This change of date will come with many different aspects as to how the course plays, how the course sounds and how the course looks. So, in summary it will be a different experience.
What’s also interesting is that the final Major of the year will be the Masters and the first Major of 2021, will be the Masters. It has been suggested that perhaps the green jacket should be changed for a green cardigan more befitting of the time of year.
Firstly, how the course plays will be down to whether or not the temperatures are normal, warmer than normal or colder due to the typical north wind blowing. It appears that the weather is going to be in the mid 20s for the week with a small chance of a thunderstorm. However, as I’m writing this right now the temperature at Magnolia Lane is 3 degrees. I wouldn’t want to be hitting golf shots into the first with that temperature and a north wind blowing in my face.
Expect the fairways to be a little softer because they will have been overseeded to make sure that they remain green, and this will take a lot of water to allow the seed to take. So with potentially colder temperatures and softer fairways, it looks like the longer hitters are going to have more of an advantage than most years.
The sounds which you normally associate with the Masters will be absent this year, each roar and groan reverberating through the course heightens the tension and drama, this will be absent because no crowds will be present. How it feels to watch the spectacle is going to be strange, with the tour pros really not sure what a quiet Sunday afternoon Augusta will be like.
But at least it is being played. Be thankful for that. A lot has been moved around to allow the tournament to go ahead. You may not have noticed that the Race to Dubai has not appeared on the European Tour calendar this year, there is just the Tour Championship in Dubai. This is directly related to the Green Jackets at Augusta deciding that the tournament was going to be held mid to late November. A source within the European Tour has praised the responsibility and generosity Augusta has shown the guys at Wentworth, something that was greatly appreciated and unexpected during these difficult times.
Personally, I’m really looking forward to seeing how the course looks, not necessarily how fast the greens are or whether or not they’re going to use traditional Sunday pin placements. Part of the joy of the Masters are the colours which surround the greens, rather than the colours being low to the ground in the form of magnolias and azaleas, they’re going to be higher up in the leaves on the trees. I’m sure the ground staff will be working as I write to make sure the leaves are blown away and there is some colour at eye level.
Jack and Gary are going to be driving off to start the tournament as the honorary starters. There is going to be no Par 3 event the day before the tournament starts, so at least nobody will be jinxed with the “if you win the par three you won’t win the Masters”.
But again, some comfort must be taken that the Masters is being played and we get to watch the best in the world compete on familiar fairways. Imagine what it must be like for golfers who are currently in lockdown watching this magnificent golf course being played and then not be able to go and try the shots that they saw over the weekend on the course or in the practice areas around Britain or Europe.
Sit back and enjoy the show, because one thing is for sure, the guys at Augusta know how to put on an event which is pleasing to the eye and heart.
Oh, and don’t forget who is the defending champion...