Augusta Lengthens Fifth Hole


Augusta National has just gotten longer, doing renovations that make it the sixth longest course in major championship history. The lengthening was on the fifth hole, which now will measure 455 yards. The extension bumps the course up to 7,290 yards.
The hole formerly measured 435 yards. In addition, the dogleg has been accentuated on the hole and the fairway bunkers have been extended approximately 80 yards toward the green.
'This improvement continues our commitment to accuracy off the tee,' Chairman Hootie Johnson said. 'Recently, the fairway bunkers did not come into play. This change should once again make the bunkers an integral part of the hole.'
The carry to the two fairway bunkers is now approximately 315 yards, and both the fairway and the bunkers have been shifted to the right to increase the dogleg characteristic of the hole, Johnson added.
Johnson defended the course-lengthening changes undertaken for this years tournament, saying he had heard only praise from players of the new-look layout for 2002.
'Rocco Mediate and Paul Azinger were down here and they could not be more pleased,' he said. 'I think they are considered medium hitters, but they could not be more pleased with the changes. They thought the changes gave them a better chance to win.
'They liked the idea of having their 6-iron versus a long hitter's 8-iron (for a second shot into a par-four hole), as opposed to their 8-iron versus the long player's pitching wedge.'
At this year's Masters, Augusta was the fifth-longest course in major championship history. It has since been overtaken by 7,360-yard Hazeltine, which hosted last week's PGA championship.