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John G. Zimmerman/SI
1960: These photos are special not so much for their content, but because of the man who took them. John G. Zimmerman is a legend in a long line of great SI photographers. Zimmerman was renowned as an innovator, and at that time shooting from a fixed-wing plane was totally out of the box. The photos -- of the 18th green and the clubhouse at Augusta National, above, and the 6th and 16th greens on the next slide -- did not appear in SI until 1961, when they accompanied a preview story written by the equally gifted Alfred Wright.
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John G. Zimmerman/SI
1960: The 6th and 16th greens at Augusta National.
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1996: The plan here was to be flying over the 18th green on Sunday as the last putt was holed and get the winner's reaction. Everyone was expecting a coronation, as Greg Norman was holding a six-stroke lead going into the final round, but instead photographer Jim Gund captured the wonderfully poignant moment that Norman, who had imploded by losing all six strokes and five more, emotionally embraced playing partner Nick Faldo, the man who had caught and passed him.
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1996: An inspiring shot of the 18th surrounded by fans.
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1996: The 12th hole at Augusta National.
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1999: Foreshadowing the monumental course renovation that would come only three years later, Augusta National unveiled what at the time were considered radical alterations -- the first rough, or "first cut" in Masters-speak, and new back tees on the 2nd and 17th holes, among other tweaks. SI focused on the 17th and 15th, where 35-foot pines were planted on both sides of the par-5, with photos by Bob Rives accompanying analysis by Jaime Diaz, who received the PGA of America's Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism.
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2000: Bob Martin, SI's Europe-based photog, took his turn in the air during the first Masters of the millennium, and he came up with a bird's eye view of Clifford Roberts's charming short course during the Wednesday Par-3 Contest.
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2000: A direct overhead shot of the beautiful but dangerous 13th green.
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2000: The armada of fairway mowers that are unleashed on the main course every evening.
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2001: Word filtered out in the summer, when Augusta National is closed, that massive changes were being made, and our friends at the Augusta Chronicle got the scoop. SI photographer Chris Stanford confirmed the story with these snaps. The mess in front of the clubhouse are (from left to right): the putting green, the back tee at the 10th and the back tee at the 1st.
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2001: The second shot shows the then newly stretched -- by 60 yards -- 18th and the back tee at the 8th. In all, Augusta National was about 200 yards longer for the 2002 Masters.
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2002: SI wanted to do a story about the goings-on at Augusta Country Club, which abuts Augusta National and shares a number of local members. There was no better way to illustrate how close the two clubs really are than to have photographer Chris Stanford go high and show the proximity of the 9th hole at Augusta Country Club to the 13th tee at Augusta National.
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2002: This photograph is of the swell clubhouse at Augusta Country Club, whose members are unfailingly warm and welcoming during Masters week.
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2010: The latest significant changes to Augusta National were hardly a secret. SI knew for years that the club was interested in improving parking and, more important, upgrading the practice grounds, and had been gobbling up all the real estate across the street on Berckmans Road.
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2010: The end result, captured by photographer Fred Vuich, was expanded parking for all, a dramatically increased capacity for hospitality and, to the delight of the players, a driving range and short-game area to die for.
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Redbud, the par-3, 170-yard No. 16 at Augusta National.
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Firethorn, the par-5, 530-yard No. 15 at Augusta National.
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Azalea, the par-5, 510-yard No. 13 at Augusta National.
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Golden Bell, the par-3, 155-yard No. 12 at Augusta National.
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White Dogwood, the par-4, 505-yard No. 11 at Augusta National.
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Camellia, the par-4, 494 yard No. 10 at Augusta National.
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Top Left: Carolina Cherry, the par-4, 460-yard No. 9 at Augusta National. Top Right: No. 18 green. Bottom Left: No. 2 green. Bottom Right: No. 7 green.
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Pampas, the par-4, 450-yard, No. 7 at Augusta National.
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Juniper, the par-3, 180-yard, No. 6 at Augusta National.
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Magnolia, the par-4, 455-yard, No. 5 at Augusta National.
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Top: Flowering Peach, the par-4, 350-yard, No. 3 at Augusta National. Bottom: Flowering Crab Apple, the par-3, 240-yard, No. 4 at Augusta National.
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Pink Dogwood, the par-5, 575-yard No. 2 at Augusta National.
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The par-3 course at Augusta National.