Protecting par at Augusta National Golf Club: an exploration of the relationship between player scores and course renovations
Although the game of golf is deeply rooted in tradition, changes in equipment, player training, course conditioning and playing techniques have led to professional players 'outplaying' older traditional courses. As players and equipment have improved, historic courses have been faced with the challenge to remain competitive yet retain their historic qualities. The Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia is one of the world's premier courses, hosting The Masters Golf Tournament since 1934. This study explores the relationship between the renovations made to Augusta National and players' scoring during the Masters tournament from 1957 to 2006. Daily scoring average, player scoring (winner, top ten and the field), stroke averages and rank for each hole were collected and compared to the course alterations. The course alterations at Augusta National have influenced the player scoring. The course changes ultimately have protected par at the expense of the courses historic charm.