04.05.17 | Kevin W.

The Course

Carved out of a old plant nursery by the legendary Bobby Jones and famed Alister MacKenzie the course is now known around the world as Augusta National. Now laying at 7,435 yards for the Masters it is a substantial increase from its start in 1934 at 6,800 yards. The change in length is not the only subtraction from MacKenzie's design. The course has gone under more changes then any other famous golf course in the world. Jones and MacKenzie had originally envisioned that a strong ground game be crucial to playing the course, similar to whats necessary in conquering the Old Course. That quickly vanished during Clifford Roberts' tenure as president of the club. Major changes included the lengthening of the 10th hole in 1937 when Perry Maxwell moved the green back 50 yards down the hill. This made the easy and benign 400 yard par-four one of the courses toughest holes. Since then ten architects have worked on the course. Other than length the largest change in the past two decades was the addition of a "first cut" in 1999 by former champion Ben Crenshaw. 

Hole #10 - Camellia | Historically the toughest hole during The Masters.

Hole #10 - Camellia | Historically the toughest hole during The Masters.

Amen Corner

Others may try to replicate it by naming a grouping of their holes but none can rival it. Amen Corner which starts with a 505 yard par-4 which leads to a short 155 yard par-3 and the your on the way via a 510 yard par-5. This corner has been the site of some golf's greatest monuments and has decided the tournament many times such as in 2016 when Jordan Spieth collapsed with a quadruple bogey at 12 on Sunday.

The Hogan Bridge leading to the 12th green and The Nelson Bridge leading away to the 13th tee.

The Hogan Bridge leading to the 12th green and The Nelson Bridge leading away to the 13th tee.

The Super

Brad Owen is the man behind the turf at Augusta National and has been for two decades now since becoming the head man in 1997 after ten years with the club (8 as a Senior Asst. Superintendent and 2 as a Irrigation Technician). He is a graduate of Penn State's Turfgrass program.

GCSAA Perk of the Week is that all Class A, A-Retired, and AA Life members who have a valid gold membership card receive complimentary daily admission to the Masters.

The Grass

Tees | Ryegrass 0.312" | Average size 1,500 sq. ft.

Fairways | Ryegrass 0.375" | 100 acres

Greens | Bentgrass 0.125" | Average size 6,486 sq. ft.

Rough | Ryegrass 1.375"  | 40 acres

Other: 40 bunkers, 6 water hazards, clay soil, 260 total acres, hole 13 is home to 1,600 azaleas

The grass is cut in one direction at Augusta.

The grass is cut in one direction at Augusta.

The Major

The Masters is always the first of the years four majors, and the only one played at one course. It is and has always been played at Augusta National during the first week of April every year from 1934-1942 and then from 1946 to the present day. Known far beyond golf for awarding the champion a green jacket the tradition did not start until 1949 when Sam Snead became the first nonmember to don the green jacket. The champion since 1993 has also received a replica of the permeant club house trophy. The biggest prize of all though is the ability to play in The Masters for life. The tournament record is 270 an held by both Tiger Woods ('97) and Jordan Spieth ('15). 

The Favorites

Current Champion Danny Willet will come in at 100/1 or +10,000 pretty good odds for a past champion, but the better pick at that long shot of a number is Lee Westwood who has two second place finishes including last year when he lost by three strokes to Willet.

A good sleeper pick at 40/1 or +4,000 to is Paul Casey who has finished in the top-seven the past two years and had a top-ten at the WGC in Austin.

The favorite this year is Dustin Johnson who is took last week off after his win at Austin. He finished fourth last year and will start at 5/1 or +500.

Others: Spieth +700 | McIlroy +750 | Rahm +1,800 | Matsuyama +2,000 | Day +2,000 | J. Thomas +2,500 | Mickelson +2,500

The Coverage

Wednesday | Par-3 Contest | 3:00-5:00 PM | ESPN 

Thursday & Friday | 3:00-7:30 PM | ESPN

Saturday | 3:00-7:00 PM | CBS

Sunday | 2:00-7:00 PM | CBS

Streaming Coverage 

Streaming live at www.masters.com

Monday | On the range 12:00-2:00 PM | Hole 16 2:00-3:00 PM

Tuesday | On the range 9:00-11:00 AM

Wednesday | On the range 9:00-11:00 AM | Par-3 Contest 3:00-5:00 PM

Thursday | Honorary Starters 7:45-8:30 AM | On the range 8:30-11:00 AM | Featured Groups 9:15-7:30 PM | Holes 15 & 16 11:45-7:00 PM

Friday | On the range 8:30-11:00 AM | Featured Groups 9:15-7:30 PM | Holes 15 & 16 11:45-7:00 PM

Saturday | Featured Groups 10:15-7:30 PM | On the range 11:00-1:00 PM | Amen Corner 11:45-6:00 PM | Holes 15 & 16 12:30-6:30 PM

Sunday | Featured Groups 10:15-7:00 PM | On the range 11:00-1:00 PM | Amen Corner 11:45-6:00 PM | Holes 15 & 16 12:30-6:30 PM | Green Jacket Ceremony 7:00 PM

 

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