Be Careful What You Wish For...

masterslogo2.gifFor years now we've heard that you can't judge Augusta National's added rough, trees and length because the conditions have been soft. Naturally, that prevailing theory hasn't stopped many from bemoaning the desertion of Jones and MacKenzie's primary design idea: width that promotes strategic tee shot placement to attack varying hole locations.

As Lawrence Donegan reports in this overview of Wednesday's final tournament preparations, the stage is set for firm, fast conditions.

In such conditions, Augusta's width is not only imperative if the players are to be given a chance to attack the course strategically, but also is necessary because of Augusta National's severely sloped fairways.

Other than the seemingly excessive additions of yardage to Nos. 4 and 7, the length added to the course has allowed the course to stay fairly current with the professional game during a period of remarkable change.

But now that it's fast and firm, we'll get to see how much of an impact the "second cut" and trees have. It may not be pretty. Consider No. 15, a hole long in need of extra yardage. Yet there is a swarm of trees right where an ideal drive once needed to be placed. Will we see many eagles there this year? Doubtful.

Anyhow, we're just minutes away from our first Bobby Clampett reference to "Hogan's Bridge." Yes, it's the still the Masters!