Augusta National Golf Club lengthened its fifth hole 40 yards before last year’s Masters in response to players being able to carry two fairway bunkers up the left side.
Perhaps as no surprise, the 495-yard No. 5 played as the hardest hole in 2019.
Historically, the par 4 named Magnolia had played as the fifth most difficult at Augusta National with a 4.27 scoring average. After relocating the tee box farther back in a spot once occupied by a road, the hole played to a 4.3355 scoring average in 2019, placing it atop the list of difficulty ahead of Nos. 10 and 11, both of which played to a 4.2467 average in 2019.
The par-4 10th had been the most difficult at 4.31 historically, followed closely by the par-4 11th at 4.29.
Moving the tee box at No. 5 made it an uphill carry of more than 310 yards over the bunkers, forcing players farther to the right in the fairway. That further lengthened the playing distance on the dogleg left, leaving many players with long irons instead of the short and mid-irons they were accustomed to hitting into a green that slopes severely from back to front.
The fifth was especially brutal in the third round in 2019, when it played to a 4.4308 daily average. There was only one birdie on the hole in that Saturday round – by Keegan Bradley – versus 36 pars, 27 bogeys and one double bogey by Lucas Bjerregaard.
Tiger Woods certainly struggled on No. 5 in 2019. He went on to win the tournament at 13 under par, but he made bogey on No. 5 in all four rounds.