To give us an insight look at Augusta National and the Masters, we’ve asked a few questions to All Square member Grégory Havret from France. Greg participated in the Masters in 2011 and told us why everything is so different at Augusta, what makes the Masters so special and his personal best moments.
Can you tell us what makes Augusta National so special?
Augusta National is so special because it is a golf course of great rarity and you cannot find a similar place anywhere else in the world. Courses such as Saint Andrews, Troon, Golf National or Golf du Médoc Resort are also fantastic, but you always have this sense of déjà vu. However, Augusta is truly unique, especially during the week of The Masters when everything is perfectly prepared. It really is a place like no other.
Can you describe the atmosphere during the Masters week?
There are two kinds of atmospheres during the Masters week. During the practice days spectators are very dynamic and tend to get very excited. However, with the start of the tournament the atmosphere suddenly changes, the patrons are very respectful and they all have their habits. You will always see the same people on the same hole at the same time year after year. The evolution of the atmosphere at the Masters is remarkable and unique.
Which is your favorite hole on the course and why?
My favorite hole at Augusta National is the 2nd. It is a pretty majestic par 5 with the tee box surrounded by the big characteristic trees and a second shot downhill towards the green encircled by the thousands of fans. This hole is not only a beauty but also technically very interesting to play. A touch of draw with your driver will give you a good chance for an early birdie. All of these factors together make this my favourite hole on the course.
What makes the ‘Amen Corner’ so famous?
I guess ‘Amen Corner’ is so famous because every year so many unexpected things tend to happen at this part of the course. I can vividly remember the eagle of Seve Ballesteros on the 13th hole in 1986. His reaction after his second shot is legendary. The battle between Sir Nick Faldo and Greg Norman in 1996 was decided on ‘Amen Corner’ when Norman lost his lead. You can almost be certain that on Masters Sunday something special will happen at the start of the back nine and this makes ‘Amen Corner’ so famous and long-awaited.
Your best moment playing the Masters?
My best moment playing the Masters was actually my first 27 holes where I played very well and I was right up there in the top-20 on the leaderboard. Everything was going so well but I started struggling on the back nine on Friday and missed the cut by 2 strokes in the end. Unfortunately, I got trapped on several occasions on the back nine. Of course it was very disappointing to miss the weekend but I will remember my first 27 holes, which were very positive and I hope to be back at Augusta one day to take my revenge on the back nine.
Your best moment watching the Masters on TV?
I have witnessed many good moments watching the Masters on TV. One of them was the incredible hook shot on the 10th by Bubba Watson in 2012 to secure his first Green Jacket. Another shot I can remember really well is the second shot from Phil Mickelson from the pine straw lying behind a tree on the 13th. Sandy Lyle’s second shot from the fairway bunker on the 18th to about 3 meters and holing the putt for birdie to claim the title is another very special moment I remember well.
Your 3 picks for this week?
My 3 picks for the week are three Americans. Firstly, Dustin Johnson because I believe he will become the world’s number one ranked player one day and why not start this week at the Masters? My two other picks are Bubba Watson because he’s been playing well recently and he loves the course and Phil Mickelson because he’s in good form and always plays well at Augusta.