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How Augusta National Became Golf's North Korea

How Augusta National Became Golf s North Korea


Gentlemanliness had been the very basis of the tournament founder’s life and of his golf; Cliff, the keen assistant, picked up on the boss’s strict standards of behavior, his love of honor. Roberts amplified Jones. Together, they made a fetish out of monitoring the behavior of everyone in or near their tournament.  —Curt Sampson, The Masters: Golf, Money, and Power in Augusta, Georgia

Some people buy into the mythos of Augusta, and you may be one. So, fair warning: If you prefer to believe that walking those holy fairways will induce a state of golf nirvana, or that the Masters is a noble-minded fairy tale come to life, you may want to skip this. And for God’s sake don’t come within a thousand feet of Curt Sampson’s excellent history of Cliff Roberts, Bobby Jones, and the origins of the sport’s most famous tournament.

On the other hand, if your bullshit detector hasn’t quite run out of batteries, consider a second argument: There’s something deeply disturbing and anti-democratic about the whole operation, and the club represents almost everything that’s archaic and exclusive about golf. Sampson’s book is a great starting point if you want to learn the truth, and the best endorsement came from Augusta National itself, which accused him of multiple factual errors without being able to identify one.

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Augusta was the very first golf course that allowed their name to be used in a golf game.  I remember it well: 1983...1986.  They were young and hungry and had an inferiority complex. 

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I had forgotten that! Wow, 30 years later they're just as insecure.

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