If you have watched the Masters on television, you must have seen the lovely 16th hole, its tee set back in the shadows of some tall pines, sunlight sparkling on the long lake that forms most of the fairway, the entire hole ringed with spectators. The 16th is not the most difficult par 3 at Augusta, hut to a player who has fought his way into contention on Sunday afternoon that lake can resemble an ocean, while the traps that surround the green seem endless. The 16th, in short, can be lethal. Last year Photographer Jerry Cooke spent all four days of the tournament watching the action at 16, arriving at dawn, leaving at dusk, shooting the hole and its galleries from every angle, including from above by helicopter. The results are shown on the next four pages, after which, a look at one player who next week just might wind up wearing his first green jacket.
The Masters is not noted for the youth of its galleries and, generally speaking, the 16th hole is no exception. But throughout the four days of the tournament one spot, a small slope directly behind the green, is a gathering place for Augusta's teen-agers, a sort of Fort Lauderdale without sand. Supplied with Cokes and sandwiches from a nearby refreshment stand, they settle down on blankets to catch the sun, chatter away, occasionally watch some golf and, incidentally, add as much color to the scene as the dogwood and azaleas.
Soon after sunrise the traps get a smoothing and a new hole is cut. Many hours later, when the day's round is over and the spectators depart, still another task awaits Augusta's crew.