Few golf courses in the world are as recognizable as Augusta National, home of The Masters. Accordingly, there is no lack for opinion on its design, including from John Fought, ASGCA, and Dana Fry, ASGCA.
As part of a roundtable discussion on Augusta among golf course architects with Epoch Times, Fought and Fry included their viewpoints on the best the course has to offer – and a couple suggestions for improvement.
Question: If contacted by Augusta National what specific design element would you add or take out and why?
Fought: I’ve never liked the bunkering. It’s too round and perfect and needs a much more natural look around the shapes and edges. Look at old photos and clearly the bunkering was much more natural and interesting.
Fry: Take out the rough cut and go back to the short grass Augusta had. It stood out from virtually all other courses in America and was exciting watching off line shots roll into trouble.
Question: In your mind: the most underrated hole at Augusta National?
Fought: The par-4 5th was nerve-racking. When I played in The Masters, you had to drive the ball in the fairway to have a good approach to one of the most difficult greens on the course. The edges fall away in the front and on the right, making the green play much smaller that the square footage.
Fry: Perhaps the most underrated hole is the 6th. Dropping around 25 feet from tee to green the putting surface has very severe slopes from right to left and from the back to front. Depending on your position on the green a two putt is often a challenge.
Question: On the flip side, the most overrated?
Fought: The par-3 16th is a bit overrated. On the last day, when the pin location is back left, if a player hits any type of draw at the middle of the green, the ball will end up close. It’s a nice hole but not as great as it could be with a better green.
Fry: The 18th is perhaps the most overrated. They’ve added significant length over the last decade and both the tee shot and second shot are dramatically uphill and not as visually appealing as the other holes at Augusta National.
The complete Epoch Times article can be found here.