A new 13th tee at Augusta National? Aerial photos give us clues

The thirteenth gap at Augusta Nationwide is present process renovations.

@EurekaEarthPlus

All the pieces is altering on this planet of golf today, and it appears to increase even to Augusta Nationwide, the place gap 13 is beneath building.

Because of the flyover people at Earth Eurekawe’ve got new photographs from the thirteenth, taken earlier this week, exhibiting the bottom transferring on the golf green and the formation of a doable new tee set a lot additional again.

From above, it’s clear that the golf green has been excavated, with a pipe trench working down the center in direction of the 14th gap. It’s unclear if the pipe had simply been laid or dug. Augusta Nationwide doesn’t touch upon the membership’s operations.

The largest downside with the thirteenth gap is, after all, a possible new tee field. The golf world has weighed in on easy methods to change this par 5, which performs as one of many best holes on the course (by par) throughout the Masters annually. This yr, it was the third best, behind solely the par 5s on the highest 9, the numbers 2 and eight.

The No. 13 has been the topic of many questions thrown on the president of Augusta Nationwide Fred Ridley lately. Simply a few months in the past, at his annual information convention, Ridley was requested if the membership had a timetable for altering the opening.

“Yeah, I imply, there is no schedule,” Ridley stated. “Nothing to announce presently. That’s one thing that we’ve got definitely thought-about and can proceed to contemplate.

“It is true, and I’ve stated this earlier than, the thirteenth gap would not have the identical challenges that it has traditionally and, I imply, I can solely bear in mind after I was younger watching the Masters, you recognize, among the triumphs and tragedies. And although we nonetheless have them, the truth that gamers are hitting medium to quick irons on that gap, you recognize, it is probably not the way it was designed.”

Ridley is true in regards to the membership choices. Gamers typically hit the 3-wood off the tee, as Scottie Scheffler did this yr, with the opening prolonged to a complete of simply 510 yards. If they can bend it proper across the nook, there is just one 8-iron left. There isn’t any purpose to take the motive force out of the bag, particularly with the bushes and pine straw within the distance.

Ridley admitted the membership’s hesitation to alter something in regards to the gap’s design was as a result of it’s “such an iconic gap” and one of many few the place a lot golf historical past has been made. However, he additionally admitted, “in some unspecified time in the future, it is one thing we’ll most likely do. We simply don’t have anything to say about it at this level.”

Effectively, evidently the membership is now doing one thing about it.

A number of photographs from Eureka Earth present building past the teeing floor, and even a white, rectangular define of what would sensibly be a brand new tee. In response to these photographs, a brand new tee can be roughly 30 yards behind the present teeing floor, forcing the motive force again into the palms of many gamers and turning off-the-line photographs into layups. Take a look at the photographs under.

What does this imply for the 2023 Masters? As soon as once more, it’s too early to inform. The membership has a behavior of sharing course changes in its media guides every spring. That is the place we have been first launched to an elongated fifteenth gap, which made its debut this April.

the 15 performed hardest than it has been in a long time this yr, with a further 20 yards in whole size, to achieve 550 from the championship tees. All that meant was that gamers couldn’t slide previous the overhanging bushes on the left facet of the golf green, nor might they throw iron photographs at one another for a green-keeping method. As a substitute, gamers discovered themselves hitting hybrids on the fifteenth inexperienced, or establishing for his or her second photographs on a difficult, downhill third shot. In consequence, not a single eagle was made on the fifteenth of this yr, and the opening was performed at a mean of 4.9329 strokes.

All of that, and the photographs above, communicate to Augusta Nationwide’s talents to regulate its course to the calls for of the fashionable sport, but in addition to do it by itself schedule. Do not count on official information from the membership till subsequent spring. Till then, observe alongside to Eureka Earth for these long-range airplane photographs. And take a look at this video about them under.

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