Walking beyond the hallowed gates of Augusta National Golf Club is like walking back in time. The pimento cheese sandwiches are as cheap as ever, the men in green jackets will won’t permit you to run anywhere on the course, and the hole on No. 16 will always be cut back left on Sunday.
But the more things change, the more they stay the same. And three holes at the iconic loop have been altered ahead of the 2022 Masters Tournament.
Since we’re not on the grounds today, and sadly haven’t been offered the chance to play the track recently (or, you know, ever), we’re not sure exactly how these changes will effect things. But here’s what we do know.
Hole No. 11
“Masters tees moved back 15 yards and to the golfer’s left. Fairway recontoured and several trees removed on right side.”
As if Amen Corner wasn’t tough enough for mere mortals, now the big sweeping downhill dogleg right will playing even bendier. At least taking some trees out of the second shot angle might make things a bit more fair.
Hole No. 15
“Masters tees moved back 20 yards and fairway recontoured.”
Let’s leave the recontouring out of it and just talk about the tee relocation. Despite being basically an island green between two bodies of water, this has always been reachable for the longest hitters in two. While Gene Sarazen famously needed a 4-wood from 235 yards for his double eagle in 1935, nowadays that’s a mid-iron for the DeChambeau’s and Rahm’s and Johnson’s of the world.
This should help reign in the longest hitters, but it might mean the shorter players are now laying up more often to flip-wedge territory before a birdie putt.
Hole No. 18
“Thirteen yards added to the back of the Masters tees without necessitating a change in length to the hole.”
Often the toughest hole on the course, the Pro V1’s are now flying past the enormous bunker that you can never tell on TV if it’s an aiming point or a miss. It’s also a hole where the famous hills of Augusta are much more drastic in person than in HDTV. So the famous tree-lined tee shot on the dogleg right just got even harder.
This might be even more of a reason to take the “Winner To Bogey the 72nd Hole” prop at DraftKings Sportsbook. It plays like a 4.5 for the pros anyway, and someone coming to the last with a lead is very likely to play it safe here.