By John Hunt
Sport calendar_today 12 November 2020

Augusta National Golf Club: 2020 Autumn Tournament

Due to the corona pandemic Augusta National will host a tournament in November instead of April. This year the bleachers will remain empty, as observers are not permitted on site. The question lies in what will be the changes for players themselves with this delay of the game. 

The population during the tournament usually doubles, as more than 200 000 arrive due to the Masters week. Hotels increase their rates and locals are moving out of town to rent their properties. However, due to the shift of the tournament from April to November a massive disappointment was caused both for the spectators and locals. Even schools try to match spring breaks with the time of the tournament, so the families can be able to rent their houses or students can get work. Due to the postponement of the tournament, the schools moved their break to November, before it was known that the fans would not be admitted. 

Agusta was closed from May to October to prepare for the game, however the rescheduling of the tournament have not much affected the usual preparations. The greens should be in perfect condition, and the system that controls the moisture will be implemented in the field. Although, as the consequences, the track will play longer in autumn than it does in spring, because of the cooler temperature and gluey fairways. Michaux explains that the reason for it is agronomy. The base of fairways is bermudagrass which is cut down and overplanted with ryegrass at the beginning of autumn. There is also a potential for strong unsteady winds and rain, and a forecast of thunderstorms on Thursday, which will work for the benefit of the field’s bigger hitters. 

The game will look different without spectators, who most likely will gather near the field anyways.