The 2019 Masters will be just a bit harder than the 2018 Masters.
The media guide for the 2019 tournament was released on Tuesday, and Golf.com reported that it shows the fifth hole at Augusta National has been lengthened by 40 yards. The hole will continue to be a par-4, but the ball will have to travel 495 yards from tee to hole instead of 2018’s 455 yards.
The fifth hole, named “Magnolia,” is an uphill, dogleg left hole with a sloping green. It also has two bunkers on the left side of the fairway, which may now be more of a concern for golfers due to the length and overall trajectory of the course toward the hole. Geoff Shackelford, senior writer for Golfweek, has comparisons of hole renderings from both the 2018 and 2019 media guides on his personal website. The bunkers are still there, but it appears they may have been moved slightly to compensate for the lengthening of the course.
The fifth hole was already the fifth-toughest hole in Masters history, and lengthening it won’t make it any easier. According to Golf.com, the average score on that hole (from 1942 to 2018) is 4.26. It played slightly easier in 2018 (4.16 average), but it was still brutal. It was home to 26 birdies, 64 bogeys, and 4 double bogeys. Yikes.
There’s just one other par-4 that’s longer than the fifth hole — the 11th is a 505-yard par-4. The fifth is now just 15 yards shorter than the par-5 13th hole.
The lengthening of the hole isn’t a grand break with tradition. Augusta National has enlarged the course numerous times in the tournament’s history. In 1940, the course measured 6,800 yards. Since 2010, it’s measured 7,435 yards. If there are no other changes to the course before April, the 2019 total course length would be 7,475 yards.
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