Eureka Earth/Graphic: Darren Riehl
The hallowed grounds of Augusta National Golf Club have awakened from their summer slumber, and with it comes the first images of a rather significant change.
The club is typically closed until the summer months and it’s allowed them to build what we presume will be the new tournament tee on 13 for the Masters come April.
Check out the photo below from Eureka Earthwhich often publishes flyover photos of Augusta National.
When we last saw Eureka Earth photos of the 13th hole, work still appeared to be ongoing to the new tee, as well as to the Bunkers off the 12th green. Now, based on this foursome making its way through Amen Corner, the course is open for play.
It even looks as though the tee markers are out on the new back tee, which is also complete with a stone wall around the perimeter.
Back in September, we estimated the hole could play in the neighborhood of 540 to 550 yards next April, a significant change to a hole that has played around 500 yards for the complete history of the Masters. We also saw shots of the tee before the sod was laid down showcasing what looks to be a hydronic system under the tee, which could be used on Chilly April mornings to keep frost off the grass.
Bobby Jones intended for going for the par-5 in two to be a “momentous decision,” but it’s been more a formality as modern technology and increased swing speeds have allowed players to hit mid or even short Irons into the green for their second shots .
Augusta National has made no comment on the new tee and likely won’t until the tournament next April. Last Masters, Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley said there was “no timetable” for changing the hole. But here we are. The 2023 Masters will be the second consecutive year that one of the par-5s on the back nine was lengthened; last year the 15th was extended to 550 yards.
We’re also pretty certain this new tee will be in play given the old tournament tee, which made the hole 510 yards, appears to have been eliminated. The 13th played as the third-easiest hole on the course at the 2022 Masters, only more difficult than the two front-nine par-5s.
As for what the exact 2023 yardage will be, we’ll just have to wait until the scorecard information comes out next spring. However, it seems very unlikely we’ll be seeing any short irons into the green this year.
We’re also still waiting for new photos of the renovation the club took on for its par-3 course.