20 years ago, Tiger Woods made Augusta National into his personal playground putting on one of the greatest Masters performances of all time. But according to him, the world renowned golf club has gotten easier over the years. How may you ask? The grass has gotten longer. According to Geoff Shackelford, the club put out their first news bulletin of the 2017 Masters Tournament Monday:
“Our fairways are mowed at 3/8 inch, the second cut at 1 3/8th inch, the tees at 5/16 inch, the collars at 1/4 inch and the greens at 1/8 inch. All mowings are subject to weather conditions and growth.”
While this may not seem like much to you, it’s a huge deal for the pros. The thing is that with today’s mowing technology, the grass height at Augusta National is surprisingly high comparatively speaking. Additionally, all fairways are cut towards the tee to create grain which slows down roll and mitigates the chance of player bombing drivers which we are accustom to seeing. These things combined essentially make the course play slower than it did in the past, and thus, easier.
Tiger sat down recently for a USA Today interview with Steve DiMeglio and provided some unique insight into this claim:
“The golf course has been redesigned and it’s not as difficult as it used to be,” Woods told USA TODAY Sports in an exclusive interview during a promotional tour for his book last month. “The golf course was quicker and faster. All the greens have been redesigned and it’s not as difficult as it used to be; they’ve all gotten bigger and flatter. But at the same time they’ve made the golf course longer so we’re all hitting longer shots into (the greens).”
— Geoff Shackelford (@GeoffShac) April 3, 2017
The shots around the greens have changed, too.
“I think that the short shots at Augusta have gotten so different,” Woods said. “The grass has gotten longer. Chipping with Seve (Ballesteros) and Raymond (Floyd) and Ollie (Jose Maria Olazabal), showing me how to play all these different shots because you could play those little shots.”
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