The 18th hole of the TOUR championship used to be a par-3, but I found out that is no longer the case since it is now the 9th hole.
When did this change take place and why?
The 18th hole became the 9th hole since the 2016 TOUR Championship to accommodate a stretch of holes that will be more dramatic, unpredictable, and exciting than its previous setup.
“East Lake Golf Club has served as a fitting venue for the finale of our FedExCup season,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “Now in its 10th year, the FedExCup structure has given the TOUR a true season-ending finale and has performed to our expectations in every way. We will always strive to find ways to enhance our events for our fans, players and sponsors. By flipping the nines at East Lake, we believe the final stretch of the FedExCup will become even more dramatic and exciting as our season-long competition comes to a close.”
“Many of the world's historic courses go through transitions as the game of golf changes with time. I’m confident this transition will respect and highlight the rich tradition and history of East Lake Golf Club,” said Tom Cousins, Chairman. “We look forward to a fantastic conclusion of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola as the leaders compete on a new finishing stretch of challenging holes and conclude with the spectacular view of our iconic clubhouse from the new par-5 18th hole.”
"I have been working with the PGA TOUR and East Lake Golf Club in reversing the nines to create more interest and volatility over the finishing stretch,” said course architect Rees Jones. “Players will be challenged by the difficult 14th hole and a demanding tee shot at No. 15. And the final three holes should not be viewed as an easier finish. With some tweaks that we are making, it is a stretch where par is not necessarily the standard and expected score. There will be birdies, bogeys on all three holes and potentially eagles on the final hole, which will ultimately result in more lead changes and excitement for all involved.”