Bernhard Langer has called for Augusta National Golf Club to change the way it prepares its golf course for the Masters in wet conditions, claiming that if Augusta reversed the direction it mows its fairways, golfers would not have to cope with as many mud balls’ when the ground is soft.
Langer made the suggestion in the wake of the 2012 Masters, when the famous Augusta golf course played particularly soft over the first two rounds, after frequent rain showers hit Augusta in the days building up to the tournament.
“One of the unfair factors about the Masters is the mud golfers can find on their ball when the golf course is wet,” starts Langer, 54, the Masters champion in 1985 and 1993. “Augusta mows the fairways from green to tee so the grain of the fairway runs against the ball, to prevent the ball running on. The problem is that this makes the ball dig into the ground, whereas if the grain went towards the green the balls would skip when they land.”
Langer shot rounds of 72 and 80 in the 2012 Masters to miss the cut by three strokes, yet in the second round a double bogey on the 13th and a bogey on the 18th, which both resulted from mud balls on the fairway, left Langer frustrated with the course set-up.
“I mentioned this to a couple of people who sit on the board at Augusta on Saturday,” he adds, “and maybe they will do something about it in the future, because it is a big problem. I was promised that my point would be passed on to Billy Payne, but you never know. Augusta will never be forced into making a decision.
“They are never going to play preferred lies at Augusta – we know that -although they probably should on occasions, but I suggested that when it is wet, they should mow the fairways from the tee towards the green, and then when the course dries out they can mow the grain against the ball again, to make the course play longer. It would be easily done.”
Langer returns to action on the Champions Tour this week, in the Encompass Insurance Pro-Am at TPC Tampa Bay, Florida.
Article courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, International Partner of the Masters Tournament