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Magnolia gets a facelift

The Par-4 fifth hole named Magnolia is Augusta National’s most recent facelift.

Since 2002, Augusta National’s members and it’s committees haven’t been shy in making changes to their cherished golf course. Several iconic holes have be lengthened, made more difficult and stretched to the limits all in an attempt to maintain the integrity and shot values envisioned by Bobby Jones and Alister Mackenzie.

This year’s Masters is no different.

The Par-4 fifth hole, named Magnolia is Augusta National’s most recent facelift.

It’s traditionally one of the most difficult holes in tournament history playing at 455 yards with a tournament stroke average of 4.26. This year it was lengthened to a whopping 495 yards so that tournament stroke average is about to head north.

The fairway bunker that protects the left side is now a 313 yard carry from the tee.

Although the bunker has been softened, it forces even the longest hitters to either lay back or squeeze their tee ball into the narrow right corner of the dogleg.

For the shorter hitters in the field they’ll need to be very precise.

Anything down the left side gathers to the bottom of the fairway leaving a blind up hill approach to a brutally difficult green.

In recent years, players struggled to find the putting surface with wedges and short irons. This year they’ll hit mid-irons into that same small target but they’ll need to negotiate the same false front that repels any short approach and the same steep run off that guards the back edge of the green complex.

England’s Eddie Pepperell (who will be playing in his 1st Masters this year) said it best on Twitter, “This is a real shame cause I was expecting the 5th hole to be a safe bogey.”

Coming on the heels of the longest par-3 on the golf course the new number five has created quite the back-to-back punch on the front side and for a hole that was already a take a par and run scenario, that par just got harder.

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