Augusta National Golf Club will play 40 yards longer in 2019 than it did in 2018, with the club announcing the Masters tees for the par-4 fifth hole have been moved from 455 yards to 495 yards.
The change was made public when the club released its updated Masters media guide, per Golf Channel. Reporting from February and July 2018 suggested the hole would be lengthened by anywhere from 20-30 yards.
In January 2018, plans were filed to suggest the new tee would be constructed across Old Berckmans Road in an effort to alleviate congestion between the tee and the nearby fourth green. The plans, according to the Augusta Chronicle, called for the road, which has been closed to public traffic since 2015, to be curved to accommodate the new tee box.
The hole, known as “Magnolia,” will now have a Masters tee box offset to the right. The tee shot has been changed over the years to bring the left side fairway bunker complex into play and force a mid-iron approach. With increases in driving distance, the bunkering has been less relevant to the hole.
With the change to the hole, the uphill tee shot now requires a 313-yard carry to fly over the bunkers. That’s not happening for pretty much any player in the field.
The green complex has some of the more noticeable undulations on the golf course.
In 2018, the fifth hole played as the sixth toughest in the tournament. Historically, the fifth hole has been the fifth-most difficult during the Masters.
The lengthening of the fifth hole represents the first man-made change to the course since 2006, when six holes were lengthened. There has been talk for several years now of expanding the 510-yard par-5 13th hole into land purchased from neighboring Augusta Country Club. However, that change hasn’t been made.