10 facts you need to know about the Masters and Augusta National Golf Club
Club members and tournament champions wear green blazers, and spectators get green napkins with their food purchases. Here are 10 facts you need to know about the Masters and Augusta National Golf Club.
The club that is home to this weekend’s Masters tournament runs the most famous golf course in the United States and has some of the most peculiar rules anywhere. No running is allowed. No cell phones are allowed. Very few commercials are aired during the broadcast.
Concession prices are kept extraordinarily low, such as a pimento cheese sandwich for $1.50. The most expensive menu item is ham and cheese on rye for three bucks. An Advil will set you back 50 cents. And those are only a few of the fun facts about the Masters.
When is the Masters Golf Tournament?
The Masters Tournament committee holds its annual get together of the best golfers in the world in early April -- when the famous azaleas at the course are usually in full bloom. Why is the Masters so special? Well, where to begin? This is the course founded and designed by famous golfer Bobby Jones, who earned his living as a lawyer and competed only as an amateur, primarily on a part-time basis, before choosing to retire from competition at age 28.
Where is the Masters Golf Tournament played?
Augusta, Ga., is located 145 miles east of Atlanta, and Charleston, S.C., is the closest big city. For several years, Jones searched for a property near Atlanta where he could develop his own golf club. Tipped off by friend Clifford Roberts, Jones first visited Fruitlands, an indigo plantation since the Civil War era, in 1931 and purchased it for $70,000. Who designed the Masters course? Jones and famous golf architect Alister MacKenzie.
What channel is the Masters Golf on?
CBS has televised The Masters since 1956, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower was Augusta National's most famous member. That makes it the longest-running sporting event televised by one network. Coverage of the first two rounds has aired on ESPN since 2008.
What to wear to the Masters Golf Tournament?
The official Masters dress code states that appropriate clothing and shoes should be worn at all times, so flip-flops are a no-no, and denim is frowned upon for men, who are advised to wear “golf casual” clothing. Women are advised to be aware of the length of their skirts, because they will be sitting much of the time.
Who started the Masters Golf Tournament?
In March 1934, Jones started a new tournament originally known as the Augusta National Invitational. It was an immediate success and attracted most of the world's top players. Jones came out of retirement to play, and his presence guaranteed enormous media attention.
Here are 10 important facts you need to know about the Masters and Augusta National Golf Club
- Food served and prices at the Masters
Other than the ham-and-cheese on rye, other food choices that will set you back $3 are chicken salad on honey wheat and the Masters Club sandwich. Soda, bottled water, iced tea, and sports drinks are $2 a pop. A banana is $1.25. Napkins are green because the tournament officials do not want white napkins blowing across the course. That would not look good on TV.
- Masters rules for spectators
If a spectator wants to keep up with a certain group, a brisk walk is the best pace allowed. Those who attempt to run are quickly stopped by course security officials, who sternly explain that running is not allowed.
- Cell phones are forbidden
There are several banks of old-style landline phones available to patrons who feel the need to make a call. Nobody is posting to Instagram from inside the club.
- Eisenhower, the 34th U.S. president, became a member in 1948
Among the course features are the Eisenhower cabin, which was paid for by Augusta members and designed by a local architect in association with the Secret Service to protect the safety of the president. The Eisenhower pine was a tree on the 17th hole that was destroyed in 2014 after being damaged in an ice storm. Eisenhower had unsuccessfully lobbied to have it taken down because it interfered with his golf game. Ike’s pond is on the Eastern end of the property, where there is a par-3 course.
- The Masters Champions dinner
The Masters Champions dinner is held the Tuesday before the tournament, with the previous year’s winner choosing the menu.
In 1987, Bernhard Langer of Germany chose wiener schnitzel (breaded veal) and Black Forest cake, two popular foods in his native country. In 2022, Hideki Matsuyama of Japan chose sushi, miso-glazed black cod and wagyu beef.
- Masters historic moments
Tiger Woods posted the biggest Masters win defeating the field by 12 strokes in 1997 to become the youngest winner and first black golfer to win the Masters. Lee Elder in 1975 was the first black golfer to play in the Masters. Tigers winning the Masters for the first time helped spark “Tigermania.”
- Masters hole in one
According to ESPN Stats & Information data, there have been 107 hole-in-ones in Masters history, with 25 coming on hole No. 9.
- Jones and Roberts, the event’s founders, originally named it the Augusta National Invitational Tournament
When Roberts proposed the name “The Masters,” Jones objected, believing it too presumptuous. However, five years later, Jones relented and the name was officially changed.
- Augusta National Golf Club membership
Augusta National Golf Club has about 300 members at any given time. Membership is strictly by invitation: there is no application process. In 2004, USA Today published a list of all the current members. Membership is believed to cost between $100,000 and $300,000, and annual dues were estimated in 2020 to be less than $30,000 per year.
- No women were members until Condoleeza Rice and Darla Moore were admitted in 2012
The club has a history of being at the forefront of racial issues. Roberts, chairman of Augusta National from 1931 to 1976, was quoted as saying “As long as I am alive, all the golfers will be white and all the caddies will be black.”
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