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Aerial photos show possibility of longer 13 at Augusta National

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The architects are back at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, with the par 5 13the having been stripped of turf, what appears to be a drainage job placed under the fairway and the very real possibility of the famous dogleg-left playing longer at the 2023 Masters.

Eureka Earth, a Twitter handle for Augusta-based flight instructor David Dobbins, frequently posts aerial photos of Augusta National. The latest photos of him posted on Twitter on Monday show the 13the fairway receiving heavy construction work and what could be a new tee box on land that was purchased in recent years from the adjacent Augusta Country Club.

Augusta National did not comment on the work being done – early privacy in such matters, of course, renovation is usual for the exclusive club.

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If it’s a tee box being built behind a row of trees that currently grows behind the old back tee, the hole could extend 40-60 yards. In recent years, the par 5 called Azalea has played 510 yards, but strong players with modern equipment have been able to hit the ball down the left side of the dogleg to set up short irons and sometimes even wedges onto the green for seconds. shooting. Many players tee off with a 3-wood to hit a big shot more easily than with a modern driver, and still often have irons in hand to hit approach shots to the green two at a time.

If the construction shown in the Eureka Earth photo is a put-in-play tee, players will need to tee off at least 310-330 yards to round the corner of the dogleg, protected by tall pine trees and a creek, to set up any chance of getting to the green in two shots. Even for most modern pros, that means driving off the tee.

The Eureka Earth photos show what appears to be a square area of ​​recently cleared land behind the tree line. The trees would have to be felled, if indeed this is a new tee box, providing players with a ramp through which they can hit their tee shots.

Augusta National president Fred Ridley said in his press conference ahead of the 2022 Masters that there was no timetable for when the club would be able to stretch the 13the hole, but said it was a possibility. “That is something that we have certainly considered and will continue to consider,” Ridley said.

The club is unlikely to make any announcements about the hole until much closer to the Masters in April, assuming recent aerial photos show a new tee. A lot of work went into the course last year and Eureka Earth captured photos of the work in progress, most notably at 11the and 15the holes, but Augusta National officials did not comment on the renovations until February.

Eureka Earth also recently took heavy lifting shots at the par-3 course, with several holes likely to be adjusted ahead of the traditional par-3 event on Wednesday before the Masters begins in 2023.

Ranked #3 among all classic courses in the US, the private course is closed each summer and the club typically takes on a variety of projects for the layout.

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