What the hell's happened to Augusta National?!

Augusta National Main

There are just seventy-seven days to go until the opening round of the 2020 Masters Tournament - and it's fair to say there's a bit of work to be done to get Augusta National ready for the first men's major of the season.

In these satellite images, first spotted by Twitter user Lou Stagner, the iconic Georgia course is barely recognisable. 

For one thing, the grass on the fairways has turned brown. According to Dylan Dethier of golf.com, this is because the main type of grass on the fairways - Bermuda - stops growing at the end of October, becomes dormant and turns brown.

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It is then over-seeded with ryegrass, which gives the course that stunning green colour come April.

Augsuta National 18Th

You'll also notice that the bunkers have been emptied. The club gets its bunker sand from the Spruce Pine Mining District in northwestern North Carolina, where the club gets its sand. How do the get it so white? Simple: they choose a sand that is made up mainly of quartz.

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Augsuta National 13Th Green Augsuta National Amen Corner

Rae's Creek, meanwhile, looks like it has run a little dry in front of the 12th green. There's a good reason for that, too. After 'Amen Corner' was severely damaged by flooding in 1990, the creek was widened and a dam - covered by a wooden structure - now controls the flow of water.

And that's to say nothing of the building work going on behind the 13th tee.

13Th Augusta New Road

Famously inaccessible to spectators, there have been rumours for years that the Masters Tournament Committee might redevelop land behind the tee - bought from neighbouring Augusta Country Club for $25m in 2017 - to move the championship tee further back with a view to toughening up the now somewhat toothless par-5.

Could this work be the start of that process? Or is it simply a new access road? Time will tell...

The 2020 Masters Tournament takes place at Augusta National from April 9-12.

Click here to see a full list of every player to have qualified so far.

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