2604 Washington Rd,
Georgia (GA) 30904,
- +1 706 667 6000
Leave I-20 at Washington Rd, 1 mile N of Augusta
Members and their guests only
Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie
Bob Kletcke & Dave Spencer
Everybody knows that Augusta National Golf Club is home to the Masters. It’s Georgia’s dream course which is located in a dream-like setting and the nearest most of us will get to teeing it up on the 1st is in the depths of our dreams. Welcome to Walt’s World.
Augusta National Golf Club is one of Earth's most exclusive clubs and the layout was designed by perhaps the world’s greatest golfer, who teamed up with maybe the world’s greatest architect. Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie were the perfect duo to lay down the consummate golf course.
“The Augusta National is the epitome of the type of course which appeals most keenly to the American taste, the meadowland course.” Wrote Robert Trent Jones in The Complete Golfer. “From tee to green there is nothing but closely cropped green turf. These broad expanses of fairway, punctuated with pines and dotted with flashes of white sand, give Augusta a clean, sprightly appearance. The Jones conception, incarnate in Augusta, was that the course should be a true test of championship golf, but, more than that, that it should be a pleasure for all classes of golfer to play.”
“The Augusta National keeps up with the times. Almost every year, upon the conclusion of the Masters Tournament, and after things have been mulled over, changes are made in one or two holes to increase their playing value. Undoubtedly the two most thorough overhaulings took place on the 11th and the 16th, and my work in developing these two holes has been my loving contribution to Augusta’s greatness. Over a period of years these two holes have been transformed from the easiest par four and the easiest par three on the course to perhaps the most difficult.”
Robert Trent Jones was not the only architect to subtly contribute to the development of Augusta National. Perry Maxwell, George Cobb, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio all shaped the course over the years to fulfil the wish of Bobby Jones for Augusta to remain “eminently playable from the regular tees for the medium and high handicap golfer while simultaneously presenting a stiff examination from the back tees for the low handicap or scratch golfer.”
Magnolia Lane, Rae’s Creek, Eisenhower Tree, colourful azalea, dogwood and redbud, Amen Corner, wickedly fast greens and, of course, the Green Jacket, are all synonymous with the Augusta National. The Masters is the only Major to be played every year on the same course and consequently anyone even remotely interested in golf becomes familiar with the course thanks to extensive TV coverage. Billions of people may feel they know the course but only the lucky few have been fortunate enough to actually play it. If you have somehow managed to befriend a member and take divots out of Augusta’s immaculate fairways, did the course meet your expectations?
Fergal O'Leary gets the invite to play Augusta National... The Dream.
I was so blessed to spend 3 days here in a cool and calm November. This was without doubt the most thrilling event to happen in my golfing life. A dream come true for sure but expectations were just surpassed by what is the greatest place on earth. The course doesn't need any explanation or any reviews. I played 3 rounds and the par 3 course. The stay in one of the cabins was very special. The people at ANGC are amazing. They just seem to know what you want when you want it. Truly a place that all should see. I am very privileged in that I have been to the Masters a number of times. Make that happen also. It is the best tournament in the world and the greatest spectacle in golf.
Anyone who says that they were not excited to play Augusta National or that they didn’t like the course after playing it is lying. Simply put, playing Augusta National was one of the greatest experiences of my life, if a bit overwhelming. Driving under the canopy of trees lining Magnolia Lane is something I never dreamed would happen to me, so the range of emotions that I felt when it happened were wide, as I was trying to comprehend my dream being realized. The most prevalent feelings were joy, fear, excitement, disbelief, exhilaration and anticipation. As anyone who has ever been to the Masters knows, everything about the place is perfect. From tee to green there is no rough; so, truth be told, putting your ball in play is actually not that hard. The fairways are generous, they look and feel like carpets, and every lie is perfect. The greens are also perfection, without question the best in the world. The most difficult shots tee to green are those you have to hit off of the pine needles if you miss the fairway. The real tests of Augusta National are chipping, holding your ball on the greens and putting. The greens are fast, as you would expect. Playing golf here is a privilege few experience and something to tell the grandchildren about (someday). I am very lucky.
John Sabino is the author of How to Play the World’s Most Exclusive Golf Clubs
The 12th hole at Augusta National may be the most recognizable hole in golf because it is viewed on TV by millions of golf fans every year during the spring ritual that is the Masters Tournament. Every golfer dreams of playing this hole. But not many do. The day I played Augusta National was one of the club’s busiest, with six foursomes on the grounds. I know because there is a board in the clubhouse that lists “members on premises.”
If playing golf at Augusta National is the most coveted four hours of every golfer in America, how did I get on? I got lucky when I met a member of Augusta early in the third year of my quest…
Suddenly my dream day came to a close as we strolled away from the 18th green, where I had watched the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat so many times on the final Sundays of the Masters. I spent $250 on logo merchandise in the pro shop, and I’m guessing that amount was lower than what many guests typically spend. A quick shower and change and my driver pulled up to whisk me back to the airport. As I threw my clubs in the trunk, my driver lowered his voice and said, “One last thing, Larry, when you wake up tomorrow, remember this really happened. It was not a dream.” Larry Berle.