Hole 9 - Carolina Cherry

Published:

PAR 4 - 460 YARDS

A good driving hole, quite tight. How far you get down there will dictate how much the second shot is uphill.

There’s a plateau off the tee at around the 300-yard mark where it’s an 8-iron, but a big hitter can get to the bottom of the hill where it’s a wedge. It’s very sheltered from the wind at the bottom of this fairway so I always try and walk up the hill to get a view of the flags on the back of the driving range.

BILLY FOSTER REMEMBERS: "I remember Seve driving it off the 9th tee and hitting the fairway – a rarity in itself – and asking me the club to the pin. It was around 142 yards and he wanted to know if a wedge was right.

I told him, ‘No Seve, I don’t think it’s enough, you can’t carry a wedge over the corner of the bunker, you’ll have to hit a 9-iron’.

He hit the 9-iron and it was all over the pin, but it pitched just over the bunker and shot off a slight downslope through the back. ‘Where’s the ball, Billy?’ he said to me and I replied, ‘I’m not quite sure Seve,’ though I knew exactly where it was, 50 foot behind the hole and putting down a marble staircase.

Then, as his eyes got level with the green and he saw the ball, he started shouting at me in rage. ‘Billy, Billy, you son of my bitch, you son of my bitch!’ and I thought, ‘Welcome to Augusta, this is what it’s all about’.

I know now, of course, that if you play to the right side of the green the ball will stop pretty quickly and roll back to the hole. Seve rolled his putt to about a foot, but I still got a bollocking. “Don’t worry Billy, it’s not your fault, it’s my fault for listening to you…”

PETER ALLISS: "This is a drive into the wild blue yonder down the hill and then a pitch up to the severely-sloping green. Accuracy is vital from tee to hole. You’ve got to try and leave the ball below the hole because downhill putts here are treacherous and any approach shots that are too short of the target often roll off the green. If you are out in 36 then it is no disgrace."