Augusta National golf course is located in Augusta Georgia and is known as one of the most beautiful golf courses. The course has the reputation of having one of the greenest putting greens, the whitest sand trips, and the beautiful flowers and scenery that surround the course.
The Augusta National is best known for hosting a major championship called The Masters. It’s previously known as the “August National Invitation Tournament” Typically held in April, there are various festivities that fans are encouraged to participate in prior to the tournament. Fans from all over the world travel to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience and see the best players compete for the title and earn a green jacket.
This pristine course is one of the hardest to achieve membership status. This is because it’s by invite only, there is no application process and the member count stays at about 300 people. For those who do get invited, the estimated membership fees are between $100,000 and $300,000 a year. The Augusta National is a for-profit corporation, which means they do not disclose their income, membership lists, or ticket sales.
The course was founded in 1930, opening up to play in 1932. Since 1934, the course has hosted the annual Master’s Tournament. In 2019, the course began co-hosting the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Tournament. The first tournament began on March 22, 1934.
Augusta National and its previous Chairman were notorious for the disagreement that began in 2002. The dispute was due to the club refusing to admit female members. After many years of countless letters and controversies, two women were given memberships in 2012. Since then the Augusta National female members have made their mark on the golf industry.
Years after allowing female members the club has continued to impact the women’s golf industry. Beginning in 2019, the club hosted the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. This tournament is split between two venues and is held the week preceding the Master’s Tournament.
LPGA, also known as “The Ladies Professional Golf Association” is an organization for female golfers that is most known for running the LGPA Tour, a series of weekly golf tournaments that is for professional female golfers around the world. It is uncertain if the Augusta National Course will host any of their tournaments. As of right now, there has been no word on if that will happen, but golf fans are hoping it does soon and would love to see the females play on the famous course.
The 352-acre course is widely known for its impeccable appearance and scenery. Throughout the course, you will find beautiful azaleas and dogwoods. These flowers were picked due to their bloom time in the spring, just in time for the tournament. Unlike most private or public courses in the US, Augusta National has never been officially rated. During the Master’s Tournament in 1990, a team organized by Golf Digest evaluated the course and gave an unofficial rating of 76.2. In 2009 it was re-evaluated and received an unofficial rating of 78.1
Augusta National is ranked as one of the top ten toughest courses to play. It measures in length at 7,475 yards. The course features towering pines, sizeable elevation changes, wide fairways, and greens that are extremely slick to play. Most players struggle with the 10th hole. It features a draw shot and has a drop-off that is guarded by bunkers. In the past 89 years, the greens have been changed, bunkers are new, water hazards have been extended, and new tee boxes throughout the course have been built.
Over the years, the course has seen some cosmetic changes that can impact the playing field. The trees from the 11th hole fairway have been removed, the 13th hold has gained new trees that will prevent players from intentionally driving off. A possible major change happened in 2017, Augusta National purchased some land that could potentially lengthen the 13th. The 15th has also seen some changes that could affect players. It’s known as one of the easier holes, and there have been some significant changes to the tee box. The work being done appears to lengthen the hole drastically.
A popular architecture website has said that “Augusta National has gone through more changes since its inception than any of the world’s twenty or so greatest courses” The greens are carefully maintained to provide a fast and hard golfing surface. Unlike most courses, the bunkers on this course are filled with granulated quartz, compared to others that use traditional sand.
Since 1934, the most famous PGA tournament, The Masters has been held 83 times. The only year the Masters were not played was between 1943-1945 due to World War II. The tournament was rescheduled from the original April 2020 date to November 2020 due to COVID-19.
The tournament features various traditions that started in 1949. A green jacket has been awarded to the champion, who must return it a year after his victory to be stored. Since 1952, The Champions Dinner is held the Tuesday before each tournament, it’s only open to past champions and certain board members. Beginning in 1936, legendary golfers, usually past champions hit an honorary tee shot the morning of the first round to commence play.
The Augusta National is a seasonal club, the course is shut down each May and re-opens in October to eliminate the wear and tear during peak summer months due to Augusta’s muggy subtropical climate. During the time it’s closed, the improvements and construction on the course take place. The greens receive extreme care due to the hot temperatures.
If you’re one of the few lucky hundred that get an opportunity to play the course be sure to soak in the whole experience, as it may not happen again. The property all around is one of the most beautiful courses golf has to offer. From knowing the history, seeing the flowers, playing the holes you will not be disappointed with this course. Luckily for golf lovers that don’t get an invite, the PGA Masters is broadcasted yearly through ESPN or CBS and allows for a fun viewing weekend.