Does Augusta National Need More Lengthening? Past Masters Champions Say No

Augusta National has lengthened several holes in recent years to account for players hitting the ball further

Scottie Scheffler hits his tee shot on the 18th hole during the 2022 Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Two former Masters champions say there is no need to further lengthen Augusta National.

The iconic golf course has undergone many changes over the years, with several tee boxes moved back to increase the challenge for competitors and account for players hitting the ball further. 

The big change ahead of this year’s tournament was lengthening the par 5 second hole, which was already the longest hole on the course and now plays 585 yards. 

The tee box on No. 2 has been moved back by 10 yards and to the golfer’s left, with the intention to add difficulty to what has historically been one of the easiest holes at Augusta. It was the least difficult hole during last year’s tournament with a scoring average of 4.637.

Two-time Masters champ José María Olazábal believes the course doesn't require more lengthening.

“They have plenty of space, no questions about that, if they want to,” he said when asked if any other holes need extra length.

“But I don’t think the golf course needs it anymore. I think even for today’s game with all those young kids hitting it very, very far, I still think this golf course is long enough. 

“I played with Bubba [Watson] today on the back nine, and with his driving, he … reached the green in two on 13, reached the green in two on 15. He was hitting like a 9-iron or a wedge on 14. 17, he must have hit, yeah, a similar club, like 9-iron, something like that. He hit a 3-wood off the tee on 18 to avoid the bunkers. 

“I think the golf course is long enough, but if they want to, I’m pretty sure that they can find the space to do so.”

Jose Maria Olazabal hits a shot during a practice round at Augusta National

(Image credit: Getty Images)

1992 champion Fred Couples echoed similar sentiments, adding that he was happy with the changes that have been made.

“I don't think any of them have gone too far. I really don't … Where could they lengthen a hole? Everyone is talking about No. 2. It kind of looks awesome. Maybe you're a little more to the left where you can't like cut it way down there. I mean, the length is there.

“The other day I played on Sunday, and I told the amateurs that I was playing with just don't look, just follow me and just walk all the way to the back of the 18th tee and now turn around, and the one guy just couldn't believe it. I mean, it's a tunnel.

“I think 18 is probably one of the greatest holes in golf now. Last year was into the wind almost every [hole]. I was hitting 3-woods to it. It doesn't matter what I'm doing, but I'm just saying it was so long. But if it's dry and they move the tee back, it's one of the greatest finishing holes – trying to make a par to win this thing would be amazing.

“But length? I don't know if there's any holes maybe they need to lengthen. I really don't.”

Several holes at Augusta have been lengthened in recent years. No. 13 was moved back by 35 yards last year, while the 15th and 11th holes were lengthened in 2022.

Joel Kulasingham
News Writer

Joel Kulasingham is freelance writer for Golf Monthly. He has worked as a sports reporter and editor in New Zealand for more than five years, covering a wide range of sports including golf, rugby and football. He moved to London in 2023 and writes for several publications in the UK and abroad. He is a life-long sports nut and has been obsessed with golf since first swinging a club at the age of 13. These days he spends most of his time watching, reading and writing about sports, and playing mediocre golf at courses around London.