Augusta National's 13th Has Finally Been Lengthened

It looks as though the long-running controversy over Azalea's length might be coming to an end

An aerial image of the lengthened 13th hole at Augusta National
(Image credit: (©12SEP2022 David Dobbins/EurekaEarth))

After years of speculation, Augusta National appears to have completed work to extend its famous and controversial 13th hole.

The hole, Azalea, has been the subject of rumours that it would be extended for several years. Finally, there was evidence that was about to happen when aerial shots emerged in July showing work was under way to build the tee set further back. Now, another stunning image has been released by Eureka Earth that appears to show the work has been completed in time for the 2023 Masters. 

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The dogleg left 13th has regularly been at the centre of the debate over driving distances in the game. The hole had been 510 yards, which is shorter than many present-day par-5s. Not only that, but the game’s biggest hitters were able to drive over the trees and cut the corner, offering them a distinct advantage.

Augusta National purchased the land at the back of the 13th tee from neighbouring Augusta Country Club five years ago, and the expectation has been that it would be extended ever since then given the controversy surrounding it. 

Google Earth imagery from 2020 showed that a service road was being built on the land behind the tee to suggest a change was imminent. Then, last year, more Eureka Earth images showed that work of some kind was being carried out there. Back in March, it was revealed that Augusta National had made course changes for this year's Masters. However, rather than Azalea being altered, it instead lengthened two of its other holes, the 11th and the 15th, adding 35 yards to the overall length of the course. There was a change to the 13th, but only with the green, which was resurfaced along with the greens at the third and 17th.

Finally came those images from July showing the work to lengthen the hole, and now we can see the result, meaning it's all-but-confirmed that next year's opening Major of the year will see a lengthened 13th, and with it, a wholly different approach required for some of the game's more ambitious drivers.

Mike Hall
Freelance Staff Writer

Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.