AUGUSTA, GEORGIA | Wake up, golf fans. Sure, it’s interesting that the length of the par-4 fifth hole at Augusta National has been stretched as noticeably as Jon Rahm’s pants.
However, there is more to this story. Much more.
Last year the yardage of the fifth hole was 450 yards, and this year it’s 495 yards. That’s an increase of – wait, don’t tell me – 45 yards, or the measurement of Jordan Spieth’s favorite putt.
What exactly are we trying to do here? Embarrass the world’s best players? The late USGA president Sandy Tatum could have provided some perspective on effectively shortening the length of any golf course. “Try growing grass,” he might have said, or “invent a golf ball with wing flaps.”
Asked about tortuous course conditions at the 1974 U.S. Open at Winged Foot (the so-called “Massacre at Winged Foot”), Tatum uttered one of the most memorable quotes in golf history. “We are not trying to humiliate the best golfers in the world,” he said. “We are simply trying to identify who they are.”
Facing more humiliation ...
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