"Consistent with last year, several trees were removed."

Who says Tom Fazio can't do a little restoration?

Why, he's taking out trees at Augusta! 

Granted, he planted them, but still...progress toward total de-Hootification:

October 2, 2007

Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, announced today changes to four holes, Nos. 1, 7, 9 and 11, for the 2008 Masters. In addition, other modifications were made on the grounds.

"Refinements to the golf course and grounds have been made almost every year since the Tournament's inception and this year was no exception," Payne said. "Overall, we are happy with the golf course. We think last year's exceptionally high scores were an anomaly due to the frigid, windy weather."

The changes for the 2008 Masters are:

Hole No. 1: Ten yards were added to the front of the Masters tee providing more flexibility in the event of a strong northwest wind. Back of the tee was reduced to ease patron movement. Masters scorecard remains 455 yards.

Hole No. 7: Green was changed for agronomic reasons and approximately six feet added to the left of the green allowing the possibility of 2-3 additional pin placements.

Didn't they just do No. 7 recently? Refresh my memory.

Hole No. 9: Green was changed for agronomic reasons and right pin placement softened on first and middle plateaus.

Hole No. 11: Consistent with last year, several trees were removed.

Whoa Nellie. It's because you recognize how ridiculous they look right?

The result allows for enhanced patron viewing.

Hey, whatever floats your boat. Just get 'em outta there!

Additional work throughout the course included construction of a new patron viewing area on the hillside at No. 16, further work on the new practice facility that will open in 2010, adding and extending azalea beds to increase course color and replacing grass with pine straw between Nos. 15 and 17 (pine straw was also added to the left of No. 15).

Well, 11 is a start but it sure would be nice if a tornado blew through 15/17 too.

The hillside seating area is located to the left of the pond at No. 16 and will provide viewing for over 2,000 patrons. Holes that can be viewed from this location include No. 6 green, the second shot and every putt at No. 15, the green complex at No. 16 and the tee shot and second shot at No. 17.

Easy access can be gained to this area from a newly renovated back entrance. From there, patrons can travel to No. 16 hillside, No. 5 fairway or to holes Nos. 13, 14 and Amen Corner. "We are very excited about these significant improvements for our patrons, and hope that we have made an already special experience even better," said Payne.

Now, about that slippery-when-it's-wet second cut? I think it needs to go for patron safety? Not yet?