Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The History of the Augusta National Golf Club

The Augusta golf course is perhaps the most famous golf course in the world. This is largely because it is the annual golf course of the Augusta Masters golf championships. The history of this great golf course is therefore intertwined with that of the Masters.

The Augusta golf course is one that dates back to the 1930s. The course was founded by Bobby Jones, and designed by course architect MacKenzie during the early ‘30s. Construction on the golf course began in 1931, and continued up until 1933. As such, the Augusta golf course was opened in 1933.

It was not long before the first Augusta Masters golf championship was to be played at Augusta. In 1934, the first Augusta National Invitational was won by Horton Smith. During the first few Augusta National Invitational championships the second nine holes of the current course were the first nine, and vice-versa. The order of these holes was reversed in 1935.

Pro golfers soon flocked to Augusta for the early Master golf championships. Among them was Sarazen who scored a double eagle on the 15th hole. As such, Sarazen’s Bridge footbridge on the 15th has been named as such ever since.

Among the club’s more famous members is that of President Eisenhower. As one of the Augusta National Golf Club members Eisenhower played a number of rounds on the course. Upon his election as U.S. president, the Eisenhower Cabin was constructed in 1956 which today is one of ten cabins at the Augusta course.

The Hogan Bridge is also another famous Bridge at the Augusta golf course. This bridge is located at the 12th Rae Creek’s hole. After Hogan set new course records during the ‘50s, the bridge was called the Hogan Bridge in 1958. Even though those records have since been eclipsed, it remains as such today.

1959 was the 25th anniversary of the Masters. As such, to celebrate the anniversary the Record Fountain was constructed close to the 17th green. Since then the record fountain has recorded a number of Master golf championship records.

In the postwar era Augusta also began to establish its first TV contracts. The first TV coverage of the Masters golf championship began in 1956. CBS has remained among the foremost broadcasters of the Augusta golf course and championship. Although, the first eight holes of the Augusta golf course were not covered by any broadcaster until the early 1990s.

In more recent years the Augusta golf course has had some further adjustments. In 2001, the Augusta National golf course was approximately 6,925 yards in length. It was then first lengthened to 7,270 yards. In 2006, the Augusta course was further extended to approximately 7,445 yards. As such, the course is somewhat longer today than it was in the 1930s.

Overall, the Augusta golf course has remained among the top ranked golf courses since it first opened in during the ‘30s. It topped Golf Digest’s America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses listings in 2011, and is usually within the top 10 of most golf publication course rankings. Check out the Augusta website which includes further details on the golf course.

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