy your round in a heartbeat.  A good drive is a must if you want to get the green in two, but a small creek guards the front of the green and has collected it’s fair share of balls over the years.  A green that heavily slopes from back to front allows for a variety of rollercoaster shots that can release right to the pin, but also leave a beastly putt if you put too much backspin on your iron shots.  The epitome of a risk/reward shot.

Chinese Fir, par 4, 440 yards

After Amen Corner, Chinese Fir gives you a bit of a respite.  There isn’t a bunker or any water, but if any hole epitomizes the intracacies of Augusta, it’s this one.  A heavily contoured green makes putting here a treat to watch.

Firethorn, par 5, 530 yards

Home to Gene Sarazen’s famous double eagle, Firethorn is a reachable par 5 that, like Azalea, can either start your charge or kill your chances.  This is the easiest hole on the course, and most guys are getting at least par here.  If you can’t score here, you don’t have a shot.

Rosebud, par 3, 170 yards

Quick question…what’s the more famous shot here, Jack’s 5-iron to 3 feet in 1986 or Tiger’s chip-in in 2005?  We all know this hole like the back of our hands at this point…a par 3 that requires a carry over water to a heavily sloped green that feeds to the Sunday pin position.  Short or long means you’re dead…unless you’re Tiger Woods that is.

Nandina, par4, 440 yards

A relatively straightforward par 4, the slope of the fairway makes this hole difficult.  Your drive will most likely leave you with a downhill, sidehill lie with an approach to an elevated, and heavily sloped green.  While you probably have a 7 or 8-iron into the green, it’s crucial you find the green here.

Holly, par 4, 465 yards

A very difficult finishing par 4, Holly requires precision from tee to green.  A dogleg right, your drive must find the fairway if you hope to score well.  The approach isn’t exactly easy, but it’s not the most difficult on the course, but once you’re on the green, you’re faced with a fast, very difficult putt which is made even harder if you’re in contention.  One of the finest, albeit simple, finishing holes as you’ll find.

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