Yes, you heard that, right! The 2020 Masters golf tournament that is traditionally held in April has been rescheduled! It will be played during the second week of November, between the 9th and the 15th.
Since 1945, this golf tournament was always played during the first full week of April. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year, the PGA will be playing a shortened schedule of events. Unfortunately, the British Open has been canceled entirely for 2020, and the Masters shuffled to November, will conclude the majors.
You are probably wondering will the Masters live up to the hype this November? We think this will undoubtedly be a Masters, unlike any other. Just imagine – instead of the annual April rite for golf in the spring, this year, the Masters will serve as a November fall awakening. A marvelous Fall Classic, to say!
Masters in November – What to Expect?
As we mentioned above, the Masters were almost always held in April. So naturally, we have a bunch of questions – how will the course play? How will it look? How will it feel?
Many golfers and champions who have played the Augusta National in October report that overall the course plays longer than in the spring, which will undoubtedly favor all the long hitters in the course.
But let’s start from the basics first.
The good thing is that the average temperatures in spring and fall are rather similar – mid-60’s, which is about 10 degrees cooler than the average temperature in April.
However, there is more rain during the fall, and winds are stronger and colder, which creates a new dynamic. Holes that play downwind in spring will be into the wind during the tournament.
In spring, golfers play on ryegrass and putt on bentgrass greens. But all golf fans know that the grass changes in late May (rye overseed, and shaved Bermuda grass). So, what can we expect in November?
Even if we wouldn’t think about it, the golf courses will be heavily controlled via SubAir systems that regulate the temperature and moisture of the greens and the landing areas in the fairways. Thanks to this advanced technology, the Masters course will most likely play very similar to April’s course.
From the experience of golfers who played the Augusta National in October, there will be some Bermuda grass fighting with the overseed, and the fairways will be a little bit softer (due to the amount of water required to cool off the greens during summer). Overall, the course might play a bit longer than typical.
Since players are well aware of these possibilities, we may expect (and hopefully witness) some interesting club selections and new strategies.
The most significant difference will definitely be fewer daylight hours – the players will be on a tighter schedule, and they will most likely have to finish the day by 5:30 PM. To complete the final round on time, players may have to start earlier, split tees, or even utilize threesomes.
For the final round in 2019, The Masters implemented all three of the mentioned tools to conclude the Sunday championship round in only six and a half hours. Due to the specific challenge we may come across in November, we might expect a similar scenario.
No matter what happens during the tournament, we know for sure that the Augusta National will find a way to finish the tournament on time.
The field for the Masters was already set for the April tournament dates, and it will remain exactly the same for the rescheduled dates in November.
Players who win tournaments in the restarted 2020 season didn’t get an invitation for the November Masters (they will have the opportunity to play next April).
So, 96 golf players are invited to play, and certainly, most eyes will be on Tiger Woods, the defending Masters champion, who claimed his 5th Masters Championship.
Lastly, maybe the most exciting thing about November Masters is that after it’s finished, we will only have to wait five months for the regular April 2021 Masters. What a marvelous treat to golf fans all around the globe!