A throwback wrinkle of Masters practice round days is the ability to tote around an old-fashioned camera, which I did for much of Monday. This was the first time I brought a camera out to Augusta National, possibly the most photographed course in the world. So I attempted to find some angles of the course that I had never seen before. I hopefully succeeded at that in some instances, but in others I found myself taking the same iconic shots you have seen many times before, captivated by the scene. I tried to narrow it down to compact set from Monday, so here are a few of those shots and some quick commentary on them from the first day that the gates opened for the 2022 Masters at Augusta National.
The talk of the town, Tiger Woods. I was standing about 100 yards from the first tee when he emerged from the practice area, and the roar from the patrons on a Monday afternoon was jarring. Engaged in a conversation, I didn’t have to look to know who it was for and where he was going. I snapped this shot of him on the ninth green engulfed in a crowd with a joyous and bursting energy rarely felt during a practice round.
The first green is one of the least-talked-about great greens in all of golf. The only thing missing from this photo behind the green is the vicious false front.
Another one of my favorite greens at Augusta National is the fifth. It’s a crazy green at the end of a brutally hard golf hole. I had never seen this front pin—I don’t recall it ever being here and I wonder why. I would guess that it hasn’t been used because the big backboard might make it too easy, but it would be a lot of fun to play and watch, and anyone who missed long would be in a slightly undesirable spot.
A big discussion point will be the new changes to the 11th. Here are the three trees that remain on the right side of the fairly, and I am not sure how much these will come into play. I watched a tee ball from Cameron Champ that he said was perfect come up 30 yards short of them with a driver today. Also, note the new catch basin.
One more of the 11th! Here’s the new chipping area on the left with Champ hitting out of it. If you go back and look at some old shots from here, the hill would come up to players’ waists. It’s crazy how far below the green this spot is, and the chip to the back-left pin is devilish, easy to put in the water.
The 15th green is really shallow, in case you hadn’t heard.
There is an argument to be made that the 17th green is the best on the golf course. It’s stunning, but its place in the pantheon of Augusta greens has been hurt over the years by bad television-camera angles and tree planting that has removed the strategy of the hole.
One of the subtle things that you don’t see on TV are all the ground features across the property. I love the mounds that can be found all over the fairways—these are a few past the fairway bunkers on the 18th.
Another spectacular green is the 14th, and this shot is from the grandstands right of the green. The false front is astonishing and the three tiers cascading down the hill are wonderful. The green sits so naturally in the hillside. It’s a hole that gets overshadowed by the 13th and 15th, but it deserves more of the spotlight and conversation.
This spot is pretty cool, too!
That’s it for now. I only get a camera through Wednesday and the weather doesn’t look so great on Tuesday for golf—or any outdoor activities.
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