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Masters 2024: The one change that Augusta National will never make

April 10, 2024
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AUGUSTA, Ga.—Augusta National is a property in constant change, which will be seen at this year’s Masters tournament in three different greens and one new tee box. But there’s one change, club chairman Fred Ridley insists, you’ll never see.

Speaking to the media Wednesday morning at his annual address, Ridley was informed that former Masters champ Vijay Singh wouldn’t mind the famous par-3 12th being lengthened by 10 yards, and if Ridley had any thoughts on the matter. While prefacing that forever “is a long time,” Ridley delivered a response that should have fans of the short hole breathing a sigh of relief.

“I would say with a hundred percent certainty that it would not be lengthened during my tenure. That's almost like asking, you know, can we touch up the Mona Lisa a little bit,” Ridley joked.

But as he continued, it was apparent the question was no joking matter.

“I mean, I think that the 12th hole at Augusta is the most iconic par-3 in the world,” Ridley said. “It has been and I won't say it always will be, but I think it always will be. There's something about -- I don't know what it is, but there's something about the topography, the trees, the wind, the beauty that just -- it just captures your imagination. When you combine that with the history that's been made there, I mean, the most recent being the tragedies and triumphs when Tiger Woods won in 2019. You know, Freddie Couples' ball, you know, hanging up on the edge of Rae's Creek, which is part of the song ‘Augusta.’

“And so I just think it is such an iconic hole that's had so many important moments in the Masters that I'm not sure that another 10 yards would really make a difference. Players are hitting short irons, but doesn't seem to matter, the hole is very difficult.”

Ridley’s remarks come just a year after the club added 40 yards to the 12th’s neighbor, the equally-iconic par-5 13th, thanks to a property purchase from Augusta Country Club.