Pitch and putt enthusiasts: Now’s the time to avert your eyes, as the top brass at Augusta National Golf Club is in the process of something horrifying. No, they’re not holding marathon screenings of Gigli at the Crow’s Nest — it’s far, far worse. Augusta National Golf Club has turned its historic Par-3 course into a giant, Georgia clay-filled crater.
The winds of change
Designed in 1958, the traditional Masters warm-up course now sits like an open abscess on the face of professional golf’s Shangri-La; a visual reminder that change is the only constant, and nothing gold can truly stay.
While we wish desperately that this was just some cruel hoax, it’s unfortunately true. That’s much like legal Georgia sports betting getting life in that regard.
Augusta National has not provided comment on the ongoing construction, but photographs clearly show a massive hole in the earth where the Par-3 course once existed.
Hopefully when players tee off for the 2023 Masters, the renovations are complete and this fun tradition will happen.
So, what’s actually happening?
From rumors floating around online, it appears that the project is being helmed by architect Tom Fazio. What that project is exactly, nobody knows at this juncture.
There has not been any confirmation on a complete course redesign. Also nothing on if Augusta National Golf Club has other aims in mind for the acreage. They have remained mum on the subject to date.
A rich history
Opened for first play in 1958, Augusta National Golf Club’s Par–3 Course has been the Wednesday feature of Masters Week. Since 1960, the course has served as part warm-up, part family-friendly entertainment and tradition in advance of the crown jewel in the PGA’s Major circuit.
Sam Snead won that inaugural contest, but notably, no winner of the Par-3 Tournament has ever gone on to win the Masters that year.
The contest, canceled the previous two years amid the global COVID–19 pandemic, returned for the 2022 Masters. It crowned co-champion Canadians Mackenzie Hughes and Mike Weir the winners.
Depending on what Augusta National’s plans are for the area, that may be a sports history note that stands forever. For now, we’re left with the gaping chasm where the Par-3 Course once stood.
Fingers-crossed that the Par-3 Course will be back up and running for the 2023 Masters Tournament.