The Masters 2013: Changes to Augusta National Golf Club

Harry How

Despite its rich history and tradition, Augusta National has undergone numerous changes to keep up with golf's progression. Here is a rundown of the most recent changes at Augusta.

Players at this year's Masters tournament will be greeted by a different Augusta National thanks to subtle course changes. While the biggest course changes came in 2001 when rough, bunkers and longer hole designs were the talk of the town, this year's face lift is more cosmetic than anything.

Hole No. 1 -- Tea Olive

Augusta's famous opening hole was originally a 400-yard par-4, which players would normally approach with a driver-mid-iron game plan. Now that players have moved from persimmon woods to titanium drivers, Augusta officials knew they had to lengthen the hole to prevent players from eating this hole up. The new 445-yard hole seen today -- along with an added fairway bunker -- adds some meat to one of the most famous holes in golf.

Hole No. 7 -- Pampas

Perhaps the largest course changes were seen at the par-4 seventh hole. Nearly 100 yards were added to the hole to combat the game's longest hitters. Now at 450 yards, players will need an accurate tee-shot to a narrow landing area if they hope to hit a wedge or 9-iron into the redesigned green. Oh, don't forget about the five greenside bunkers that surround your approach shot.

Hole No. 18 -- Holly

Augusta's 465-yard closing hole was in dire need of a redesign once players began driving their tee shots over the fairway bunkers. A wide-open left side offered players a 'bail out' point that made the hole even easier as golf balls began to fly longer distances. A recent revamp of the hole added a line of trees on the left side and a tee box some 60 yards further back, bringing the fairway bunkers back into play.

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