Augusta National Golf Club, considered the masterpiece of the legendary Bobby Jones, the game’s only Grand Slam winner, was built in the early 1930s and opened in 1934 with hardly any members, but is today rated by Americans in general as their country’s most revered course.
Perhaps because it is in play year after year whereas its rival courses have to share the other three majors on a rotational basis, Augusta has an advantage, but there is no denying its beauty and condition which is especially evident when the Masters is held there in early spring
Every hole on the course is named after a tree or shrub that grows on the hole, some of them being Magnolia, Pink Dogwood, Flowering Crab Apple and Azalea, but perhaps the most famous holes are the testing 11th, 12th and 13th which have collectively come to be known as ‘Amen Corner’ after Herbert Warren gave them that name in a 1958 Sports Illustrated article.
Because of its history, the club has many features, but perhaps the best known are:
The Crows Nest: Reserved for amateurs who have qualified for the Masters by winning the US and British Amateurs, it provides living space for up to five individuals and golfers have to climb a narrow set of steps to get there.
Eisenhower Cabin: One of ten members’ cabins on the Augusta National property, it was built for member Dwight D. Eisenhower after his election as President of the United States. The cabin was built according to Secret Service security guidelines, and is adorned by an eagle located above the front porch.
Hogan Bridge: A bridge over Rae’s Creek that connects the fairway of Hole 12 to its green. It is constructed of stone and covered with artificial turf. The bridge was dedicated to Ben Hogan in 1958 to commemorate his 72-hole score of 274 strokes five years earlier, the course record at the time.
Magnolia Lane: The main driveway leading from Washington Road to the course’s clubhouse. The lane is flanked on either side by 61 magnolia trees, each grown from seeds planted by the Berckman family in the 1850s. Magnolia Lane is 330 yards (301.75 m) long and was paved in 1947.
Nelson Bridge: A stonework bridge over Rae’s Creek that connects the teeing ground of Hole 13 to its fairway. In 1958, it was dedicated to Byron Nelson to honour his performance in the 1937 Masters.
Sarazen Bridge: A bridge over the pond on Hole 15 that separates the fairway from the green. Made of stone, it was named after Gene Sarazen for his sensational albatross (double eagle) with a four wood at the 1935 Masters tournament which was called “the shot that went around the world” because of all the publicity both he and golf received internationally.
Georgia’s Augusta National Golf Club, made famous by the legendary Bobby Jones and his brainchild, The Masters, is one of the most exclusive clubs in sport.
Membership is strictly by invitation and the golf course and the club’s other facilities are available only to members and their guests.
No women has ever been invited to join the club, though some women have played the course as guests, and its membership list of the who’s who, past and present, of US business, politics, law and other largely conservative professions is seldom allowed to grow much beyond the 300 mark.
Members, among them Bill Gates, co-founder and chairman of Microsoft, Warren Buffet, businessman and member of the Forbes 400 List and Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, are said to pay annual fees ranging from $25,000 to $50,000
Along with the legendary Cliff Roberts who led the club and established many of its fundamentals from the time of its inauguration in 1934 until 1976, Augusta has had a total of six chairman, William Porter ‘Billy’ Payne being the man in charge at the present time.
Other chairman included William Lane (1976-80), Hord Hardin (1980-91), Jack Stephens (1991-98) and William ‘Hootie’ Johnson (1998-2006), the main target of the Martha Burk-led National Council of Women’s unsuccessful campaign to get women admitted to Augusta.
On this day in 2014 – Europe retain Ryder Cup with Gleneagles victory
The Gleneagles victory was Europe’s eighth win in 10 matches.
‘Is this where I am going to die?’ Nicolas Colsaerts on kidney disorder battle
The Belgian is the focus of attention this week as he belatedly defends the Cazoo Open de France title he won three years ago.
On this day in 2008: Ryder Cup misery in Louisville for Nick Faldo’s Europe team
Faldo was heavily criticised for his tactics in the closing singles.
Open champion Cameron Smith wins first LIV trophy in just second start
The world number two is the highest-ranked player to join the rebel series.
Robert MacIntyre beats Matt Fitzpatrick in play-off to win Italian Open
MacIntyre birdied the first extra hole at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, the venue for next year’s Ryder Cup.
Matt Fitzpatrick holds narrow lead ahead of final round at Italian Open
Rory McIlroy and Aaron Rai are one shot off the pace.
Rory McIlroy picks up the pace to claim lead ahead of Matt Fitzpatrick in Rome
McIlroy’s group looked unlikely to complete their second rounds after taking three hours to play nine holes.
Matt Fitzpatrick leads way at Italian Open despite ‘inconsistent’ display
The US Open champion held a one-shot lead over fellow Englishman Tom Lewis,
Rory McIlroy rues a late night until eagle gets him flying in Italian Open
The four-time major winner was only a shot behind leader Matt Fitzpatrick after the first round of the Rome event.
Rory McIlroy begins Italian Open with superb 67 after recovering from slow start
He kick-started his round by holing out from 115 yards for an eagle on the par-four third.