I knew about it and figured it was one of the very few chances at getting to play the course. I don't know anyone that famous, so my chances are not good for this option. Better hope my son is just a badass.
Tuesday Champions Dinner has evolved into much-discussed feast
ON THE MENU
Mac and cheese
Tiger Woods served cheeseburgers and milk shakes. Sandy Lyle picked a slightly more exotic dish of haggis.
The Champions Dinner, or Masters Club, began as a simple gathering for former champions in 1952 and has evolved into a much-discussed culinary feast.
The Tuesday night affair pays tribute to all Masters champions. The defending champion selects the menu and serves as host for the dinner, which is open to the winners and the club chairman.
Ben Hogan gets credit for coming up with the idea, and in the early days the choices were pretty simple. But in the past three decades, an array of food has been served, including Moreton Bay Bugs for Australian Adam Scott.
2015 winner Jordan Spieth said he is leaning toward serving a Texas-style barbecue.
The most famous dinner in golf used to feature a traditional menu with a main course consisting of beef, chicken or seafood. Served on the second floor of Augusta National’s clubhouse, the Tuesday night tradition has become more exotic in its offerings as more winners hail from overseas.
Lyle, the Scot who served haggis at his dinner in 1989, even wore a kilt to his special night.
“That seemed to make quite a statement,” Lyle said of the delicacy. “The older guys, like (Jack) Nicklaus, had been to Scotland and knew what haggis was. But the newer ones, guys like Larry Mize, they weren’t too sure about that.”
In addition to a hearty meal, the defending champion also receives an inscribed gold locket in the form of the club’s emblem.
Byron Nelson served as the dinner’s unofficial host for years, although Sam Snead would often steal the spotlight with some of his bawdy jokes. Now, two-time winner Ben Crenshaw is the evening’s emcee.
Perhaps no dinner drew more scrutiny than the one in 1998. Woods, then 22, selected a menu more suited to a drive-in.
“Hey, it’s part of being young,” he said at the time. “It’s what I eat.”
A few past champions went along with Woods, while others opted to order off the regular menu.
“I was surprised with the number of guys eating the meal; it was great, the chefs were great, and the food was superb,” Woods said. “It was a lot of fun, an experience I’ll definitely remember for the rest of my life.”
JUST A TASTE
Take a closer look at some of the dinner menus champions have selected over the years:
Charles Coody, 1972
-- New York strip steak with mushroom caps
-- Brie with peach nectar
Bernhard Langer, 1986
-- Wiener schnitzel and spaetzle
-- Black Forest cake
Sandy Lyle, 1989
-- Jumbo lump crabmeat cocktail
-- Broiled pompano
-- Neeps and tatties (mashed potatoes and mashed turnips)
Ian Woosnam, 1992
-- Leek and potato soup
-- Leg of lamb with sweet meadow hay
-- Apple pie
-- Ice cream
Jose Maria Olazabal, 1995
-- Collard green soup
-- Txitxarro en salsa verde
-- Prime New York sirloin steak
-- Roast rack of lamb
-- Broiled chicken
-- Baked potato
-- Roasted herb new potatoes
Ben Crenshaw, 1996
-- Certified Angus beef brisket
-- St. Louis-style pork ribs
-- Hill Country sausage
-- Peach cobbler
Tiger Woods, 1998
-- Grilled chicken sandwich
-- French fries
-- Strawberry and vanilla milkshakes
-- Strawberry shortcake
Vijay Singh, 2001
-- Seafood Tom Kha
-- Chicken Panang curry
-- Baked sea scallops with garlic sauce
-- Baked Chilean sea bass filet with three-flavor chili sauce
-- Rack of lamb with yellow kari sauce
-- Lychee sorbet
Mike Weir, 2004
-- Lobster in puff pastry
-- Wild boar and chanterelle mushroom bundles
-- Sockeye salmon tartare
-- White and green asparagus salad
-- Roasted rack of elk
-- Fried chicken
-- Filet mignon
-- Sauteed pompano
Trevor Immelman, 2009
-- South African spinach salad
-- Babotie with yellow rice: traditional curried meat with fruit
-- Chicken sosaties: grilled chicken and vegetables on skewers
-- Melktert: Traditional milk tart
-- South African wines
Charl Schwartzel, 2012
-- Sliced biltong
-- Boerwors with monkey gland sauce
-- Dauphinoise potatoes
-- Vanilla ice cream sundae
-- Crispy meringues
Bubba Watson, 2015
-- Caesar salad
-- Grilled chicken breast
-- Green beans
-- Mashed potatoes
-- Macaroni and cheese
-- Confetti cake
-- Vanilla ice cream
Sources: Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta Chronicle archives
Players knew it was coming – the lengthening of the already challenging fifth hole at Augusta National Golf Club – just not when.
It has become a reality for the 2019 Masters Tournament.
Ever since a new Berckmans Road opened before the 2016 Masters, it was no secret that land where the old Berckmans Road stood would be used to move the tee back on No. 5 for various reasons, including fan logistics.
With the changes, the fifth hole, a par-4 that played as the sixth-toughest hole in the 2018 Masters with a 4.165 stroke average, has been lengthened by 40 yards. Now a robust 495 yards, it is the longest par-4 on the first nine and is tied for the second-longest on the course (No. 11 is 505 yards and No. 10 is also 495).
“I can’t believe No. 5,” said two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw, who is retired from the tournament but played the course Sunday. “Wow. That tee is so far back there. But it looks like it’s been there forever. That is a monster hole.”
A number of players got their first look during Monday’s practice rounds before the course was shut down by storms, and their reaction was a mixed bag.
Jordan Spieth, the 2015 Masters champion, had already played the hole during a fall visit. There were only 26 birdies on the hole last year, and Spieth hinted that there will be fewer this year.
“It’s different. It makes it a little bit tougher,” he said. “You make four pars there, you beat the field by two strokes.”
Count 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott and 2009 British Open champ Stewart Cink among those who don’t have a problem with the changes.
“I like it,” Scott said. “I think it’s an improvement; I really do, I think it plays well. I like where the tee box is. I like now the way the hole looks off the tee better.”
“There’s nothing wrong with a hole not being a guaranteed green in regulation,” Cink said. “The short game is a big part of the game of golf.”
The two gaping fairway bunkers on the left side of the fairway would have been too far from the new tee to be in play. They were moved back toward the tee. A 313-yard drive is needed to carry both bunkers.
“I think in the past, if you hit it into the bunkers, you actually had half a chance of getting it up somewhere by the green,” Tommy Fleetwood said Monday. “Now you’ve got no chance.”
Fleetwood said you simply have to take on the bunkers.
“If you want to play short of the bunkers, that really makes the hole in my view, makes it a little bit too long,” Fleetwood said. “I think definitely it’s a bigger test of a hole for sure.”
There is no guesswork on what to hit off the tee now for all those except the longest of hitters, who might still hit 3-wood depending on the wind. The rest are going with driver to the uphill landing area.
“I like it now because now it’s not a question of what I hit off the tee,” Scott said. “Driver was in a tight spot for me; I had a very small target, and 3-wood made it much wider but it left me a longer shot in. I was always making a decision on that tee. Now that’s been taken away from me, and I’m happy about that.”
Fans also got their first look at the new No. 5 on Monday. It was a big hit for the foot soldiers who make the trek to the southwest corner of the course.
“The patrons will appreciate it,” Atlanta’s David Burdette, who has attended more than 30 Masters, said Monday while standing behind the fifth tee.
That’s because fans can now walk down the right side of the par-3 fourth hole and turn right near the green to a pair of walkways that will take them to an open greenspace area where the fifth tee is the centerpiece. Before, fans could not stand behind the fifth tee, plus it was close to the fourth green.
“I think it’s a great move, moving the tee box away from the fourth green. That’s going to speed up play,” Bryson DeChambeau said. “Overall I think it’s a great design change.”
Another change is that the grandstands that were to the left side of the fourth green are now behind the hole.
From a fan’s perspective, “You can see more golf,” Burdette said. “Now with the grandstands where they are on the fourth green, you can watch that and also turn your head and see the drive on No. 5. It offers you multiple vantage spots.”
Because so much foot traffic can now go to the right side of the fourth green, there is no longer a bottleneck to the green's left side as fans make their way to the fifth fairway. Another change is that fans can walk up the left side of the fifth fairway all the way to the green. Before, that was blocked off.