Augusta National, located in Augusta, Georgia, is one of the most exclusive and famous golf clubs in the United States and in the world. Bobby Jones founded the club, which opened for play in 1933. It hosted the annual Masters Tournament in 1934, and since then it has been hosting one of professional golf’s four major championships.
Augusta National is widely regarded as the most venerated course on the PGA Tour. The Masters Tournament is held at the same venue ach year, so fans have the exclusive opportunity to familiarize themselves with the golf course, something that the other three majors cannot not afford.
So what does Augusta National really look like? Well, it is unquestionably beautiful – even more stunning than TV can ever show. Every hole is adorned by a unique botanical specie, and the course has some 80,000 plants of more than 300 varieties. They are all fine-tuned with temperature control and fertilizer to bloom at the precise moment. The course will take your breath away once you set your foot on it.
Since the Masters takes place the first weekend after April’s first full week, the flowers of the shrubs and trees that border the golf course are blooming beautifully during the tournament. Every hole is named after the shrub or tree with which it is associated. Moreover, the layout is astonishingly compact, considering that the original purchase was around 365 acres. There are also many places on the golf course where a few pine trees separate adjacent holes.
Augusta National’s 11th to 13th holes were called “Amen Corner” by Herbert Warren Wind in a Sports Illustrated article in 1958. Attempting to find a name for the locations where critical actions had taken place during that Masters edition, the author got the name from “Shouting at Amen Corner”, an old jazz recording by a band under Milton Mezzrow’s direction.
In the same year, Arnold Palmer made heroic escapes at the Amen Corner and eventually triumphed over Ken Venturi for the Green Jacket. The place also played host to prior Masters memorable moments such as Byron Nelson’s birdie-eagle at 12 and 13 in 1937 and Sam Snead’s water save at 12 in 1949, sparking him to victory.
Apparently, unlike almost all other public or private golf courses in the country, Augusta National has never been rated. In the 1990 Masters, Golf Digest organized a team of USGA to evaluate the course. It had an unofficial 76.2 course rating and 148 slope rating.