This is the one Augusta National change that Masters chairman Fred Ridley will never make
CMC Masters

This is the one Augusta National change that Masters chairman Fred Ridley will never make

A photo of a pin flag at the Masters Tournament

Augusta National Golf Club changes in various ways -- subtle, noticeable and large -- each and every year, with the home of the Masters using the time in between each year's tournament as an opportunity to assess the course and make changes.

In 2024, the par-5 second hole was lengthened by 10 yards, with the teeing ground moved back and to the left in an attempt to force longer players to take on bunkering in the fairway's right side. The greenside-right bunker was deepened, and the green was reshaped to make that bunker shot more difficult.

The par-3 sixth saw a subtle change on the green, where the back-right hole location now falls off into a bit of a collection area behind the green. That now makes missing that tough hole location into more of a penalty than it previously was.

However, there's one hole on the Augusta National scorecard that Masters chairman and club chairman Fred Ridley will never change: the par-3 12th.

Asked Wednesday about comments made from past champion Vijay Singh that the par-3 12th should be lengthened by 10 yards, Ridley offered a resounding answer.

"I would say with a hundred percent certainty that it would not be lengthened during my tenure," Ridley said.

"That's almost like asking, you know, can we touch up the Mona Lisa a little bit.

"I mean, I think that the 12th hole at Augusta is the most iconic par-3 in the world. It has been and I won't say it always will be, but I think it always will be."

Ridley, who was the 1975 US Amateur champion and is now the seventh chairman in club history, waxed nostalgia about the design of the 155-yard par 3 in Amen Corner that plays over Rae's Creek and has proven to be one of the best and toughest holes in the Masters Tournament.

There's something about -- I don't know what it is, but there's something about the topography, the trees, the wind, the beauty that just -- it just captures your imagination," Ridley said. "When you combine that with the history that's been made there, I mean, the most recent being the tragedies and triumphs when Tiger Woods won in 2019. You know, Freddie Couples' ball, you know, hanging up on the edge of Rae's Creek, which is part of the -- made part of the song 'Augusta' [the long-time Masters theme song]."

As a practical matter, Ridley doesn't see adding 10 yards to the hole as meaning a whole lot to the scoring.

"And so I just think it is such an iconic hole that's had so many important moments in the Masters that I'm not sure that another 10 yards would really make a difference," he said. "Players are hitting short irons, but doesn't seem to matter, the hole is very difficult."

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is currently a +2.6 USGA handicap, and he has covered dozens of major championships and professional golf tournaments. He likes writing about golf and making it more accessible by answering the complex questions fans have about the pro game or who want to understand how to play golf better.

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