AUGUSTA, Ga. – Change, especially to the golf course, usually comes clandestinely to Augusta National Golf Club. It’s not until players start arriving for practice rounds that they see any changes made since the previous year’s Masters.
The golf course is usually modified between Masters, though the scope of the changes can vary greatly. This year’s changes were limited to the 14th hole, the only one on the course without a bunker. The oft-overlooked par 4 is sandwiched between the back nine’s two dramatic par 5s.
“It’s reasonably subtle,” Luke Donald said of the change. “I think they have softened the green just a little bit. They have given some opportunity for a few more pin locations.
“The back of the green is raised up a little bit, which will collect the ball and bring it back to some of the pin locations, which will make it exciting for the fans and people watching on TV.”
Two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw described the change as a subtle “crease” running through the middle of the green’s top section, better delineating the right and left portions of the green and allowing for more hole locations on each side.
“It’s very difficult to try to find, but it’s slight, just slight,” Crenshaw said. “It’s still the most – I think the slipperiest and most elusive green on the course. It used to have more of a continual slope from top to bottom.”