Experts 2018: A brief history of Augusta National' s famous greens

A look at Augusta National’s current-day 18th green.

Of all the components that make Augusta National a tournament test, the most heralded are the greens, a confounding collection of befuddling breaks and slippery slopes. Consider the tiny shelf on the correct of the sixth green, the big mounds in the 14th green, the particular subtle trench at the fifth, as well as the nasty tongue on No . nine that propels balls back down the particular fairway.

Require are not the original green contours. They are modified ones, considerably softened. The initial greens were even more outrageous plus outlandish. Eighty years ago, they were transformed, for the better, at least in the brain of one golf course critic, who published:

“ The particular artificial thrown-up sand dune formations. which were intended to give the foreign contact to a number of greens at the house of the Masters tournament, have been changed by a more modern American conception associated with proper contours to test a player’ s skill. ”

The critic was Greg Harlow, who’ d just dropped his position as manager from the tournament bureau for the PGA associated with America (the forerunner of today’ s PGA Tour), in part due to his outspoken opinions. (In 1947, Harlow founded Golf World mag, which was purchased by Golf Process in 1988 and continues these days as a digital publication. )

Writing in the Augusta (Ga. ) Chronicle in The month of january 1938, Harlow explained that the primary designers, golf architect Alister MacKenzie and golf icon Bob Jones, shared a love of the Aged Course at St . Andrews along with links golf in general, so their own original design of Augusta National strove to impart that kind of tough topography in their greens and encompases, a style that emphasized the ground sport and elements of luck.

“ It was a significant experiment, ” Harlow wrote, “ but an effort to duplicate the particular natural terrain of one country within another location, by artificial indicates, does not work out successfully except within Hollywood.

“ Because of the peculiar undulations in the methods to a number of original Augusta greens, several a well-directed shot bounced away from at a strange angle, thus discounting a player’ s skill. ”

Harlow documented that Oklahoman Perry Maxwell, who he described as “ a course architect and livestock farmer, ” had, during the summer of 1937, rebuilt the fifth, seventh plus 17th greens and relocated the particular 10th green to a hilltop (cleared of pines) some 60 back yards beyond the original, lengthening that k?rester 4 to 449 yards.

Harlow applauded Maxwell’ s efforts to shed “ the seaside effects” so that Augusta National “ hereafter will look like other American inland golf courses. ”

Maxwell have been selected because he’ d already been the Midwest design associate associated with MacKenzie for some time before MacKenzie’ h death in early 1934, just a 12 months after Augusta National first opened up.

Maxwell do his alterations under the close overview of longtime Masters chairman Clifford Roberts. After the remodeling of the 7th green, Roberts wrote Maxwell, “ I do not think you enhanced No . 7 at all, but this really is unimportant, as I doubt anyone can do very much with this green in the present location. ”

Augusta National’s old 7th green, prior to being rebuilt.

Therefore shortly after the 1938 Masters experienced concluded, Maxwell returned to Augusta and relocated the seventh eco-friendly to a new hilltop location, which makes it a postage stamp surrounded simply by bunkers accessible only by a lofted iron. He also removed the “ buried elephant” in the 6th green, shrank the 12th eco-friendly and replaced the boomerang 9th green.

Right after he had reshaped the ninth within June 1938, Roberts inspected this and sent another stern take note to Maxwell: “ Bob Jones and I are in agreement that it is a good idea to put back a portion of the tongue which was formerly on No . 9. Similarly important is the matter of getting far from the present round pancake appearance from the putting surface. I want to make clear that people wish no further work completed on 9 green unless you 1st obtain the permission of Bob Jones. ”

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Shortly thereafter, Maxwell reshaped the 9th again, re-establishing the now well known sloping front portion of the eco-friendly, a feature that had existed through the very beginning.

Augusta National’s old boomerang ninth eco-friendly.

In the summer of 1939, Maxwell revised most of the remaining greens, including the eighteenth, “ tweaking things, ” when he called it. As his individual style was for broad, capturing green contours (known today since “ Maxwell Rolls” ), their remodeling was distinctive, but not therefore stark as to alarm club people.

His function certainly pleased Harlow, who published, “ Oklahoma’ s golf builder has given the Augusta Nationwide back to Georgia. ”

Curiously, while Maxwell eliminated knobs and hillocks from within Augusta National’ s greens, he still left similar features that existed in short supply of many greens, and they remain these days in some locations: the low cluster associated with mounds shy of the fifth eco-friendly, the ridge of three pulls diagonally in front of the 11th green, the bump short of the 14th eco-friendly and, most notably, the hillocks around the eighth green. (Those hillocks on eight had been removed in the year 1950s, but were restored in the past due 1970s. )

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These are the last outstanding reminders of the original design intention of MacKenzie and Jones. All those two wanted Augusta National as the Old Course of Dixie.

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