PGA Tour

McIlroy Cabin and Mickelson Grove: Naming Augusta National’s Famous Locations

Augusta National and The Masters are inextricably entwined. The course has hosted the tournament every year since its inception in 1934, and the decades of thrilling finishes and stunning collapses have created indelible Masters memories in the mind of every golf fan. The holes, shots, and pin positions are so familiar that they instantly remind us of past tournaments. I dare you to watch someone go long and left of the 16th green and not immediately recall Tiger’s chip-in in 2005, or to see a player bail right of 11 green without thinking of Larry Mize’s improbable pitch shot in 1987.

As far as I know, only one of these moments has been commemorated by The National (which is what I assume the club’s members call Augusta). Players walk across Sarazen Bridge to get to the 15th green, honoring Gene Sarazen’s “shot heard ‘round the world” double eagle in 1935. For a course with so much history, this is frankly unacceptable. Fortunately, I have some ideas.

Billy Payne, if you’re reading, let this serve as a complimentary consultation session. Below I have provided several potential names for spots on the Augusta National grounds where Very Big Moments have taken place. Feel free to use any or all of them at no charge (and maybe sauce me a couple of weekend passes or an inside the ropes badge, no big, I’ll have my people call your people).

McIlroy Cabin

Reason

Augusta National has a number of “cabins” (which are probably larger than my parents’ house and barn put together) scattered throughout the property. Ten of them sit in a circle left of the 10th fairway, separating the main track from the par-3 course. In 2011, during Rory McIlroy’s ignominious collapse, the Northern Irishman pulled his tee shot left, where it absolutely tattooed a tree and finally came to rest in the shadow of one of these cabins. Interestingly, the cabin Rory visited is named Eisenhower Cabin, and was built in 1953 for the sitting president, a club member and golf nut. Since the Eisenhower Tree lost a battle with an ice storm in 2014, we might as well update the name of the Eisenhower Cabin to the McIlroy Cabin.

Sounds Like

The titular haunted structure in a forthcoming Stephen King novella.

Probability of this actually becoming the new name

About as likely as shooting a final-round 80 to lose The Masters after starting the day 4 shots clear.

River Jordan

Reason

This one should be fairly obvious. Jordan Spieth was on cruise control on Sunday of the 2016 Masters, aiming to win his second consecutive green jacket. After finishing the front nine (sorry, first nine) with four straight birdies, Spieth bogeyed 10 and 11. Stepping to the 12th tee, he was still one shot clear, but that changed in a hurry. He rinsed two balls into Rae’s Creek, carded a quadruple bogey 7, and couldn’t recover the lead. The creek is named for John Rae, a dude who had a house in the area… in the 1700s. I know Augusta is all about history, but the combination golf/religion pun in the heart of the Bible Belt is too good to pass up.

Sounds like

Baby Jesus’s first swimming pool.

Probability of this actually becoming the new name

Less likely than chunking a wedge from the drop area so badly that it barely reaches the creek.

Couples National Bank

Reason

Speaking of the 12th, Freddy Couples narrowly avoided a similar disaster while leading the 1992 Masters. His 8-iron came up short of the green, hit the embankment, and started its inevitable roll towards a watery grave. But then, incredibly, it stopped. With his right foot nearly in the creek, Couples gingerly took his stance and pitched his second shot to within a foot. Before heading up the hill to tap in for par (and going on to win the event), Couples fished another ball from the water and tossed it against the hill, seeing if this one would defy gravity in a similar manner. It did. Freddy had a touch of magic about him that day.

Sounds like

A reliable place to get a home loan.

Probability of this actually becoming the new name

Much more likely than any ball ever hanging up on that bank again.

Watson’s Glen

Reason

In 2012, Bubba Watson went way right on the 10th hole during his playoff with perennial Masters disappointment Louis Oosthuizen. With trees blocking his path to the green, Watson had no choice but to play almost directly sideways and try to manufacture some sort of mid-air right turn to boomerang his ball onto the putting surface. Fortunately, Bubba doesn’t know how to hit the ball straight, so this kind of thing was right up his alley. He yanked the string on a 52-degree wedge and pulled off a miracle shot, ending up 10 feet from the hole. Two putts later, Watson had won himself a green jacket.

Sounds like

Goin’ fast and turnin’ left. Or in Bubba’s case, right.

Probability of this actually becoming the new name

More likely than Louis Oosthuizen ever winning The Masters despite the fact that I always bet on him to win The Masters.

Oosthuizen Ridge

Reason

Because gosh darnit, I just can’t quit Louis Oosthuizen. The man has a golf swing that would make da Vinci weep with joy. Before losing to Bubba’s famous wedge shot, Louis made some history of his own in the elevated second fairway. Oosthuizen put that silky swing on his ball and watched it travel between the two front bunkers, take the slope of the green, and funnel nearly the entire width of the green and into the cup for the fourth albatross in Masters history. In an extreme case of through-the-decades coincidence, Oosthuizen’s double eagle completed the set of par 5s to witness a 2. Sarazen’s on the 15th in 1935 is the most famous, and Bruce Devlin (1967, 8th hole) and Jeff Maggert (1994, 13th) make up the quartet of players to have accomplished this feat.

Sounds Like

An elegant South African white wine best paired with a delicate cut of fish.

Probability of this actually becoming the new name

More likely than Louis Oosthuizen ever winning The Masters despite the fact that I always bet on him to win The Masters.

Mickelson Grove

Reason

Seeking his third green jacket on Sunday in 2010, Phil Mickelson pulled his tee shot on the 13th hole into the trees. Everyone knows what happened next, as it has become one of the most famous shots in golf history. Mickelson strapped on his scientist hat and explained to David Feherty that this miraculous, inch-perfect, tree-scraping 6 iron from the pine straw over water into a par 5 was “the percentage play.” The man is a living legend. People forget that he missed the putt.

Sounds Like

An overpriced golf-centric subdivision twenty minutes east of Orlando.

Probability of this actually becoming the new name

About as likely as Phil overruling one of Bones’s vetoes and then actually pulling off whatever stunt he’s attempting.

Sandy Beach

Reason

On Sunday of the 1988 Masters, Sandy Lyle was flirting with disaster. He led after Friday and Saturday, but was rudely turned down by Couples National Bank at the 12th and made double bogey. After birdieing the 16th, Lyle found himself tied for the lead on 18, but scorched a 1-iron into the titular fairway bunker. He then played a sublime 7-iron, barely disturbing a grain of sand and landing the ball into the green’s central ridge. The ball fed down to within a few feet, and Lyle made birdie to win before submitting his bid for enshrinement in the Bad White Guy Dance Move hall of fame with a hoppy little two-fisted number.

Sounds like

A real beach near my hometown.

Probability of this actually becoming the new name

Low, since you’re not allowed to refer to Augusta’s bunkers as anything other than “bunkers.”

Tiger Valley

Reason

The golf world is replete with places named Hogan’s Alley, so it seems fitting that Tiger Woods should at least get a valley. And there’s no better spot at Augusta than the vale to the back left of the 16th green. This might be the most-played highlight of any Masters telecast, and it never gets old. The ball sits on the lip for what seems like an hour, and finally tips over and falls in, prompting one of the most volcanic celebrations of Tiger’s career.

Sounds Like

A resort in rural India

Probability of this actually becoming the new name

More likely than the chance Tiger wins another major. Make of that what you will.

Mize Swale

Reason

In 1987, Augusta native (and former Masters volunteer) Larry Mize hit the shot of his life from short right of the 11th green, draining a 140-foot pitch shot to beat Greg Norman in a playoff. The 11th has been lengthened significantly since then, and most players bail out well right of the green rather than flirt with the pond on the left, so the swale will be getting a workout.

Sounds Like

A southern boy resigning himself to something. “Welp, ah mize swale git me a shuv’l and start a-diggin’”

Probability of this actually becoming the new name

Just about as likely as Norman losing a Masters in heartbreaking fashion.

Carl Jackson Caddy House

Source

Reason

Another Augusta native, Jackson started caddying at The National in 1958. He worked his first Masters three years later, at the ripe old age of 14. Barring one missed year while recovering from colon cancer surgery, Jackson caddied in every Masters from 1961 to 2014. For 39 of those years, Jackson caddied for Ben Crenshaw, aiding him to his two Masters victories in 1984 and 1995. The 1995 tournament was an emotional whirlwind for Crenshaw, as it came just days after the death of his teacher and mentor Harvey Penick. I’m not entirely sure of the grounds setup at Augusta, but I bet the caddies have some sort of locker room/secret club/hidden treehouse, and that structure definitely needs to be named after Jackson.

Sounds Like

A great spot to swap stories.

Probability of this actually becoming the new name

Kind of high? This is probably the only good idea on here.

De Vincenzo Memorial Scorer’s Tent

Source

Reason

Two quick things about Argentinian Roberto de Vincenzo. One, he amassed more than 230 worldwide wins, including the 1967 Open Championship. So he should be remembered for all those victories first. And two, I realize that he’s still kicking (as of this writing) at the age of 93. However, ask any golf fan what they remember about de Vincenzo, and it’s likely his famous quote after signing for an incorrect scorecard that left him one shot out of a playoff at the 1968 Masters: “What a stupid I am!” De Vincenzo’s Masters dream died in that scorer’s tent, and we should properly commemorate it.

Sounds Like

A great place for Angel Cabrera to sign another Masters-winning card.

Probability of this actually becoming the new name

Very unlikely, at least until after RdV passes to the great golf course in the sky.

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