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Augusta National Golf Club
Augusta National Golf Club
The 10th green at Augusta
Club information
Location Augusta, Georgia, U.S.A.
Established 1933
Type Private
Total holes 18
Tournaments hosted Masters Tournament
Designed by Alister MacKenzie
Par 72
Length 7435 yards
Course rating 76.2 (unofficial)
Course Record 63 - Nick Price (1986), Greg Norman (1996)

Augusta National Golf Club, located in the American city of Augusta, Georgia, is one of the most storied and exclusive golf clubs in the world.[citation needed] Founded by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts and designed by Alister MacKenzie on the site of a former indigo plantation, the club opened for play in January 1933. Since 1934 it has played host to the annual Masters Tournament, one of the four major championships in professional golf. It is currently ranked the number one course in Golf Digest's list of America's 100 greatest courses.[1]



Augusta National is regarded as one of the most revered golf courses on the PGA Tour. Since the Masters is held at the same venue every year, patrons have the unique opportunity to become familiar with the course, something the other three rotating majors do not afford. The club itself invites a select few members to join each year, but it is not possible to request a membership directly.

The course is well known for its botanic beauty, being lined with stunning azaleas and hundred year old trees. As the Masters is held on the first weekend following the first full week in April, the trees and shrubs bordering the course are always in full bloom during the tournament. Each hole on the course is named after the tree or shrub with which it has become associated:

Hole # Name Par Yards Meters
1 Tea Olive 4 455 416
2 Pink Dogwood 5 575 526
3 Flowering Peach 4 350 320
4 Flowering Crab Apple 3 240 219
5 Magnolia 4 455 416
6 Juniper 3 180 165
7 Pampas 4 450 411
8 Yellow Jasmine 5 570 521
9 Carolina Cherry 4 460 421
Hole # Name Par Yards Meters
10 Camellia 4 495 453
11 White Dogwood 4 505 462
12 Golden Bell 3 155 142
13 Azalea 5 510 466
14 Chinese Fir 4 440 402
15 Firethorn 5 530 485
16 Redbud 3 170 155
17 Nandina 4 440 402
18 Holly 4 465 425

Unlike most other private or public golf courses in the United States, Augusta National has never been rated. During the 1990 Masters Tournament, a team of USGA raters organized by Golf Digest evaluated the course and gave it an unofficial rating of 76.2.

Amen Corner

The second shot at the 11th, all of the 12th, and the tee shot at the 13th hole at Augusta are nicknamed "Amen Corner." This term was first used in print by author Herbert Warren Wind in his April 21, 1958 Sports Illustrated article about the Masters that year. In a Golf Digest article in April, 1984, 26 years later, Wind told about its origin. He said he wanted a catchy phrase like baseball's "hot-corner" or football's "coffin-corner" to explain where some of the most exciting golf had taken place (the Palmer-Venturi rules issue at twelve in particular). Thus "Amen Corner" was born. He said it came from the title of a jazz record he had heard while at Yale University in the mid-1930's by a group led by Chicago's Mezz Mezzrow, "Shouting in that Amen Corner."[2] In a Golf Digest article in April, 2008, writer Bill Fields added some new updated information about the origin of the name. He wrote that Richard Moore, a golf and jazz historian from South Carolina, tried to purchase a copy of the old Mezzrow 78 RPM disc for an "Amen Corner" exhibit he was putting together for his Golf Museum at Ahmic Lake, Ontario. After extensive research, Moore found that the record never existed. As Moore put it, Wind, himself a jazz buff, must have "unfortunately bogeyed his mind, 26 years later". While at Yale, he was no doubt familiar with, and meant all along, the popular version of the song (with the correct title, "Shoutin' in that Amen Corner" written by Andy Razaf), which was recorded by the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, vocal by Mildred Bailey (Brunswick label No. 6655) in 1935. Moore told Fields that, being a great admirer of Wind's work over the years, he was reluctant, for months, to come forth with his discovery that contradicted Wind's memory. However, another golf writer friend convinced him that he should. In time, Fields heard about it and contacted Moore. So perhaps now Fields and Moore have set the record straight, so to speak.

In 1958 Arnold Palmer outlasted Ken Venturi for the Green Jacket with heroic escapes at Amen Corner. Amen Corner also played host to Masters moments such as Byron Nelson's birdie-eagle at 12 and 13 in 1937, and Sam Snead's water save at 12 in 1949 that sparked him to victory.

Natural features


"The Big Oak Tree"

"The big oak tree" is on the golf course side of the clubhouse and is approximately 150-160 years old. The tree was planted in the 1850s.[1]

Eisenhower Tree

Also known as the "Eisenhower Pine", is a loblolly pine located on the 17th hole, approximately 210 yards (192 m) from the Master's tee. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, an Augusta National member, hit the tree so many times that, at a 1956 club meeting, he proposed that it be cut down. Not wanting to offend the President, the club's chairman, Clifford Roberts, immediately adjourned the meeting rather than reject the request.

Ike's Pond

During a visit to Augusta National, then General Eisenhower returned from a walk through the woods on the eastern part of the grounds, and informed Clifford Roberts that he had found a perfect place to build a dam if the Club would like a fish pond. Ike's Pond was built and named, and the dam is located just where Eisenhower said it should be.

Rae's Creek

Rae's Creek cuts across the southeastern corner of the Augusta National property. It flows along the back of the 11th green, in front of the 12th green, and ahead of the 13th tee. This is the lowest point in elevation of the course. The Hogan and Nelson Bridges cross the creek after the 12th and 13th tee boxes, respectively. The creek was named after former property owner John Rae, who died in 1789. [2]

Architectural features

Crow's Nest

Available for amateurs wishing to be housed there during the Masters Tournament, the Crow's Nest provides living space for up to five individuals. Rising from the approximately 30 by 40-foot (12 m2) room is the clubhouse's 11-foot (3.4 m) square cupola. The cupola features windows on all sides and can be reached only by ladder. The Crow's Nest consists of one room with partitions and dividers that create three cubicles with one bed each, and one cubicle with two beds. There is also a full bathroom with an additional sink. The sitting area has a game table, sofa and chairs, telephone and television. Placed throughout the Crow's Nest are books on golf, and lining the walls are photos and sketches depicting past Masters and other golf scenes. To get to the Crow's Nest, golfers must climb a narrow set of steps.

Eisenhower Cabin

One of ten cabins on the Augusta National property, it was built by the club's membership 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.

Founders Circle

A memorial located in front of the course's clubhouse, at the end of Magnolia Lane. Plaques at Founders Circle honor Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts.

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 Berckmans family in the 1850s. Magnolia Lane is 330 yards (300 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 honor his performance in the 1937 Masters.

Par Three Fountain

The Par 3 Fountain is next to the No. 1 tee on the Par 3 course. The fountain has a list of Par 3 contest winners, starting with Sam Snead's win in 1960. [3]

Record Fountain

The Record Fountain was built to commemorate the 25th anniversary of The Masters. Located left of the No. 17 tee, it displays course records and Masters Tournament champions. [4]

Sarazen Bridge

A bridge over the pond on hole 15 that separates the fairway from the green. Made of stone, it was named for Gene Sarazen for a memorable double eagle in the 1935 Masters Tournament that propelled him to victory.



Augusta National Golf Club has about 300 members at any given time. Membership is strictly by invitation; there is no application process. It is expected that annual dues are low (less than $10,000 per year) given that the Masters broadcast on CBS earns the club millions per year.

Amid much criticism of exclusive and discriminatory admissions, Augusta accepted a black member in 1990.

Notable members

Notable current members include:

See: 2002 listing

2002 membership controversy

Augusta National and Chairman Hootie Johnson are widely known for a disagreement beginning in 2002 with Martha Burk, then chairwoman of the Washington-based National Council of Women's Organizations, over admission of female members to Augusta National.[4] Burk contended that hosting the Masters Tournament at a male-only club, constituted sexism[5] because 15% of the club's membership were CEO's, many of them Fortune 500 CEO's.[5] [6] Johnson characterized Burk's approach as "offensive and coercive",[7][8] and despite efforts to conflate the issue with sexism and civil rights,[7] Johnson maintained the issue had to do with the rights of any private club.[7]

Our membership is single gender just as many other organizations and clubs all across America. These would include junior Leagues, sororities, fraternities, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and countless others. And we all have a moral and legal right to organize our clubs the way we wish.[9]

For her part, Burk — whose childhood nickname was also Hootie[10] — was "called a man hater, anti-family, lesbian, all the usual things."[5] For his part, according to former CEO and Chairman of Bank of America, Hugh McColl, (friend [11] and member of Augusta National)[3] Johnson was portrayed as a Senator Claghorn type[11] — i.e., a blustery defender of all things Southern — despite Johnson's very real, progressive social record.[12] Following the discord, two club members resigned, Thomas H. Wyman, a former CEO of CBS, and John Snow, when President George W. Bush nominated him to serve as Secretary of the Treasury.[5] Pressure on corporate sponsors led the club to broadcast the 2003 and 2004 tournaments without commercials. The club has women on its membership waiting list, but will not allow them to circumvent the regular membership process to appease those outside the club. By 2010, no woman had been admitted to Augusta National. The controversy was even discussed by the International Olympic Committee when they were re-examining whether golf fits the goal of a "sport practiced without discrimination with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play."[13]

The Green Jacket

Every member of Augusta National receives a green sports coat with the club's logo on the left breast. The idea of the green jacket originated with club co-founder Clifford Roberts. Many believe it is because he wanted patrons visiting during the tournament to be able to readily identify members. The real reason for the green jackets was to eliminate competition among the members. Cliff had grown tired of the men wearing flashy clothing that was not appropriate for a golf club and decided a uniform jacket would be the best solution.[14] The winner of each year's Masters Tournament receives a green jacket and can play in every subsequent tournament. The jacket is presented to the new winner by the winner of the previous tournament. If the previous champion is either unavailable or has won consecutive tournaments, then the current chairman acts as the presenter. Until 1967, the jackets were manufactured by Brooks Uniform Co., NY (Brooks Brothers), and since have been made by Hamilton of Cincinnati, OH. Masters champions receive a jacket, and have since 1949. In that year, the winner, Sam Snead, and all previous champions, first received jackets.

The caddies

Augusta National remains one of the few golf clubs with a staff of caddies ready to assist members, guests and professionals. In the previous Masters Tournaments, staff caddies were assigned to professional players. In 1983, Chairman Hord Hardin permitted players in the Masters Tournament to use their regular caddies. Although Augusta's caddy staff continue to wear trademark white jumpsuits year-round, the garb is not a PGA Tour mandate. And though the club remains without female members, female caddies are permitted. Most of them, however, were professional golfers' regular caddies, such as Fanny Sunesson is one of the PGA Tour's few female caddies, and has caddied for several players at the Masters, most notably three time Masters champion Nick Faldo, and more recently Henrik Stenson. During the pre-tournament Masters events in 2007, Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman was selected by Arnold Palmer to caddy alongside him. In 2009, Fuzzy Zoeller's daughter Gretchen was his caddy for his last year competing in the Masters.

Ben Crenshaw won both of his Masters titles with an Augusta National caddie, Carl Jackson.

See also


  1. ^ America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses/2008-09: America's 100 Greatest:
  2. ^ The Making of the Masters, by David Owen, 1999
  3. ^ a b "Corporate club nears final stage". The Augusta Chronicle, Ward Clayton, 04/06/99. 
  4. ^ "Sports of The Times; Hootie Is Handling the Heat on the Eve of the Masters". The New York Times, Dave Anderson, April 10, 2003. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Women of the Year 2003 Martha Burk". Ms Magazine, Mariah Burton Nelson, December 2003. 
  6. ^ "GOLF; Women's Group Lobbies Seven of Augusta's Members". The New York Times, Richard Sandomir, September 28, 2002. 
  7. ^ a b c "An interview with Augusta's Hootie Johnson". USAtoday, Doug Ferguson, AP, 11/11/2002. 
  8. ^ "Augusta defends male-only members policy". Golf Today, Year to Date News, 2002. 
  9. ^ "A Master's Challenge". PBS Online Newshour, February 20, 2003. 
  10. ^ "Hootie vs. Hootie". National Review, Jay Nordlinger, January 27, 2003. 
  11. ^ a b "Augusta leader's record defies image". USAtoday, Harry Blauvelt, 10/21/2002. 
  12. ^ "Augusta leader's record defies image". USAtoday, Harry Blauvelt, 10/21/2002. "All agree Johnson, who has a record of access and inclusion, is one of the most unlikely people to have gotten caught up in the firestorm over Augusta membership. Yet the former University of South Carolina football player and prominent banker is being characterized nationally as a rube. "His whole life has been just the opposite of what he's being portrayed," says U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C. "He's always come down on the side of access and equality. He's not a prejudiced person in any way. He is not deserving of this controversy."" 
  13. ^ "Is Golf Unethical?". The New York Times, Randy Cohen, August 18, 2009. 
  14. ^ As stated by an Augusta National member and close friend of Cliff Roberts.

External links

Coordinates: 33°30′00″N 82°01′20″W / 33.5°N 82.02222°W / 33.5; -82.02222


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