AUGUSTA, Ga. — The change to Augusta National Golf Club getting the most attention ahead of the 2019 Masters is the lengthening of the fifth hole. And rightfully so. Already one of the course's toughest tests, a new tee that adds 40 yards has stretched it to 495 yards. But a much more subtle alteration could stretch another hole in a different way, offering a new challenge to those playing in the 2019 Masters. At least, for one round.
During his Wednesday press conference, Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley sure made it sound like the 18th hole will feature a fresh back-right hole location during one of the tournament days. And it would be an intimidating one at that.
"The 18th green was a green we rebuilt this summer, and we captured, or recaptured some areas on the back part of the green that had been lost to encroachment, which is really a natural process in all golf greens over time," Ridley said. "So there is a larger area, both on the back left and the back right. The back right I think is going to give us an opportunity for a really good hole location. There's plenty of room back there, but it kind of looks like it's almost tucked, almost in the bunker, when you're in the fairway."
A front-left hole location on Sunday has become the norm in recent years, so it's doubtful the new hole location would be for the final round. But it's something to watch for—and prep for, if you're in the field—this week.
"I mean, the thinking there, really, was just really to try to reestablish what was there before that we had lost over the years," Ridley added. " I've heard some good comments. I was at the Champions Dinner last night, and everybody seemed to think it was a good change."