The 2019 Masters will not look the same as it did in 2018. That’s because Augusta National has lengthened the par-4 fifth hole from 455 yards to 495 for this year’s event, and in doing so has likely created one of the three hardest holes on the entire course.
Rex Hoggard of Golf Channel was the first one to point this out, although plans for this had been in the works for quite a while and were revealed just after last year’s Masters. The interesting part here is that to move the tee box back 40 yards, Augusta National had to do demolition work on one of the roads running next to its course.
For the sake of comparison, here’s what 2018 looked like compared to what 2019 will look like according to the media guide photo Hoggard tweeted out.
It looks as if the tee has been taken back and maybe a little to the left as you’re looking at the photo. Whereas players used to be able to walk straight off the fourth green onto the fifth tee box, now it seems as if they’ll have to turn right after exiting the fourth green.
As Geoff Shackelford noted last year, a movement of this tee back 40 yards would bring the left bunkers on No. 5 into play and reward you for taking them on by creating a better angle into the green. However, it’s still unclear whether the carry of the bunkers is any farther than it was in 2018.
Augusta National’s 5th hole lengthened 40 yards to 495, yet the media guide says the carry over the fairway bunkers is 313 yards — two yards SHORTER than last year’s guide, which said the carry was 315. So….
— Josh Berhow (@Josh_Berhow) January 30, 2019
We’ll likely have to wait until the tournament starts to talk to players about the differences, but regardless of the minutia, it would appear that the sixth-hardest hole on the course (0.16 strokes over par in 2018) just got a little bit harder ahead of this year’s event.