fbpx

Masters Week: A Look At A Practice Facility Unlike Any Other

by | Apr 10, 2024 | Blog

As Jim Nantz’s silky voice tells us each year, The Masters is a tradition unlike any other. That notion extends to everything that makes the Masters the grand spectacle it is, from concessions to merchandise to no phones and old-school scoreboards. From the roars at Amen Corner to the legends of the game starting the week on the first tee, the Masters is indeed a tradition that has few, if any, rivals. 

The club’s current tournament practice facilities, which opened in 2010, is one unlike any other practice facility worldwide. 

According to Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters Champion, the facility was already outstanding before the addition, but now it’s even better and as good as you’ll ever see.

Since attending The Masters for the first time in 2010, I have gone yearly except for the COVID years of 2020 and 2021. I have spent over 150 plus hours watching the participants warm up from the bleachers overlooking the practice facility. It’s one of the things I love most about the Masters and the Augusta National experience.

The practice facility covers 18 acres of land that used to be a parking lot. When I walked through the gates for the first time in 2010, I was amazed by this extraordinary addition to Augusta National. Other patrons who had been there in previous years couldn’t believe this beautiful area was once a parking lot filled with cars packed in like sardines.

Before the current facility opened, the competitors used the practice area in front of the clubhouse, which is situated towards Washington Road and alongside the famous Magnolia Lane. The old range was only 260 yards long and had a 105-foot-tall net at its far end to keep shots from going onto Washington Road. Due to the evolution of equipment and players hitting the ball farther, the net was eventually raised to keep balls on the property. The current range used during the Masters is 400 yards long and can accommodate even the longest hitters.

The Masters Tournament practice facility is primarily used by the players competing in the Masters, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, and the Drive, Chip, and Putt National Finals.

The facility includes several components that make it world-class. Let’s examine some of those areas.

 

The Practice Facility Putting Green

The green that is part of the tournament practice facility is similar in size to the one behind the No. 1 tee and is used by players who want to practice and fine-tune their putting before tournament play. The green is maintained at the same speed as the course greens and is of the same A1 Bentgrass variety, cut at 1/8″ in height. The practice green near the No. 1 tee is intended for last-minute warm-ups.

 

The Short Game Area

The short game area includes two greens and five bunkers, providing Masters participants with a training ground to practice shots they would encounter on the golf course in competition. The greens are designed with A1 Bentgrass material and are cut at the same height of 1/8 inch as the course greens, allowing players to experience a realistic training session and prep them for making a run at the green jacket on Sunday. 

 

The Range

Renowned golf course architect Tom Fazio designed the entire facility. 

The range can accommodate around 36 players comfortably. The tee is a Bermuda variety overseeded with Rye and cut at a height of 5/16″.

The design of the range resembles a V-shape formation, with pine trees located approximately 235 yards out. These trees divide the fairways and enable players to practice making draws and fades from any position on the main tee. 

Target greens are located at 75, 150, 180, and 210 yards. The shortest target green, which is 75 yards away, has the same appearance and feel as the second hole on the course, which is a famous par 5. The target greens are cut to a height of 1/8 inch and are of the A1 Bentgrass variety, which is similar to the greens found on the course.

 

The Grandstands

The area for watching behind the range tee is equipped with a permanent grandstand, extended in 2012 to fit in as many as 600 people. If you’re looking for a place to hang out and relax, all while watching the world’s best prepare for the Masters, this is the place to be! As I said earlier, this is one of my go-to spots.

 

Golf Services and Caddie Building

This building on the far side of the practice facility has the look and feel of Augusta National’s clubhouse. Caddies, players, members, and staff can sit, relax, and share stories of Masters gone by. Beyond the building, near Washington Road, club repair and fitness trailers are situated and provide access to the competitors during tournament week. The building serves all caddie functions, including club storage and lockers. There is also a grill and seating area inside where people can rest.

 

 

PGA Professional Brendon Elliott is a multiple award-winning Golf Professional based in Central Florida. He is the 2017 PGA of America’s National Youth Player Development Award Winner and is the recipient of more than 25 other industry awards with a Brendon Elliot Headshot focus on Coaching & Education. He is considered by his peers as an industry expert on topics ranging from Jr. Golf Development to Operations to Industry Sustainability. He is the founder of the Little Linksters Golf Academies and the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development, a 501c3 nonprofit also based out of Central Florida. Brendon is also a freelance golf writer for PGA.com, Golf Range Magazine and several other golf websites and blogs. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America. You can learn more about Brendon at BrendonElliott.com and Little Linksters at littlelinksters.com.

Baseball

Get the app!

  

Scan to download
the V1 Golf app!

Scan to download the V1 Golf app!