Monday, April 8, 2019
News 12 at 6 O'Clock
AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- For a place famous for tradition, Augusta National Golf Club workers keep players on their toes with changes.
This year, the biggest change is a longer -- even more challenging -- hole No. 5. Already one of the toughest holes on the course, the par four just got even tougher.
Before thunder came crashing down from the skies, came thunder from players crushing down hole No. 5.
“It was always a difficult hole because of the green,” Charles Howell, III said. “Now it’s difficult for every shot now. Takes a really good drive there.”
The tee boxes at No. 5 are now almost 40 yards back.
Glenn Wilkins staked out a prime spot to see how players navigated nearly half a football field of extra length off the tee.
“Everyone’s hitting driver. It’s a lot longer. Now instead of hitting 9 iron onto the green, now they’re hitting driver and probably 5 or 6 iron,” Wilkins said.
No. 5 has always been a tough old bird, and now the chances of hitting any sort of bird here have taken a nose dive.
“It’s going to be the toughest hole is what I’ve heard,” patron Karen Ferrar said. “They’re having a tough time already today. So it’s going to be a tough hole.”
In addition to lengthening the tee, they moved the bunkers to the opposite side and cleared out trees, giving patrons the chance to walk up alongside the fairways of No. 4 and No. 5 like never before. They did it in true Augusta National fashion, too.
“It looks like it’s been there forever,” Howell said. “It’s one of the neat things about this place, they can make it look like that.”
The first change to the course layout in 13 years is sure to give patrons a thrill and players a challenge.