President Jay B. Forrester of Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters, sent a letter to club members indicating that there might be changes coming to the course, including the iconic par-5 13th hole.
The club has been trying to purchase land from neighboring Augusta Country Club that would allow 25 yards to be added to No. 13 (pictured) in the form of a new back tee.
Forrester’s letter read in part: “Purchase of property at our northwest boundary” has been approved by the club’s board of governors.
Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne has made no secret that he would like to lengthen the hole so big-hitting right-handers can’t bomb their drives over the trees and significantly shorten the hole, leading to wedge shots into the green.
“We think there are multiple options where we could increase the difficulty of the hole and restore the shot values, only one of which deals with extending the length,” Payne said last year. “We are in the middle of those studies, a lot of arithmetic, lot of design issues.”
Payne also would like to build a road behind the 13th tee that could transport emergency, security and work vehicles.
Augusta National has been buying up land around the club for the last eight years in order to add additional parking space, increase security and also would like to build a hotel for players in the Masters, in addition to making course changes.
Payne also is talking with golf course architects including Tom Fazio about changes to the fifth, eighth and nine holes.