B MacKenzie never got to see that tour- nament played, for he had passed away two months prior. And that’s too bad, for he would have certainly enjoyed the praise the players heaped on his design. That design has changed a lot over the years. For example, Roberts and Jones decided to reverse the nines in the fall of 1934, in large part because the low-lying section of the course around what is now the 11th green, the 12th hole and the 13th tee was much more susceptible to frost than other areas – and took much longer to warm up in the winter months. Starting anew on what is now No. 1 meant fewer frost delays for members. Those, of course, were only the first changes of note on a layout that has
...it’s safe to say that
the final call to action
was the sight of Phil
Mickelson hitting a lob
wedge as his approach
into the 18th green.
changed a lot over the years. Feldspar
sand was put into the bunkers in 1975,
while the greens on the main Augusta
National track were converted to bent
grass in 1981, and a heating and cooling
system installed under the 12th green.
The club decided to reinstitute a second
cut of fairway in 1999, and a few years
later the big changes came in terms of
lengthening the course and protecting
what club officials felt was an erosion
in shot value due to the great lengths
touring professionals and elite ama-
teurs had begun hitting their golf balls.
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