How different will Augusta look this year?

Forgetting Tiger Woods just for a moment – for the record we think he'll play – one big talking point this week is how the course will set up for The Masters.
The official line is that it has been lengthened by 35 yards, taking it over 7,500 yards for the first time, and the 11th and 15th will be 15 and 20 yards longer. And there are three brand new greens at the 3rd, 13th and 17th – something that happens every year but we rarely get to hear about this side of the changes.

Of course Tiger Woods has been there last week in the most-anticipated practice round in the history of the game and, before his trip, he explained that he liked the sound of the tweaks at the 11th (pictured).

“If they didn’t tell you that they changed anything and you go there, you’d think it looks the same as it did every other year. It’s just absolutely amazing. The 11th hole, I think it’s a good change. They took a little of the dogleg out and took some trees out of the right-hand side. That’s a good change. And then 15, I haven’t seen it yet, but we’re almost going to be on the back of 10 green. I didn’t know there was land back there. They find land, they can make land.”

Ordinarily Rory McIlroy playing a practice round would be huge news but his trip went a bit under the radar last week. He too was a fan of the lengthened but also softened 11th.

"I just wanted to go there and just see that for myself. The 11th is obviously a longer hole, the fairway’s much wider, so even if you miss it right, you still have a chance to hit the green. The green complexes are the same, but the surrounds of the green are much more penal, so that sort of bail-out to the right is much more difficult than it used to be. Overall I think it’s going to play tougher than it has in previous years, and it was already one of the toughest holes on the course.”