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Aerial Shots of Abominable Augusta

Mar. 24, 2007     By     Comments (22)

Augusta National has become an abomination. Here's to hoping Billy Payne can begin to right Hootie's wrongs.

Golf Digest has a number of aerial photos of Augusta National, including this one:

Augusta 15, 16, 17

I'm fairly certain this is not what Bobby Jones and Alistair MacKenzie had in mind.

Photo Credit: © Golf Digest.

Discussion

  1. ElGavilan says:

    I agree. Maybe Jack N. is really on to something when he says it's the ball.

    The beauty of this course was that it was not too difficult to make bogey, very difficult to make par and extremely hard to make birdie on most of the holes

    I've been told that an 18 hdcp who was a decent putter could have the round of his life playing in the same group with a scratch golfer having the round of his life.

    All they needed to do IMHGO was to grow the rough for the Masters.

  2. I agree. Maybe Jack N. is really on to something when he says it's the ball.

    And I think Jack's off his rocker when he thinks it's the ball. What about clubhead size, lightweight heads and shafts, longer shafts, physical conditioning, etc.? All those combine for a far greater impact than "the ball."

  3. Tyler says:

    WOW! That looks pretty tight :shock: It halfway resembles some local muni's around here. Other than the beauty of the course.

    I agree with ElGavilan about the rough. I think the USGA and R&A need to have some sort of "rough" standard for tournaments. 6" for Majors, 5" for larger events and 4" for smaller events. They can't keep stretching courses to the max but they can make it more difficult if a player hits it into the rough.

    Forget the ball...forget U grooves...make the courses tougher! Grow the rough...rake the bunkers to make them a hazard again and lets play some golf.

  4. I agree with ElGavilan about the rough. I think the USGA and R&A need to have some sort of "rough" standard for tournaments.

    That's in the complete opposite direction from what Augusta National is about. St. Andrews doesn't have much rough - the first and last fairway is about 150 yards wide! Bobby Jones wanted very much a St. Andrews-like course, and that meant almost no rough at all.

    Augusta National is all about angles, not "rough or fairway." Bobby Jones would consider the rough and trees currently crowding Augusta Nationals fairways an absolute abomination.

  5. Simon N says:

    And I think Jack's off his rocker when he thinks it's the ball. What about clubhead size, lightweight heads and shafts, longer shafts, physical conditioning, etc.? All those combine for a far greater impact than "the ball."

    You've missed the various articles (on here and elsewhere) that put most of the distance increase over the last 20 years, down to the ball.

    Grab an old persimmon driver and have a hit, it's not as disastrous as you might think.

  6. You've missed the various articles (on here and elsewhere) that put most of the distance increase over the last 20 years, down to the ball.

    No, I've not missed those. They don't exist - certainly not here on The Sand Trap. Did you know, the average swing speed on the PGA Tour has increased about 15 MPH in the past 15 years? That's 35 yards right there.

  7. Tyler says:

    That's in the complete opposite direction from what Augusta National is about. St. Andrews doesn't have much rough - the first and last fairway is about 150 yards wide! Bobby Jones wanted very much a St. Andrews-like course, and that meant almost no rough at all.

    Augusta National is all about angles, not "rough or fairway." Bobby Jones would consider the rough and trees currently crowding Augusta Nationals fairways an absolute abomination.

    Very good point. I've never been to Augusta and don't know a great deal of its history. Now that I think about it and from what I've seen on TV (which is not a lot) the course does have some very strategic hills, corners, and creeks.

  8. Matt Moorhead says:

    Wow, That's all I can say, I'm not old but I am 34. The Augusta that's in my mind doesn't have US open width fairways. Maybe I'm wrong but wasn't it Mr. Jones' intent to have a course where a player could have options. What options does a player have with those holes. The rough around Augusta has changed the way the course is played. I know it bothered Hootie that players where posting lower scores but thats the way it goes. I'm tired of hearing about balls, clubs, and groves. All the USGA has to do is say for tournement play you have to use a balata ball (remember them). I bet if your hitting a Maxfli RM or a Titleist Prof. off the tee your not going to swing at 110%. PS Can you imagine where Phil's ball would have ended up on the 18th at the open last year if he hit a Balata off the tee with that crap shot, it would still be turning. Sorry had to get my Phil bash in.

  9. Andy Greenwald says:

    Wow, That's all I can say, I'm not old but I am 34. The Augusta that's in my mind doesn't have US open width fairways. Maybe I'm wrong but wasn't it Mr. Jones' intent to have a course where a player could have options. What options does a player have with those holes. The rough around Augusta has changed the way the course is played. I know it bothered Hootie that players where posting lower scores but thats the way it goes. I'm tired of hearing about balls, clubs, and groves. All the USGA has to do is say for tournement play you have to use a balata ball (remember them). I bet if your hitting a Maxfli RM or a Titleist Prof. off the tee your not going to swing at 110%. PS Can you imagine where Phil's ball would have ended up on the 18th at the open last year if he hit a Balata off the tee with that crap shot, it would still be turning. Sorry had to get my Phil bash in.

    I hit a balata ball on a hole last week and the ball did not fly as far, but not 10% less either. I must admit, it was an Ultra Balata ball that I had kept over the years.

  10. ElGavilan says:

    And I think Jack's off his rocker when he thinks it's the ball. What about clubhead size, lightweight heads and shafts, longer shafts, physical conditioning, etc.? All those combine for a far greater impact than "the ball."

    Your point is well taken. I believe that he was saying that the esiest and most economical solution would be to change/restrict the ball.

  11. Brian D says:

    Google has some great hi-res images of Augusta.

    Use Google Earth or maps.google.com.

    You can even see people playing the course!

  12. TR says:

    That's funny saying Jack is off his rocker when it comes to an opinion on any topic in golf. Kind of like a house painter telling Michaelangelo that he doesnt like his painting on the ceiling.

    I think Jack has earned a bit more credibility considering the designing and testing of equipment he's been involved with than some yo yo on a message board, wouldnt you say?

  13. That's funny saying Jack is off his rocker when it comes to an opinion on any topic in golf. Kind of like a house painter telling Michaelangelo that he doesnt like his painting on the ceiling.

    No it's not. Golf isn't art, though played well it resembles art. Golf, like any sport, is rooted in science and fact. Jack Nicklaus designs courses and sells equipment… but not golf balls. Jack Nicklaus has also not played at the PGA Tour level (be real here) in 20+ years.

    I think Jack has earned a bit more credibility considering the designing and testing of equipment he's been involved with than some yo yo on a message board, wouldn't you say?

    How much time has Jack spent designing the modern golf ball, exactly? I would guess the number is somewhere below an hour. Jack the player has been irrelevant for a long time.

    As I said above, Jack focuses most of his effort on "the ball." What about clubhead size, lightweight heads and shafts, longer shafts, physical conditioning, etc.? All those combine for a far greater impact than "the ball."

    Did you know that the average clubhead speed of PGA Tour players has increased over 12 MPH in the past 11 years? That alone accounts for a 25-30 yard boost. Why? Lighter shafts, bigger clubheads, better physical conditioning, Tiger Woods. All of those arguably have more impact than "the ball."

    Oh, and this ain't a message board. If you want that, visit the forum.

  14. Local128 says:

    Google has some great hi-res images of Augusta.

    Use Google Earth or maps.google.com.

    You can even see people playing the course!

    Brian D, if you want to see a really cool Google Earth presentation of Augusta National go to http://www.eyespygolf.com

    They've done it in a way that allow you to fly over each hole, well, sort of, in a G Earth kind of way, it's very cool

  15. Matt says:

    Faldo did a segment a couple of years ago where he hit a old style ball with a newer technology driver - Ball went something like 200y. Then he hit a high-tech modern ball with an old hickory shafted longneck driver - Ball went 250y. Proved to me that the ball is the main culprit for the length.

    Now as far as club technology letting the pro's overswing with their drivers and the ball still going straight because MOI is high, or square grooves in wedges that allow high spin shots out of the rough… that should stop also.

  16. Matt says:

    No, I've not missed those. They don't exist - certainly not here on The Sand Trap. Did you know, the average swing speed on the PGA Tour has increased about 15 MPH in the past 15 years? That's 35 yards right there.

    That's because of 46" driver shafts and high MOI drivers. 46" shafts allow for more speed. Heck if I changed from my 44" to a 46" I'd gain 4mph in my swing, now give me a super MOI clubhead and I can swing outa my shoes and expect the ball to go somewhat straight no matter how bad my swing. now give me a ball that has low spin off the driver (not Balata) and I'll swing even harder. All that adds up to increased speed

    Limit club length, club MOI, COR and bring back a higher spin ball off the driver and I'll bet the pro's dial it back a bit to maintain control.

  17. Faldo did a segment a couple of years ago where he hit a old style ball with a newer technology driver - Ball went something like 200y. Then he hit a high-tech modern ball with an old hickory shafted longneck driver - Ball went 250y. Proved to me that the ball is the main culprit for the length.

    Let's get some facts straight. You can't just make something up and post it here as fact. The only "studies" like this that I've seen were conducted by Davis Love III. He hit an old ball and old driver, a new ball and a new driver, and then switched the balls. Off the "old/new" or "new/old" combinations, the ball flew horribly. The results of the "old/old" and "new/new" combinations were basically the same. All the "test" showed was that drivers were tuned to the characteristics of the golf ball.

    Either way, I didn't previously mention this study because I don't have a link to it, and until you provide a link citing hard numbers (I highly doubt Nick Faldo drove a ball only 200 yards), I don't believe yours either.

    Limit club length, club MOI, COR and bring back a higher spin ball off the driver and I'll bet the pro's dial it back a bit to maintain control.

    So you not only want to roll back the ball (and how much it spins, thus making Pinnacles, Top-Flites, and other inexpensive "distance" balls illegal because of their low spin), but you want to roll back the existing rules on club length, MOI, and CoR?

  18. Matt says:

    Let's get some facts straight. You can't just make something up and post it here as fact. The only "studies" like this that I've seen were conducted by Davis Love III. He hit an old ball and old driver, a new ball and a new driver, and then switched the balls. Off the "old/new" or "new/old" combinations, the ball flew horribly. The results of the "old/old" and "new/new" combinations were basically the same. All the "test" showed was that drivers were tuned to the characteristics of the golf ball.

    Either way, I didn't previously mention this study because I don't have a link to it, and until you provide a link citing hard numbers (I highly doubt Nick Faldo drove a ball only 200 yards), I don't believe yours either.

    So you not only want to roll back the ball (and how much it spins, thus making Pinnacles, Top-Flites, and other inexpensive "distance" balls illegal because of their low spin), but you want to roll back the existing rules on club length, MOI, and CoR?

    I've noticed that you have used numbers in some of your posts on this subject....but you've failed to cite so I contend you are making them up. But I'm sure that people on this board took what you said at face value that you had read or heard that somewhere.

    I saw the Faldo segment years ago and just because I can't prove I saw it doesn't mean that what I discussed never happened. It was a small segment only took a minute or two during some kind of broadcast (probably golf channel)

    I also see no reason not to roll some technology back. Makes more sense than redesigning the old courses. Which curiously you've stated that you think what they've done to Augusta is an abomination, well...guess what, putting some restrictions on technology would give Augusta a oportunity to bring the course back closer to the way Jones designed it.

  19. I've noticed that you have used numbers in some of your posts on this subject....but you've failed to cite so I contend you are making them up. But I'm sure that people on this board took what you said at face value that you had read or heard that somewhere.

    They shouldn't. The only numbers I've posted are the width of St. Andrews fairways (go look it up) and swing speed increases. My source for the latter number works in golf club and ball development for a major manufacturer, so I can't reveal the source. But I can go and re-read the email, so I know it's true. I'm not relying on memory like you are and very obviously making up numbers. Additionally, common sense is on my side: common sense tells you swing speeds have increased (and that golfers do more physical training, use lighter shafts, etc.). Common sense does not tell you Nick Faldo can only hit a golf ball 200 yards.

    I saw the Faldo segment years ago and just because I can't prove I saw it doesn't mean that what I discussed never happened. It was a small segment only took a minute or two during some kind of broadcast (probably golf channel)

    I'm not asking you to prove it. I'm asking you to refrain from using what you may remember as proof of any sort given the extreme likelihood you've confused or forgotten substantial portions.

    I also see no reason not to roll some technology back.

    I suppose we should also require professional golfers to stop exercising, too, right?

    Makes more sense than redesigning the old courses. Which curiously you've stated that you think what they've done to Augusta is an abomination, well...guess what, putting some restrictions on technology would give Augusta a oportunity to bring the course back closer to the way Jones designed it.

    No, it wouldn't, and that's not even what we're discussing here. You're trying to force a "cause/effect" scenario on Augusta adding rough and trees that doesn't exist. Length, sure. Add some length. It's fact that pros hit the ball further now than they did 30 years ago.

    But trees and rough? That's the abomination. That's the bastardization of Bobby Jones' vision for a wide-open St. Andrews-like course that rewarded careful study and approaching the greens from the proper angle.

  20. matthew says:

    right on erik. couldn't agree more

  21. Matt says:
    I agree. Maybe Jack N. is really on to something when he says it's the ball.

    And I think Jack's off his rocker when he thinks it's the ball. What about clubhead size, lightweight heads and shafts, longer shafts, physical conditioning, etc.? All those combine for a far greater impact than "the ball."

    Faldo did a short video were he hit a modern ball with OLD clubs, the ball went about 250. Then he hit an older style ball (1980's I think) with new clubs, and the ball flew way shorter. Then he hit a modern ball with modern clubs and the ball went 290. Read into that what you wish

  1. [... Golf Digest has a number of aerial photos of Augusta National, including this one: I'm fairly certain this is not what Bobby Jones and Alistair MacKenzie had in mind. Photo Credit: © ...]

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