4 Changes To Augusta National For The 2024 Masters (As Explained By Rory McIlroy)

Small changes and minor alterations are inevitable at Augusta - Rory McIlroy explains the handful of touch-ups carried out at the home of The Masters before its 2024 edition

Rory McIlroy and Harry Diamond at The Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Augusta National Golf Club is always tinkering with its 18-hole layout in the pursuit of perfection - and the build-up to the 2024 Masters has been no different.

Since Jon Rahm bested Brooks Koepka at the exclusive Georgia layout 12 months ago, work quickly began on shaving this off by 1mm and adding a lick of paint to that fence, and so on.

But in terms of serious alterations or noticeable changes, what has been done? Rory McIlroy recently took a trip to Augusta as part of his latest scouting mission as he attempts to complete the career Grand Slam more than a decade after his most recent Major victory.

Upon his return, and ahead of the Valero Texas Open - in which the four-time Major winner would go on to finish third after a sparkling Sunday - McIlroy ran through the handful of adjustments from his point of view.

The first of which was the par 5 second hole tee box being moved back by 10 yards - a modification that the Northern Irishman says is extremely subtle.

Rory McIlroy takes a shot at the 2023 US Open

(Image credit: Getty Images)

McIlroy said: "I thought it was going to be a different visual than it used to be, but it’s -- I thought whenever someone said they moved it back and to the left, I thought the tee box was going to point you out towards that right bunker and you’re going to have to hit more of a draw around the corner.

"I mean, if you didn’t know, you would think you were on the same tee box, it doesn’t look that much different. You can still see left of the bunker and I thought it was really going to force you to hit some sort of draw shot around the corner, but you can still, you can still hit a straight away shot and keep it left of the trap. It’s not as drastic of a change as I thought it was going to be."

Elsewhere, McIlroy says Augusta National's team of greenkeepers and ground staff have been busy refining the club's putting surfaces in order to allow for greater versatility in pin positions.

As well as a new tee box on the second, that par 5 hole's green has undergone a minor face lift. Number two has been joined by the 240-yard par 3 fourth (Flowering Crab Apple) and 180-yard par 3 sixth (Juniper) in receiving a modification.

McIlroy continued: "And yeah, there’s new greens on 2, 4 and 6. Slightly -- there’s like a back middle hole location on 2, there’s a slightly bigger area in there where they can sort of move that around a little bit.

Rory McIlroy in the final day of the Dubai Invitational

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"On 4 they’ve sort of made the back right section a little bit bigger for an extra pin position there. And then 6 is different, like the top right plateau is definitely bigger and then they’ve flattened out a section in the back left to maybe have an extra hole location there, too. Those are the three changes."

McIlroy will hope the changes play a small part in his first Masters success, with the 34-year-old at least hoping to improve on his missed cut in 2023.

The World No.2 has regularly suffered from a slow start in recent years, with no under-par round on Thursday since 2018. Prior to that year, McIlroy had only carded more than 72 on Thursday once in nine attempts - that occurred in his second ever appearance at Augusta in 2010.

Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. An improving golfer who still classes himself as ‘one of the worst players on the Golf Monthly team’, Jonny enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.