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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.
A photo posted by on
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.
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Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
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.
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