Why is the Masters played in Augusta?
The Masters tournament is iconic in the picturesque views and wondrous vistas that Augusta, Georgia offers
One of the most prestigious golf tournaments in the calendar, the Masters Tournament is iconic in the picturesque views and wondrous vistas that Augusta, Georgia offers. Of all the major tournaments, the Masters sees the smallest field in championship golf competing over four days for a place in history.
Bobby Jones, the legendary amateur golf champion, had always dreamed of building his own golf course. When he retired in 1930, the Georgia native approached investment banker Clifford Roberts, and the two decided to build a private golf club near Augusta. Locating a plant nursery that fit the bill, the pair employed legendary course designer Alister MacKenzie.
Opened in January of 1933, an annual event was immediately established whereby the best in the game would be invited to Augusta. From the start, Clifford Roberts wanted to call it the Masters, and unofficially did so, over Bobby Jones’ objections. Jones thought the name too presumptuous. But in 1939, Jones relented and the Augusta National Invitation Tournament became the Masters Tournament, and has remained so ever since.
Kicking off the golfing season, the Masters is always held during the second week of April. The place is special, both as a setting and for what it represents. With a strict membership of 300 at any given time, and issued by invitation only, the Augusta National Golf Club is seen as perhaps the most exclusive in all of world sports.
The current prize money stands at $11.5 million with just over $2 million going to the winner. But perhaps even more coveted than the money is the distinctive green jacket that goes to the winner. It is traditionally never removed from the Club and only worn by the owner while on the grounds.