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Augusta: The course in pictures

Magnolia Lane

Magnolia Lane, the entrance to the magical Augusta National Golf Club, over 300 yards long and something of a holy grail for golfers

The Augusta National clubhouse

Magnolia Lane leads to the magnificent colonial style clubhouse, a sight that reminds golf enthusiasts that spring has arrived

Downtown Augusta

Less than a mile away the views are not as easy on the eye as the cars build up in rough and ready downtown Augusta

Augusta National security

Augusta National is perhaps the most exclusive golf club in the world, but once a man wins the Masters he can return year after year

A beautiful scene around the 13th green

Inside, however, it is undoubtedly the most beautiful sporting arena and around 2,000 brightly coloured azaleas adorn the fairways

Tiger Woods

As ever, Tiger Woods will be the man to beat as he bids for a fifth Masters title to close in on the record of six by Jack Nicklaus

Augusta National's par-three course

On the eve of the Masters a par-three event is held on the adjacent short course. No winner has then gone on to win the main event

Arnold Palmer

Masters legend Arnold Palmer is now the honorary starter, hitting a drive down the first fairway on day one to let play begin

Gary Player

The evergreen Gary Player, now 72, will be playing in his 51st Masters, passing Arnold Palmer's appearances record

The 10th green at Augusta National

The 10th is a 495-yard par-four but not a five as it is downhill. It also shows why Augusta is called the "cathedral amongst the pines"

Tiger Woods

Even the greatest players can be made to look foolish at Augusta, but Tiger Woods can afford to break the odd shaft or two

The 12th at Augusta National

The sublime 155-yard 12th, widely regarded as the best short hole in the world, with its narrow landing area. (Hogan bridge to the left)

The 13th tee at Augusta National

Augusta National had to buy some extra land to extend the 13th hole which is named azalea and features hundreds from tee to green

A colourful Augusta National backdrop

Augusta is very much a wolf in sheep's clothing with its aesthetic perfection masking one of golf's greatest challenges

Riotous colour at the Augusta National

At nearly every turn there is a spectacular burst of colour during the time of the Masters, a treat for fans of golf and nature

Greenkeepers manicure the Augusta fairways

The Augusta National is manicured like no other course and the fairways are mown in one direction, against the player

The Bobby Jones statue

Outside the pro shop at Augusta sits a bronze statue of the legendary Bobby Jones, co-founder of the Augusta National Golf Club

The old oak tree at Augusta National

The ancient oak tree behind the clubhouse is a traditional meeting place for long-standing Augusta visitors to catch up

Masters cups

There is no vulgar polystyrene at Augusta, even the drinking receptacles are of an ornate nature

Masters greenkeepers

On paths around Augusta is what officials term "pine straw" made from the needles of the many huge trees that frame the holes

Rae's Creek on the 13th at Augusta

An example of the undulations at Augusta, here at the 13th Rae's Creek guards the green and has gathered in many a ball

Phil Mickelson

In addition to the famous Green Jacket, which can only be worn when at the club, the champion receives a silver replica of the clubhouse

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