Here’s How Golf’s Greatest Course Has Kept Pace With Supercharged Duffers

Here’s How Golf’s Greatest Course Has Kept Pace With Supercharged Duffers

Is it possible to master Augusta National? As golfers get better and equipment advances, significant alterations have been made to the famed course to keep players on their toes.

This $US34 poster by Bill Younker — just one small section of which is above — shows all the ways the course has changed since Bobby Jones opened it 79 years ago. On the top is a side by side comparison of each hole in 2012 and 1934. At the bottom, a timeline shows the alterations that have been made each year.

Golfers are certainly improving, but more importantly, advances in equipment technology, such as the use of titanium and graphite in clubs, allow these athletes to drive further, hit shots more accurately and play the game better. Nike and Callaway, for example, outfit players with top-of-the-line equipment before it’s even available to the average golfer.

Back when a certain philandering linksman was unstoppable, some of the biggest changes came to Augusta. Between 1999 and 2006, the course underwent so-called “Tiger-proofing”. This was same time that the controversial solid-core golf ball was introduced to the game. The supercharged ball let golfers extend their drives by as much as 18m, and Augusta had to adapt.

And as golf tech continues to move forward, Augusta will probably only continue to evolve, as it has for nearly eight decades. It’s only a matter of time before they start busting out the windmill hazards. [Fast Co.]