Augusta Chronicle sports editor John Boyette takes you on a tour of Augusta National Golf Club.
Get Your Bearings
A legend of who is on the course is posted, with starting time, at the No. 1 and No. 10 tees during practice rounds. Give each group approximately two hours to complete nine holes. A "program" sheet is made up each day during the tournament.
THE MAIN SCOREBOARD lists every player, his residence and his score for each hole. Black numbers mean par; red is for birdie; bold red for eagle; green for bogey; bold green for double bogey or higher.
PAIRINGS SHEETS are placed in a green box near the main entrance. One side lists tee times; the other has a map.
THE STANDARD on the first tee indicates which group is up. It includes the player's name and the caddie's number.
THRU BOARDS near the green of each hole display the players on the hole and their scores in relation to par.
LEADERBOARDS are located throughout the course. They display the current leaders' scores and messages for patrons. Augusta National co-founder Clifford Roberts devised the scoring method first used by the Masters in 1960.
Green numbers show how many strokes a player is over par. Green zeros mean the player is at even par. Red numbers show how many strokes a player is under par.
TIPS FROM VETERANS
TAKE A STAND: The observation stands are great places to take in a lot of different holes. The ones at Amen Corner and around the 15th green/16th tee fill up quickly. Try the one behind the No. 8 green; you can see most of No. 8, the No. 9 tee and the first green.
SEEK THE HIGH GROUND: Some credit Augusta National as being among golf's first "stadium" courses because of the hilly terrain. A lot of the natural slopes offer prime viewing perches. The area behind the seventh green lets you take in plenty of action on the surrounding holes.
GET OFF THE BEATEN PATH: Because of their distance from the main entrance, Nos. 4 and 5 require some effort to reach. The hike is worth it. There are fewer patrons entering the gate near the fifth green, but concessions, restrooms and souvenirs are all a short distance away.
FIND YOUR FAVORITE
Four Steps for following your favorite golfer
Use the pairings sheet to determine a player's tee time. (You can also find tee times on Page 2 of our Masters section each day of the tournament). On the sheet, you'll see something like this:The time on the left is when the group tees off. The first number is the group number. The numbers to the left of the players' names are the players' numbers (more on this below.) To use the tee times, pick out the golfers you want to see and note what time they start. A typical round takes between 4½ and five hours, or about 15 minutes per hole. If your favorite player has already started, note the difference in time and do the math to figure out which hole he is on. If Tiger Woods teed off on No. 1 at 8 a.m. and it's now 10:15, expect him to be on No. 9 or No. 10.
Once on the course, use the map on the back of the pairings sheet to navigate. Now, remember those choice vantage points from Lesson 3? Many are marked by stars on the pairings sheet map.
Having trouble picking out a player? Watch his caddie, the person in the white jumpsuit who often stands next to him. The caddies wear the player's name on their back. If you can't see that, look at the number on the front of the jumpsuit. Cross-reference that number with the pairings sheet to find out who the player is.
Get ahead of the game. The best way to watch Tiger Woods is to get out in front of his pairing and stake out a spot near the tee or along the fairway ropes. Most of the best spots around the greens are taken early, but there are plenty of places where you can watch approach shots and see the action on the green. Try behind the No. 2 green, right of the 13th fairway or behind the 17th green.
No place is quite like Augusta National when it comes to following the action through the roars.
Name that roar:
A roar is usually based on two things:
- The quality of the shot, be it an approach that winds up close, a long putt that finds the cup or an eagle in the final round.
- Who hit it. A roar for Tiger Woods is typically larger than for a first-time player.
Use your lessons:
Armed with the knowledge of who is playing and their position on the course, you can begin to distinguish between the roars.
It's not uncommon for patrons to stay at a hole after the final group has played through. They can watch the tournament unfold via the leaderboards, and their roars can be heard long after play has ceased in that area.
Bobby Jones, who co-founded Augusta National Golf Club, wrote the book on how to watch the Masters Tournament. His suggestions of the best places to watch the action on the 7,435-yard course include:
Hole 4: Spectators can view action on two holes while behind the No. 4 tee. There are views of the approach to the No. 3 green and the tee shot on the par-3 No. 4.
Hole 7: Behind the green, spectators can see down the No. 2 and No. 3 fairways, the No. 7 green, the No. 8 tee and the No. 17 fairway.
Hole 12: In the heart of Amen Corner, spectators behind the tee can see the approach shots to No. 11, the entire 12th hole, and tee shots and second shots on the par-5 No. 13.
Hole 16: A new viewing area (above) was created here thanks to a storm in July 2006 that took down several trees. The natural seating area allows patrons to see the green at Nos. 6, 15 and 16 and the tee shot at No. 17.
Hole 18: If you get a spot early behind the No. 18 green, you can see approach shots to the final green and have a view of several other holes.
Practice Facility: You can watch as golfers prepare for their round.
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