The 5th hole at Augusta National has undergone changes for the upcoming Masters tournament in April. The hole, nicknamed Magnolia, has been lengthened by 40 yards from its usual distance. Magnolia is now a 495-yard par 4.
5th Hole Magnolia
Hole 5 has historically been the fifth hardest hole at the Masters playing at a 4.27 stroke average. Last year, the hole was the sixth hardest on the course as players posted an average score of 4.16. The increase in length should make this hole even harder.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this hole gets into the top two or three hardest holes in 2019. The 11th hole at Augusta, which starts Amen Corner, is consistently the hardest hole at the Masters which will be tough to beat.
New Setup for Magnolia
So, let’s talk about the hole setup for Magnolia. This par-4 is a long, left-turning dogleg that posing a huge challenge for players. There is a pair of bunkers on the left side of the fairway around the spot where the hole starts to turn left. This is huge problem for golfers who try and cut the corner to gain a clean shot at the green.
Strategy for 5th hole at Augusta
The bunkers are now located about 315 yards away from the start of the hole. The dilemma will be at the tee box for players, as they will have to make a tough decision.
Play it safe, land the tee shot before the bunkers and have a very long approach shot. Or risk the traps and smash a tee shot down the right-middle of the fairway. Better keep it straight though.
Since the PGA Tour players today can hit the driver so far, Augusta National must be trying to make it a little harder. I think this will do just that.
Related: The Masters Hole-by-Hole Guide
Reaction to changes at hole 5
PGA Tour players Kevin Kisner spoke about his strategy at the demanding 5th hole. “Five is pretty brutal. I hit driver, 3-iron into the wind. I hit 8-iron into the green in the last round last year.” That just shows you how unpredictable the play could be already at the 5th. Imagine it this year when it’s 40 yards longer.
Kisner also responded to fellow PGA player Eddie Pepperell’s comment about the hole. “I’ll come meet you and show you how to assure yourself a bogey!”, Kisner joked.
5th Hole is a Challenge
Let’s be honest, this hole could do some real damage to golfer’s round come April. You already must worry about a handful of harsh par-4s at the Masters. 1, 10, and 11 are usually ranked as the toughest par 4s on the course and now you can add the 5th hole to the list.
Good luck to all the competitors at the Masters in 2019 as they will be in for a rude awakening!