Masters 2022: Augusta National announces an elongated course, notable developments on three holes

Augusta National is going to look different as viewers tune in to the 2022 Masters. Not in a significant way as the changes to the golf course were subtle – as almost all adjustments to the course and grounds have been over the years. years – but it will play out differently this year.

If you look closely you will see how Augusta National – as it has always worked to do – continues to modernize and improve its crown jewel of a course. In their recently released guide to the 2022 Masters, the club took note of some of the changes coming for the 86th edition of their tournament.

Augusta National is the most recognizable golf course in the world because it is in our lives for an entire week every year. So even subtle changes can be important to customers and viewers because we notice them in ways we wouldn’t if it was Bay Hill or Congress. More so, these changes will no doubt affect how the 2022 Masters (and those after it) play out. The strategy of the course will change, the decisions will be different from what they would have been.

This is all very exciting for the golf nerd and the Masters follower, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out here in the first major championship of 2022. Let’s take a look at it one by one with a few accompanying satellite images from last year.

No. 11 — White Dogwood

Master tees back 15 yards and to the left of the golfer. Fairway remodeled and several trees removed on the right side.

This is the first change to No. 11 since the fairway was widened 14 years ago in 2008. However, it was also one of the more predictable adjustments based on satellite imagery of the fairway. ‘last year. Moving the tee box is important, but tree removal is more significant when it comes to strategy on this hole. Now golfers have options instead of being forced to hit from the left side. They can hit right or left depending on where the pin is, which, as Andy Johnson points out here, makes the golf hole that much more exciting. Also, the bailout area on the right side of the green is lower than it was before.

“It’s a more generous tee shot,” Rory McIlroy said this week. “It was still an awkward tee shot. You had to hug that right side, and then if you did it a little tight, you were in those trees. So the tee shots might be a little easier, but that leaves you with a longer second shot, and I think that’s where the hole gets a lot more difficult.

“The second shot is basically the same. You might get 15 or 20 yards more into the green, but the penalty for missing the second shot is greater than it was before. You have this runoff on the right which, if you get to the middle, like say a high hairpin with the middle of the green, that drop on the right side is significantly deeper than it was before the front edge of the green and just a bit to right, but that brings those mounds into play.

… So the penalty for missing that second shot is much bigger, and if you miss it, obviously it’s a very, very tough back and forth from there.

No. 15–Firethorn

The tees from the masters have been moved back 20 yards and the fairway has been redesigned.

Once a 530-yard hole, Firethorn will now play 550 yards, which will add some intrigue as to whether players can take their second shots over water in front of the 15th green for a glimpse of the eagle with the tournament in the balance at the weekend. It’s a thrill, and all of these changes are just restorations of the strategic integrity with which the golf course was built.

They are needed in many cases because of the way equipment has evolved and eroded some of the risk-reward strategy that makes courses like Augusta National so great. This is probably the change that excites me the most. You can see it below where there is a ribbon cut between the 10th green and the 11th fairway.

“Then they lengthened the tee a bit,” McIlroy said. “Then I feel like they arched the fairway a bit more right to left to kind of feed the balls behind that collection of trees, so you might have to play a shot with your second if you want to go for the green. It forces you to hit the tee shot to the right side to get a clear view of the green. So the tee shot is a bit more demanding.”

No. 18 — Holly

Thirteen yards added to the back of the masters tees without requiring a change in hole length.

This adjustment is minimal, although I wish it had been in place in 2018 when Jordan Spieth tried to shoot 62 to win the Masters on Sunday against Patrick Reed, but ultimately bogeyed when he cut a tree off the tee. I’m not sure it changes the strategy that much, although it may change the selection of the club entering the 18th green, depending on the position of the flagstick. This is apparently the most minimal of changes, but it will always be interesting to hear what players have to say about it.

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