The history of Augusta National is full of odd trivia and interesting quirks.
Augusta National Golf Club, home of The Masters Tournament has quite a back story. Many golf fans know the course layout intimately without ever setting foot in Georgia let alone on the golf course, but the history of the course may not be so well-known.
Its history is littered with fascinating stories and interesting quirks that make up some of the charm of the golf course. Here are a few these things you may not know about the history of Augusta National.
- Augusta National was designed by Alister MacKenzie and Bobby Jones but it has only recently been revealed that MacKenzie also planned an 18-hole short course at to be constructed with approach shots mimicking those on the longer course. Geoff Shackleford’s full piece in Golf World Magazine.
- Augusta National doesn’t have any rough. It’s called the ‘second-cut’ – and it measures exactly 1 3/8 inches in height.
- Amen Corner is the nickname for the second shot of the 11th, the 12th and the first two shots of the 13th hole. Golf journalist, Herbert Warren Wind coined the name because he thought that was where the pivotal shots took place.
- Clifford Roberts served as Chairman of Augusta National and of the Masters Tournament from its inception in 1934 until 1976. He committed suicide by gunshot on the banks for the Par-3 course at Augusta National in 1977 after months of ill-health.
- Augusta National was closed for play during the second world war, when turkeys and cows roamed the grounds which were used as a makeshift farm.
- After the war, 42 German POW’s were assigned the task of helping repair the course and the cattle-related damaged fauna. Some helped build a bridge over Rae’s Creek near the 13th tee which was washed away or taken down in the 1950’s.
- Course designer Alister MacKenzie died just two months before the first Masters Tournament was held.
- Rae’s Creek is named after John Rae. Rae kept residents safe during early Indian attacks and his home was the furthest fortress up the Savannah River from Fort Augusta.
- MacKenzie’s original layout had the nines switched the other way around. It was decided to switch them in 1934 because frost was more prevalent on the opening holes, causing longer delays in play.
- In 1983 when a man crashed through the gates and took five people hostage. He fired a shot into the pro shop floor and demanded to talk to President Reagan who was playing the course and on the 16th hole at the time of the event. Reagan unsuccessfully tried to talk to him by radio phone and the man was apprehended two hours later.