Hole number 3 at the Masters is named Flowering Peach. It is the shortest Par 4 at Augusta National measuring only 350 yards. Bigger is not always better, and this holds true with Flowering Peach. The green is reachable for the longer players on tour, but the majority of players will play an iron off the tee to keep out of trouble.
The tee shot is uphill and straight away for the most part, but fits a slight fade for positioning for the second shot. There are a cluster of bunkers on the left side of the fairway that come into play if players lay back and play irons off the tee. Some of the risk takers on tour will rip a driver or 3-wood off the tee and get as close to the green as they can. The landing area for drivers off the tee slopes right to left with undulations near the green which prevents drives from rolling up on the green. In fact, the drives will be funneled to the left as they come to rest.
The green on hole 3 at the Masters is slightly elevated and shaped like a “V” with a deep bunker the sits on the left edge of the green. The pin placement on Sunday at the Masters is always on the left side of the green that has a very shallow landing area that slopes significantly from right to left. Approach shots are difficult to get close, and can easily come up short, or roll off the back of the green as it slopes off the back. Approach shots are better to be long than short as it leaves an easier chip shot. If the players leave an approach shot short, it will roll away and will leave a blind chip shot back up to the hole.
An interesting stat about hole 3 at Augusta is that it is the least changed hole on the entire course. All of the holes at the Masters have been altered in some ways over the years, but Flowering Peach has had little if anything done to it over the years. You know the saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Masters.com has a great selection of photos of each of their holes and provides a new perspective to most people. When the Masters tournament is on TV, the spectators line the tees, fairways and greens, and we get a limited view of the entire course. Augusta is a “stadium course” in that the course is quite hilly and has natural stands for spectators to sit adjacent to the holes to view the action. When you see the course without all the people, it’s a new view that most of us aren’t used to seeing. I encourage you to check out the Masters site to scroll through their photos of each golf hole to gain this new perspective.
Flowering Peach is a birdie hole and statistically one of the easier holes at the Masters, but wayward shots will be punished if not executed properly. Look for players like Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and others to air it out on hole number 3 at Augusta National, but strategies can always change given their position on the leaderboard. Tune in to watch as each year at the Masters offers a whole new story line and plot twists.
The actual flowering peach is a deciduous tree that blooms a beautiful pink color in late March and early April….and of course it will be right on time come the Masters every year. The flowering peach trees grow on the right side of the fairway at Augusta on hole 3. See if you can spot it this year while watching on TV.