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Augusta National

Augusta National Golf Club is legendary in the golfing circles and just happens to be one of the most famous golf clubs in the world. Who hasn’t heard of it?

Inspirational Golf Quotes

“The mind messes up more shots than the body.”

-Tommy Bolt

“If there’s a golf course in heaven, I hope it’s like Augusta National. I just don’t want an early tee time.”

-Gary Player

Georgia On My Mind

What better place to end our tour than in Georgia, where Pogo the state possum rules and the peaches make you drool.

Georgia is the home of the famous and infamous alike, including 1930’s outlaw and Public Enemy Numero Uno, Pretty Boy Floyd, wrestling icon-man, Hulk Hogan, and Captain Kirk’s lovable sidekick, DeForest “Bones” Kelley. Seems like quite a few bigger-than-life personalities lived long and prospered in the peach state. Must be something in the syrup.

Speaking of big, did you know that the largest wild hog (Hogzilla at 1,000 lbs. and 12-feet-long) was caught and turned into bacon and ham hocks by hunters in Georgia? It’s also the birthplace of everyone’s favorite pop, Coca-Cola. Hmmm… pork rinds and Coke. I believe my stomach is growling. The “Varsity,” in the books as the biggest drive-in restaurant in the world, also resides in Georgia. It seats 800 and has room for only 600 cars, so some carpooling is required. Holy Chipotle, this place should have its own zip code.

So, you ask, are we ever going to talk about Augusta?

Well, patience is a virtue, and I love trivia and fast food.

Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia

Augusta National Golf Club is legendary in the golfing circles and just happens to be one of the most famous golf clubs in the world. Who hasn’t heard of it? Built on the $70,000 site of the former Fruitland Nursery by founders Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts, the Jones and Alister MacKenzie imagined course opened its greens up in January 1933. Unfortunately, Mr. MacKenzie didn’t live to see the first Augusta National Invitation tournament or get to enjoy hearing the great reviews from the first participants.

On March 22, 1934, the Augusta National Invitational had its inaugural tournament which was won by Horton Smith, who walked away with what was then quite a handsome amount of money at $1,500. It wasn’t until 1939 that the name was changed to The Masters, as it has remained to this day.

The Green Jacket

Along with a cash prize, the winner also receives the famous and distinctive green jacket. The formal tradition began in 1949 but had been informally acquired by the champions for many years before that. It has become a tradition that the winner of the previous year’s Masters Tournament helps put the jacket on the current winner at the end of play. That became a bit awkward in 1966, when Jack Nicklaus became The Masters first repeat winner. Bobby Jones had an interesting solution when he said to Nicklaus, “Cliff (Roberts) and I have discussed the problem and have decided you will just have to put the coat on yourself.”

The Big Three

Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus, known as The Big Three, dominated The Masters from the 60s through 1978. Nearly twenty years later, in 1997, Tiger Woods “Won The Masters by 12 shots and broke the 72-hole record that had stood for 32 years.” Woods completed what became known as his Tiger Slam by winning his fourth straight major championship at The Masters in 2001. The following year he repeated this monumental feat, once again grabbing the green jacket, making him only the third player in history to win the tournament in consecutive years.

Augusta, as famous as it is, has had its share of detractors. The golf course architecture website indicated, “Augusta National has gone through more changes since its inception than any of the world’s twenty or so greatest courses. To call it a MacKenzie course is false advertising as his features are essentially long gone and his routing is all that is left.” The authors of the site also add that MacKenzie and Jones were heavily influenced by the Old Course at St Andrews and intended that the ground game be central to the course.

Almost from the beginning, Roberts sought to minimize the ground game by making changes, and there was virtually no one to stop him because MacKenzie passed shortly after opening day. Due to World War II and followed by a crippling illness, Jones disappeared from the scene. The authors add, “With the ground game gone, the course was especially vulnerable to changes in technology, and this brought on a slew of changes from at least 15 different ‘architects.'”

Tiger Proof The Course

Augusta National’s championship set up was lengthened in 2001 from 6,925 yards to 7,270 yards for 2002 and lengthened once again in 2006 to 7,445 yards. The changes didn’t sit so well with some former champions, including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Tiger Woods. Woods stated that the “Shorter hitters are going to struggle.” Unflappable August National Chairman Hootie Johnson wasn’t to be deterred stating, “We are comfortable with what we are doing with the golf course.”

The course remains one the most loved and memorable. There’s a rich history out on the fairways and greens. Unfortunately for all us golfers, Augusta National Golf Club is a private club. You must be a member or a guest, and membership is by invitation only. There is no application process.

The public may visit the course only during The Masters Tournament and only with the proper ticket or badge. If you are interested in attending, follow the link below to apply for 2020:

Masters Tickets

Interesting fact: While on a visit to Augusta National, then-General Eisenhower took a walk through the woods on the eastern side of the grounds. Upon his return he commented to Clifford Roberts that if the club would like a fish pond, he had discovered the ideal spot to build a dam. The pond was later built and christened Ike’s Pond, and the dam is in the exact location pointed out by Eisenhower

On a more somber note, in 1977, at age 83, Roberts, his health failing due to cancer and a debilitating stroke, chose this same location to take his own life by gunshot.

Reviews and Acolades gives it a 5 out of 5 stars.

Google Reviews gives it a 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Highlighted Praise for Augusta

Jason Bailey said: “One of the nicest and well-maintained courses that you will ever see. Everyone I encountered was friendly and outgoing. I was lucky enough to get to see Tiger Woods play here. Although he did not win, it was fun all the same. Another great feature at this tournament is that all the food and drinks are really affordable.”

Austin Woodin commented: “Was able to attend the Thursday and Friday rounds of the 2011 Masters Tournament. I had been building this place in my mind since childhood and it didn’t even remotely disappoint, it surpassed all of my expectations. Truly a magical place, almost spiritual experience, can’t imagine what it would be like to play the course!”

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