Players React To New Fifth: Long, Tough And The Driver Restored

I penned this piece for Golfweek rounding up player assessments of the remodeled 5th hole.

Jim McCabe at looks at the changes and there is a fantastic flyover where the new left hole location resored is visible.

Fred Ridley spoke about the changes today:

As has been reported, last summer, the fifth tee was moved back and shifted away from the fourth green.  In doing so, the fairway landing area was regraded and the bunkers were repositioned.  While this hole now measures 40 yards longer, we believe this change maintains the original design philosophy of Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie, and not only continues our commitment to keep the course in step with the changing state of the game, but we believe it will have a positive impact on pace of play. 

As part of this renovation, we took the opportunity to rebuild and slightly enlarge the fifth green.  In doing so, we were able to make adjustments to the back left portion of the putting green in order to support new hole locations. 

But an exciting byproduct of this instruction is the improvements to our patron experience.  For the first time, we will route patrons down the right side of the fourth hole, as well as behind the green, providing an attractive vantage point for this challenging par 3. 

The new tee at No. 5 also provides for additional viewing areas, so we feel these holes have been much improved from a patron perspective. 

Here is the Masters Instagram post and flyover embed.

The bunkers are just a bit large off the tee and overwhelming in scale and difficulty given what both Bob Jones and Alister MacKenzie detailed (they were conflicted about those bunkers, with Jones adding them after the course opened and after having shot down their initial inclusion). A drive over those bunkers—314 carry—may not be rewarded with a clean look at the green from the fairway if there is any run to the ball.. It feels like the location of the old bunkers was not adequately filled in, so I suspect the tee shot will actually favor a left to right shape.

The green complex still looks intimidating and in firmer years may prompt a run-up, with the new left hole location an almost impossible birdie unless a player sinks a long putt.