Masters chairman Fred Ridley vowed on Wednesday that Augusta National will never become obsolete. This week, however, might be the one where it struggles to cope with the long-hitting onslaught.
Ridley even admitted as much, saying the challenge of the par-five 13th, the best risk-reward hole in golf, had been 'diminished and it was not good for the Masters or for the game'.
Adding that the sport was at a crossroads and 'closer to a call for action', his message was clear. If the governing bodies do not finally do something about how far the ball travels when their findings are published early next year, Augusta will make plans for a near-8,000 yard course for April 2022.
We are at the dawn of another long-hitting revolution with Bryson DeChambeau
DeChambeau has never come close in three Masters appearances to solving the riddle of Augusta's greens
'Not every course can make changes but we will take the necessary action to make sure that we remain relevant,' said Ridley.
This, therefore, feels like one of those epochal Masters like 1963 when Jack Nicklaus won for the first time, or 1997 when Tiger made his debut as a pro and won by 12 shots. Both made the course look puny, and Augusta grew accordingly to almost 7,500 yards.
Now we are at the dawn of another long-hitting revolution, with Bryson DeChambeau the divisive genius who has half the game applauding his chutzpah and the other half lamenting the fact his swing has none of the grace of Rory McIlroy's.
Right behind him, there are the likes of Matthew Wolff and Scottie Scheffler who are almost as long. There are college kids who will soon be even longer. It now seems inevitable the governing bodies will rein back the ball to preserve our treasure of courses, but it will not alter the direction of travel. This is a runaway train.
Masters chairman Fred Ridley vowed on Wednesday that Augusta National will never become obsolete
Both Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have made the course look puny, and Augusta grew accordingly to almost 7,500 yards
Ridley and his fellow Green Jackets will have been thoroughly dismayed hearing DeChambeau saying the par for him is more like 67 than 72. The fact he thinks he can clear all the tall pines that protect the left side of the 13th fairway, thereby rendering it a non-dogleg par five, might well have been the final straw. It has always been a huge advantage to hit the ball long at Augusta, with its generous landing areas, but this year will be one of those where it is disproportionate.
Bryson and the bash brigade ought to make hay while they can, mind, just like Jack did in 1963 when leaving course founder Bobby Jones to lament: 'He plays a game with which I am not familiar.'
This Masters, however, will not be won with long-hitting alone. Jack and Tiger claimed 11 Green Jackets between them but not one without an equally sure hand with the putter, a velvet touch around the greens.
DeChambeau has never come close in