New T-shirt #13 at Augusta National? Aerial photos give us clues

A facelift is carried out for gap quantity 13 at Augusta Nationwide.

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All the pieces is altering on the earth of golf today, and it appears to increase to Augusta Nationwide, The place the thirteenth gap is beneath development.

Due to the bridge folks in Eureka Earthwe have now new Day 13 photographs, taken earlier this week, that present dust shifting within the driveway and a doable new T-shirt chest forming away.

From above, the path is clearly excavated, with a tubular trench working via its center towards tee 14. It’s unclear whether or not the tube was simply laid or excavated. Augusta Nationwide doesn’t touch upon the membership’s operations.

The most important cope with the thirteenth slot is, after all, a possible new T-box. The golf world has seen tips on how to change this stage 5, which performs as one of many best holes on the course (in keeping with par) through the Masters every year. This yr, it was the third best, behind solely 5 within the high 9, No. 2 and eight.

Quantity 13 has been the topic of many questions requested to the Augusta Nationwide President Fred Ridley Within the final years. Simply two months in the past, at his annual press convention, Ridley was requested if the membership had a timetable for a gap change.

“Yeah, I imply, there isn’t any timeline,” Ridley stated. “There’s nothing to announce presently. That is positively one thing we have now thought of and can proceed to look into.

“Admittedly, and I’ve stated this earlier than, the thirteenth gap does not have the identical challenges I’ve traditionally had, and I imply, I can solely bear in mind as a younger man watching the Masters, you understand, a few of the victories and tragedies. And whereas we nonetheless have these, the actual fact That gamers hit from the center to the brief iron in that gap, you understand, is not actually the best way it was designed.”

Ridley is correct concerning the membership’s selections. Gamers typically hit three woods from a tee field, as Scottie Scheffler did this yr, with the opening extending to a complete of simply 510 yards. If they’re able to bend it across the nook nicely, there are solely about 8 irons left. There is no such thing as a cause to take the motive force out of the bag, particularly with timber and pine straw within the distance.

Ridley admitted that the membership’s reluctance to alter something associated to the structure of the opening was as a consequence of an “iconic gap” and one of many few he has scored in a lot of golf historical past. However he additionally admitted, “Sooner or later, it is one thing we’ll most likely do. We’ve got nothing to say about it now.”

Effectively, it appears to be like just like the membership is now doing one thing about it.

A number of photos from Eureka Earth present the rebuilding past the staging floor, and even a white, rectangular define of what may very well be a brand new staging floor. Based on these photos, the brand new tee shall be about 30 yards or so behind the prevailing tee ground, which is able to pressure the motive force again into the arms of a number of gamers and switch offline drives into shutdowns. Take a look at the photographs beneath.

What does this imply for the 2023 Masters? Once more, it is too early to inform. The membership used to share course modifications in its media guides each spring. That is the place we have been first launched to the elongated fifteenth gap, which debuted in April.

The 15 performed tougher than in a long time this yr, with an total size of 20 extra yards, hitting 550 championship tees. All that meant was that gamers could not press the timber protruding to the left facet of the green, nor may they put iron photographs between them for an strategy that might hold the inexperienced. As a substitute, gamers discover themselves hitting hybrid automobiles within the fifteenth inexperienced, or getting ready for his or her second shot in a difficult, downhill third shot. In consequence, not a single eagle was made on the fifteenth of this yr, and the opening averaged 4.9329 strokes.

All of that, and the photographs above, converse to Augusta Nationwide’s talents to regulate its course to the calls for of the fashionable recreation, but additionally to take action by itself schedule. Do not search for an official phrase from the membership till subsequent spring. Till then, observe Eureka Earth for long-range plane footage. And watch this video about them beneath.