Eureka Earth photos appear to show a new, longer tee box on the famed par 5 at the home of the Masters.
The architects are at it again at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, with the par-5 13th having been stripped of grass, what appears to be drainage work laid under the fairway and the very real possibility that the famed dogleg-left will play longer in the 2023 Masters.
Eureka Earth, a Twitter handle of Augusta-based flight instructor David Dobbins, frequently posts aerial photos of Augusta National. His latest shots posted to Twitter on Monday show the 13th fairway receiving heavy construction work and what could be a new tee box on land that was purchased in recent years from the adjacent Augusta Country Club.
Augusta National made no comment on the work being done – early privacy in such matters of course renovation is customary for the exclusive club.
‘Significant Changes’ to No. 13 at ANGC
“The fact that players are hitting middle to short irons into that hole is not really how it was designed”~ Chairman Ridley, April 2022#TheMasters#Masters2023
If it is a tee box being constructed behind a row of trees that currently grows behind the longtime back tee, the hole could be stretched some 40-60 yards. In recent years the par 5 named Azalea has played 510 yards, but strong players with modern equipment have been able to bash the ball down the left side of the dogleg to set up short irons and sometimes even wedges into the green for the second shots. Many players tee off with a 3-wood to more easily hit a big draw than with a modern driver, and they still often have irons in their hands for approach shots into the green in two.
If the construction shown in Eureka Earth’s photo is a tee box that is put into play, players would be required to hit a tee shot of at least some 310-330 yards to get around the corner of the dogleg, guarded by tall pine trees and a creek, to set up any chance to reach the green in two shots. Even for most modern pros, that means driver off the tee.
Eureka Earth’s photos show what appears to be a squared-off area in recently cleared dirt behind the row of trees. The trees would have to come down, if it is indeed a new tee box, providing players a chute through which they can hit their tee shots.
Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said in his press conference ahead of the 2022 Masters that there was no timetable for when the club might stretch the 13th hole, but he did say it was a possibility. “That’s something that certainly we have considered and will continue to consider,” Ridley said.
The club is unlikely to make any announcement about the hole until much closer to the Masters in April, assuming the recent aerial photos do show a new tee box. Much work was done to the course last year and Eureka Earth captured photos of the work in progress, most noticeably to the 11th and 15th holes, but Augusta National officials did not comment on the renovations until February.
Eureka Earth also recently shot photos of heavy lifting on the par-3 course, with the possibility that several holes will be adjusted before the traditional par-3 event the Wednesday before the Masters starts in 2023.
The private course, ranked No. 3 among all classic courses in the U.S., is closed each summer, and the club normally takes on a variety of projects to the layout.
“All tickets will be awarded through a selection process,” says the website. The application process is open till June 21, 2022.
Prices for 2023 aren’t listed yet but in 2022, practice-round tickets were $75 and daily tournament tickets were $115.
The 87th Masters is scheduled for April 3-9, 2023. Monday and Tuesday are the practice rounds, Wednesday is the Par 3 Contest, the first round is Thursday and the final round will be Sunday.
For those interested, you do need to create a free account at masters.com and even if you have an account, you may need to update it:
We have recently completed enhancements to our online ticket process. To ensure the best user experience, current account holders may be asked to reset their password upon entering a 2023 ticket application. If you have not previously created an account/applied for tickets, you may create an account at this time in preparation for the next application process.
If you do score the right to purchase tickets, remember that parking is always free at Augusta National Golf Club.
“You know Augusta National is going to be the real linchpin when it comes to distance, don’t you?”
I heard that sentence, or at least a version of it, several times during conversations with equipment makers after the U.S. Golf Association and R&A announced they wanted to explore new Model Local Rules that could reduce distance at the elite levels. Those two organizations want to potentially modify how they test golf balls too.
The USGA and the R&A are the governing bodies of golf. They make the rules, set the equipment standards and oversee the handicap system. They research the sustainability of soil and grasses, report on the environmental impacts of the game, study ways to improve the pace of play and host tournaments worldwide, including the U.S. Open and British Open.
But the Augusta National Golf Club will also play a critical role because its reach has expanded beyond Washington Road and Old Berckmans Road. These days, Augusta National awards invitations to the Masters to the Asian Pacific Amateur Championship and the Latin American Amateur Championship winners, so its influence is felt in those regions. It hosts the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship, which has quickly become one of the most coveted amateur titles in golf and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals on the Sunday before the start of the Masters.
The club is also home to the most influential course in the world. With all due respect to the Old Course at St. Andrews, the universally acknowledged home of golf in Scotland, the most influential course in the world is in Georgia. Since Dr. Alister MacKenzie and Bobby Jones transformed Fruitland Nurseries into a golf course that opened in 1932, it has been revered.
Only a privileged few get to play on the holy ground, but tens of millions of people see it every year on TV and think, “Now that is what a great golf course is supposed to look like.” The green fairways are lush and devoid of weeds, the edges of the bunkers are razor-sharp, the flowers explode in color, while the sand is pearly white. Even the new trees look like they have been there for generations.
When it comes to modifying the course and making sure it continues to challenge the game’s best players, whether that means adding length, adding or removing trees, or adjusting the position of fairway bunkers, no obstacle is too great. Augusta National has a state-of-the-art sub air system that can pull water down through the soil and pump it away to make fairways and greens drier, scores of lawnmowers to cut the grass and plenty of fertilizer is used to make the plants, bushes and trees vibrant. Unlike many golf facilities, money is not an issue at Augusta.
So, if there is one course in the world that could afford to keep up with the trend in distance, it’s Augusta National.
If the USGA and R&A decide to create Model Local Rules that allow tournaments to mandate players use distance-reducing equipment, they will put those rules into play at events they control, including the U.S. Open and British Open. It would then be up to the tournament committee at Augusta National to decide whether or not to implement the Model Local Rules at the Masters and the PGA of America to decide what to do at the PGA Championship.
If Augusta opted not to implement the distance-reducing Model Local Rules, it would be a potentially mortal blow to the distance debate. But, if you have listened to Augusta National’s chairman, Fred Ridley, over the last year, it sounds like that will not happen.
Before the start of the 2021 Masters, Ridley said, “We have had a long-standing position of supporting the governing bodies. I was very encouraged when I saw the areas of interest that were published by the USGA and R&A [in 2021].” He went on to add, “Growth of the game is a big issue, but our position would be to support the governing bodies, and then if there is no action taken, for whatever reason, then we need to look at other options with regard to our golf course and what we can do to continue to challenge these great golfers and maintain the design integrity that was initially adopted by Mr. Jones and Mr. MacKenzie.”
This year, after discussing the changes to the 11th and 15th holes, Ridley said, “We look forward to further discussions during the comment period this summer, as well as future recommendations and ultimately implementation.”
Ridley won a national championship while playing at the University of Florida in the early 1970s, won the 1975 U.S. Amateur (defeating Curtis Strange and Andy Bean), competed in five majors and played in the Walker Cup in 1977. He was heavily involved with the USGA, served as the USGA’s Championship Committee chairman, and was elected president of the USGA in 2004. People refer to him as “Chairman Ridley ” everywhere he goes around Augusta National Golf Club, but at the USGA offices, he’s Fred.
So, it’s safe to assume that if Augusta National Golf Club is going to play a role in the distance debate and the USGA and R&A decide to create Model Local Rules that could mandate golfers use distance-reducing equipment at an elite tournament, the Masters is going to adopt those Model Local Rules if Fred Ridley has a say in the matter. And as chairman, he’s got the biggest vote of them all.
As you continue to boost your wardrobe, this list should help you round out your newly christened green and yellow closet.
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Prize money aside, there’s a lot of green at the Masters (pun intended) but according to a report by Forbes, the folks at Augusta National Golf Club could be making so much more.
We all know that the club plays a lot of things close to the vest. Very little gets out in terms of how it goes about its business. It’s a private club and the membership likes it that way. And that’s all good.
But in the article on Forbes, reporter Justin Teitelbaum extrapolates some interesting numbers. He writes that the 2022 tournament generated, by his estimates, $142 million. Meanwhile, the 2022 U.S. Open run by the U.S. Golf Association, will bring in $160 million.
Teitelbaum’s breakdown of the Masters goes like this:
Merchandise, $69 million
Badges, $39 million
International TV broadcast rights, $25 million
Concessions, $8 million
Notice anything missing? North American TV rights. That figure is $0. The U.S. Open will collect $93 million from its domestic TV rights.
It’s perhaps the most interesting money angle to the entire tournament, as Teitelbaum writes:
Augusta has just six sponsors—AT&T, Delta, IBM, Mercedes Benz, Rolex and UPS—which split a minimalistic four minutes of commercial time per hour of event coverage. Most of the sponsorship money goes directly to Augusta’s media partners, CBS and ESPN, to cover the cost of production, with the rest going to pay to host hospitality events for VIP patrons. Given that the U.S. Open generates at least $15 million per year in sponsorship revenue, it is safe to assume that the Masters could pull in at least $20 million, thanks to its much higher TV viewership. The Masters generates no domestic TV revenue because its agreements with CBS and ESPN allow Augusta complete control of the broadcast in exchange for no compensation.
On-course advertisements from those six sponsors aren’t even minimalistic; they’re non-existent. There are no ads anywhere on the property. That’s one of the charms of the event.
According to Teitelbaum, Lee Berke, from the consulting firm LHB Sports, Entertainment and Media, says domestic TV rights would be worth more than $100 million.
Admission to the Masters is also the best bargain in sports. That is, if you can get your hands on the face-value prices, which most people can’t. Nonetheless, says the Forbes report:
Being conservative, if Augusta were to charge half of what the secondary-market prices are, its badge revenue would jump to $185 million.
Bottom line, the Masters could be bringing in $269 million more than it does.
“Conversations with Champions, presented by Sentry” catches up with Ted Scott, caddie for Scottie Scheffler, at the Masters.
“Conversations with Champions, presented by Sentry” is a new weekly series from Golfweek that is a collaboration with the Caddie Network. Each week, we’ll take you behind the scenes in a chat with the winning caddie from the most recent PGA Tour event. This week: Scottie Scheffler and Ted Scott from the 86th Masters.
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Ted Scott walked off the 18th green at Augusta National well ahead of his boss, Scottie Scheffler. With his hat pushed up off his forehead and the staff bag slung over his right shoulder, Scott carried the flagstick – his trophy – down toward scoring.
Six months ago, Scott thought he was done caddying after a 15-year stint with Bubba Watson that included two Masters victories, came to an end. Now he’s working for Scheffler, the No. 1 player in the world, and, as a team, they’ve won four of nine starts together. His Masters flag collection has now swelled to three.
“It’s very surreal,” said Scott. “It’s pretty crazy, actually.”
The humble Scott won’t take any credit for Scheffler’s three-shot victory over Rory McIlroy. He teared up when talking about Steve Kling, the local caddie he stayed with during Masters week who answered question after question. Scott is quick to point out that he has yet to hit a shot here.
Last fall, Scott planned to retire from caddying and teach golf, something he’s been doing for years anyway. But when Scheffler called, Scott decided to put what happens next in the hands of his family.
“I had my kids and my wife pray about it,” said Scott. “They took a week and came back and said ‘Dad, we think you ought to do it.’ ”
Scott told them to pray about it another week. The answer came back the same.
Watson, Scott and Scheffler are tied together by their Christian faith. All three men are active in the PGA Tour’s Bible study group. After his round on Sunday, Watson was asked if he had any regrets about not having Scott on the bag. Watson said no, calling it a mutual split. In fact, he’s happy that another young player will benefit from Scott’s leadership.
“That’s why I hired Teddy years ago in ’06, and now Teddy being on the bag with Scottie,” said Watson. “All three of us are trying to do the same things. We’re trying to be the best husband we can be, trying to be the best parent we can be. Scottie is not a parent yet, but he will be at some point. We’re trying to do the same goals in life, and then golf just gets in the way. If you get your life somewhat in order, maybe a few more putts will go in.”
Scott wiped away tears as he videoed Scheffler’s green jacket ceremony on the practice green. Scheffler told the crowd there were times on Sunday that he felt like he should’ve been carrying the bag because he was blindly following Scott’s lead.
Phillip Allen of the Twenty First Group did the math on the difference in Scheffler’s bottom line since having Scott on the bag and the numbers are striking. In 62 starts on the PGA Tour pre-Scott, Scheffler had zero wins and made $8.56 million. With Scott, he has four victories in nine starts, for $9.04 million ($1 million per start).
Scheffler’s admiration for Scott, however, extends well beyond his ability to caddie.
“I can’t say enough about him,” said Scheffler. “You know, the qualities you look for in a person, Ted embodies pretty much all of them. He’s humble. He’s hard-working. He’s honest. He’s a good time to be around. I even, he’s just — he’s an amazing guy. To be able to have him on the bag is so special.”
Winning caddies at the Masters can write a letter to request their iconic white jumpsuits. Like many, Scott has grand plans for his memorabilia. He plans to eventually display everything in the building where he instructs.
But like everything with these two, it’s what’s inside that matters most. Before the round began on Sunday, Scott unzipped his jumpsuit to show Scheffler what was written on his green T-shirt: “God is in control.”
He might want to save that one for the display wall, too.
Golfweek’s Adam Schupak contributed to this article.
A complete list of the golf equipment Scottie Scheffler used to win the 2022 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club:
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It pays to play well, especially at Augusta National.
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Drinks are on Scottie Scheffler for the foreseeable future.
The 25-year-old Texan claimed his first major title on Sunday at the 86th Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, earning a green jacket and a cool $2.7 million for his three-shot victory over runner-up Rory McIlroy, who will take home $1.62 million.
This year’s event set a pair of records in regards to prize money, with a $15 million purse, up from $11.5 million in 2021. Not only that, Scheffler’s payday is slightly up from the $2.07 million Hideki Matsuyama earned last year. Professionals that failed to make the cut – like Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau – earned $10,000.
Check out how much money each player earned below.
And then Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa approached the 18th green.
Both players found the back-right bunker behind Augusta National Golf Club’s final hole and both proceeded to hole-out on consecutive shots, sending the patrons into an absolute frenzy of cheers and chants of “Rory! Rory!” and “Collin! Collin!”
The sand-save earned McIlroy the week’s first bogey-free round as he shot up the leaderboard on the final day to post a 8-under 64 and put up a number at 7 under for the tournament, just three shots behind 54-hole leader Scottie Scheffler at the time.
Nearly 14 months after being involved in a gruesome, high-speed single-vehicle accident, Woods did the unthinkable. He thanked his surgeons, his physios and physical therapists, his team as he collectively called them. It was so remarkable when he flew to Augusta to play 18 holes (plus the par-3 course) with son Charlie and test his surgically repaired leg that he nearly broke the Internet.
Then he termed himself a ‘game-time decision,’ but there he was on Monday of tournament week to play a practice round with pals Fred Couples and Justin Thomas. Seemingly every patron with a badge on the grounds at Augusta National had to see it for themselves. They were jammed 10 deep, children on the shoulders of parents, and adults craning their necks to see, if they were lucky, the top of his backswing. It was real and it was spectacular.
How much pain he’s endured, we’ll never know for sure.
“The people who are close to me understand. They’ve seen it,” Woods said. “Some of the players who are close to me have seen it and have seen some of the pictures and the things that I have had to endure. They appreciate it probably more than anyone else because they know what it takes to do this out here at this level.”
Thomas, one of the few to see behind the curtain, was asked to describe his reaction to seeing Tiger’s leg. “Horrified,” Thomas said.
And yet, Tiger opened with 71 in the first round.
“Even a month ago I didn’t know if I could pull this off,” Woods said.
On Friday, when he opened with four bogeys in the first five holes, a round in the 80s felt like a distinct possibility. But it wasn’t time to fuel Air Tiger for the flight back to Florida. Just when you thought the Tiger Woods story couldn’t get more epic, he made the cut at the Masters 14 months after almost losing a leg.
“I fight each and every day,” he said on Saturday. “Each and every day is a challenge. Each and every day presents its own different challenges for all of us. I wake up and start the fight all over again.”
In the third round, a wintry chill provided another obstacle for Woods to overcome. His limp became more pronounced as the day went along and by the time he walked off from his press conference he winced in pain and didn’t even try to disguise it. Yet his ball striking remained strong; it was his putter that showed rust as he took four 3-putts and a 4 putt. He ranked 51st of 52 players in the field in total putts on Saturday with 36.
“I just could not get a feel for getting comfortable with the ball. Posture, feel, my right hand, my release,” he said. “I just couldn’t find it.”
Given that Woods, who won his first of 15 majors here 25 years ago, said he came here with the goal to win a sixth Green Jacket, you almost wanted him to withdraw and save going through all the pre- and post-round rituals necessary to play. “Hopping in those ice baths, doing those a number of times a day, those do really suck, but it works,” he said.
Walking Augusta National is the equivalent of setting a StairMaster on a vertical setting of 11. Why do it? Why endure it again? Was it worth it, he was asked.
“This tournament has meant so much to me and my family,” he explained.
Two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw may have explained it even better than Tiger could have, saying simply, “He’s doing what he loves.”
On Sunday, Tiger made just one birdie – at the second – hit a pitch left handed at 13 and made a double at 17 en route to a 72-hole total of 13-over 301. But the final tally was immaterial. He already won just by making it to the starting line. He alternated between using his driver and putter as a cane of sorts near the end of his weekend rounds. When asked how much pain he was in, he smiled wanly and said, “Uh-huh.” Earlier in the week, Woods compared his team that worked on his body between rounds to a NASCAR pit crew.
“I go ahead and break it out there, they go ahead and repair it at night,” he said. “I’m good at breaking it. They’re good at fixing it.”
During an explanation of what changes to his swing he’s had to make to compensate for his myriad injuries, Woods gave his most revealing answer as to the challenges he faces in this latest comeback:
“The ankle is not going to move. I got rods and plates and pins and screws and a bunch of different things in there. It’s never going to move like it used to,” he said. “The more important thing is the ankle is always going to be an issue, but more importantly, if I play golf ballistically, it’s going to be the back. It’s fused. So it’s the levels above and below that are going to take the brunt of it.
“If I can’t push off, I can’t rotate as well, and fortunately, I’m still generating enough speed. My ball speed is at 175-ish when I hit it good, so that puts shearing on the back. I already had back issues going into this, and now this kind of just compounds it a little bit.”
On Sunday, Charlie and daughter Sam were in his gallery along with mom, Kultida, and his girlfriend, Erica Herman. Nike’s founder Phil Knight wore red and black, too. Former U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau, who missed the cut, and amateur Aaron Jarvis, the Latin American Amateur champion, were among the throngs of patrons who cheered Tiger on as if he were shooting 68 not 78.
“I think it was a positive, and I’ve got some work to do and looking forward to it,” Woods summarized of the week that was, during which he had us believing in the impossible again. That’s what Tiger does. Bubba Watson called it “the inspiration of Tiger.”
“Watching him walk, gosh, I cry on a paper cut,” Watson said. “For him to be able to walk and make the cut is pretty spectacular.”
If Tiger can play again at the highest level and not just in ‘hit-n-giggles,’ something that seemed far-fetched when he was lying in a hospital bed for months, then how far-fetched is it to believe that he can win an 83rd title or –gasp – another major.
“I’ve seen enough this week that we should be really excited about the summer ahead,” Golf Channel analyst Paul McGinley said. “We’ve got three major championships coming up and you can bet your bottom dollar that he’ll be competitive in at least one of them.”
Next up is the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in May. Tiger was non-committal about teeing it up in Tulsa, where he won in 2007, but he said he would be at the 150th British Open at the Old Course at St. Andrews. Does he need rest or reps? Only time will tell but if we learned anything this week it is that we haven’t heard the last from Tiger, the golfer.
“We’re excited about the prospects of the future, about training, about getting into that gym and doing some other stuff to get my leg stronger, which we haven’t been able to do because it needed more time to heal,” he said. “I think it needs a couple more days to heal after this, but we’ll get back after it, and we’ll get into it.”
The glue has dried and Tiger is ready to climb back atop the wall.
AUGUSTA, Ga. — To hear them talk, Masters Tournament patrons can never get enough of the tasty sandwiches sold in the concession stands around Augusta National Golf Club each year.
But if you’re making them all night, as Dougie Milne did for the first time during the 2022 Masters, you can get too much of a good thing.
“I’ve seen so much of those sandwiches in the last week I probably couldn’t eat any of them,” said Milne, a junior at Florida State who is from Jacksonville, Florida.
That includes the Masters Club, which he says was “delicious” until he had too many of them.
The Masters Club is one of the six offerings that come in the famous green wrappers at the concession stands. The others are the Pimento Cheese sandwich, Egg Salad sandwich, Ham and Cheese on Rye sandwich, Chicken Salad on Brioche and the Classic Chicken sandwich.
Pimento Cheese, the tournament’s most famous sandwich, is also the hardest to make, Milne discovered.
“It’s hard because after they make (the pimento cheese), it sits in a freezer and if it isn’t thawed out enough, it gets tough and thick,” he said. “Sometimes you have wait for it to thaw out and get a little softer. Because if it’s too thick when you scoop it, it can rip the bread.”
To ensure that each sandwich is fairly uniform, they are weighed, he said.
“The entire sandwich is supposed to weigh about 4.25 ounces, but sometimes that bread is a little thicker and it’s going to weigh more,” he said. “Normally, I don’t exceed 4.5 ounces and I won’t go anything less than 4 ounces. Sometimes you get too big a scoop and have to cut some of it off.
“At this point,” he said, “it’s not too challenging to make them; it’s the quantity we have to make.”
Milne worked in tournament operations, making sandwiches starting Thursday night through Sunday morning. The sandwich-making operation is housed in a shopping center on Washington Road. It had been anchored by a Food Lion grocery store, and included shops and restaurants. Now, it has been gutted, and blinds hide the work going on inside.
“It’s one big building; it kind of looks like a Publix,” Milne said. “Half of it is just for sandwiches and a couple of big coolers to keep the food. There is a big kitchen and a dining area.”
On Sunday, Augusta National would not disclose where the sandwiches are made.
“I’m sorry, we would not comment on that,” said Regina O’Brien, the club’s Director of Marketing and Communication.
Milne said he worked at one of 40 tables, each consisting of seven workers making sandwiches. He estimates his table produced “six or seven thousand” sandwiches each night. He didn’t work the practice-round days.
Starting with his shift Thursday night for Friday’s second round of the Masters, he said the operation made “probably well over 100,000 sandwiches” per night.
To ensure freshness of the sandwiches, Milne and the other workers started at 7 p.m. and worked until about 7 a.m.
“They don’t really tell you when to leave,” Milne said. “If you get loopy (because of the predawn hours) and you can’t work, then you can leave. Or if you have a ride, you can leave. A couple of nights people got off early and I worked from 7 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. (to cover for them).”
Milne said he never left early, and working 12 hours straight – and overnight – was a shock to his system.
“Maybe it’s just me because I’m a college student, but it’s been challenging working for 12 hours straight, especially overnight. I’ve met some people who have been doing this for the last 20 years.
“I’m glad I pushed myself,” Milne said. “There have been some days I get back home and wake up and I’m exhausted and know it’s going to be a long night (coming up). I bought a big case of Red Bull to power me through the night.
“Honestly, it’s been an amazing experience,” he said. “I’ve met so many great people that worked for the Masters for years on end.”
It even ended on a high note. It didn’t look like Milne was going to be able to attend the tournament, but at the last minute he got a ticket.
“One of my good friends in Tallahassee has an aunt and uncle who love the Masters and always go on the weekend,” Milne said. “They were unable to go on Sunday so they offered him their two passes and he texted me and said ‘Hey, I know you’re out there working hard, and my aunt said you can use her pass.’ So he drove up from Tallahassee.”