East Lake Golf Club is making changes, and it’s hoping to increase the drama.
Ahead of the 2016 Tour Championship by Coca-Cola, the PGA Tour has announced that East Lake is switching the front and back nine holes. The tournament will now end with a 600-yard par-5 that used to be the ninth hole, which has often played as one of the easiest holes on the course. It held a 4.8 scoring average last year.
Organizers are hoping to create a better fan experience as golfers contend with high-stakes play as they reach the last three holes. The previous finishing hole was a long par-3, which will now be the ninth hole. It had a scoring average of 3.1 last year.
The executive director of the tournament, Tom Clark, told WSB-TV that the new route will “provide new dramatic challenges and opportunities for the players as they come down the stretch with water looming on the 15th hole and a risk/reward par 5 as the final hole.”
Last year’s winner, Jordan Spieth, is open to the changes.
“I think it’s really, really cool,” Spieth said in a release. “Nine (now 18) makes for a fantastic finishing hole. From five being a monster hole, having to go to six and playing those as Nos. 14 and 15 and play those two holes really when the pressure is on, that will make you step up and have to commit to some shots.”