Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

The year’s first major is upon us. The smallest field of the four majors will tee it up on April 6th with hopes of slipping on the Green Jacket. But there are big changes at Augusta National this year. This is the first year the much debated LIV Golf tour is in existence. The sport is fractured with elite names spurring the PGA in favor of LIV. Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia and Charl Schwartzel are all past champions. And get the automatic invite per the Master tradition of invited pas champions back. They also get the invite to the Champions Dinner on Tuesday night. I have said for a long time I would like to be a fly on the wall for that dinner. That holds even more water this year.

Par-5 13th

But the intrapersonal dynamics are not the only changes at Augusta National. The course will look different this year. More specifically the par-5 13th hole. The club has added 35-yards to one of the shorter par-5’s the players face all year long. It goes from 510 to 545 yards. But was it necessary? It does play as the easiest hole on the course with an average score of 4.77. But the excitement that hole specifically provides is what makes the back-9 at Augusta on Sunday so special. Knowing that an eagle is a possibility keep guys a few strokes back in the tournament. And if you don’t gain a stroke on that hole, you are losing ground to the rest of the field. It is not often Augusta National makes changes that don’t better the course. In fact, I can only thing of the Eisenhower tree removal on 17 as the lone mistake.

4.77 Scoring Average

The other par-5 on the back-9 is the 15th hole. Guess what that’s played at over the course of the tournament? 4.77. The exact same scoring average as the 13th hole. So why no changes there? There is a larger body of water in front of the 15th green, and the green is mush shallower than the 13th. But it’s not a great hole because it’s “getable”. It’s a great hole because there are tournament defining shots on that hole. I really hope the changes to the 13th don’t negatively affect the tournament. But only time will tell.

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