In February word leaked that Augusta National Golf Club was considering lengthening its fifth hole. Preliminary site plans filed Jan. 30 with the Augusta Planning and Development Department, according to an Augusta Chronicle report, showed a design that moved the tee box back 20 to 30 yards. It appears Augusta is going forward with the proposed changes.
According to the Golf Channel, Augusta National will build a new tee box for the fifth, adding 30 yards to the hole.
The Golf Channel's Tim Rosaforte reports that that club hopes the endeavor adds another element of shotmaking that's been lost due to equipment distance gains. "Instead of 3-woods and 7-irons, the new fifth should require a driver and a 5-iron, at the very least, depending upon the conditions," Rosaforte said.
The fifth hole has been far from a pushover in recent years, with the field logging just 21 birdies versus 82 bogeys or worse last year (4.212 average, fifth-toughest hole on the course). It is the first significant modification to the course since 2006 when six holes were lengthened.
It also may not be the end of alterations, as the club bought land from neighboring Augusta Country Club last summer, which many believe signals upcoming changes to Amen Corner. Although a leaked letter in August confirmed these premonitions, no official announcements to the 13th have been made.