Augusta national - 7 facts you don't find out watching on TV
No tournament has such allure, yet it is the only major played at the same course year in and year out. No course in major tournament use has Augusta National’s contours, especially on the greens, and no course has a back nine that can induce such drama.
That’s what makes us watch, but while we marvel at the drama and take in the beauty from the comfort of our living rooms, here are 7 facts about Augusta National you won’t hear on television.
Membership can’t be bought
It’s one of the best-kept numbers in sport - the initiation fee to Augusta National. With barons like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates as members it goes without saying that money isn’t the object. And it isn’t. To join is reportedly under $100,000, which might be one-tenth of other high profile clubs in the country.
Food prices from the 80’s
Most of us are used to extortionate food and drink pricing at major sporting events, see £8.50 for a beer and chips at Wembley stadium, but the menu at Augusta has an almost whimsical feel and prices to match. There’s not many other locations where ham & cheese on rye is the best seller.
The famous Green Jacket
The Green Jacket came about for a very simple reason. In the tournament’s early years Augusta National members were encouraged to wear the jacket so patrons would know who to ask questions. More recently, when a member hosts guests in the clubhouse, the green jacket designates who gets the bill.
World class golf - world class wine
For those in the know, Augusta is famed for housing some of the highest quality private wine cellars in the world, containing the best of French, Italian, American and Australian. Its not uncommon for members to enjoy a long lunch and receive a bill in excess of $3,000 with the wine being the primary culprit. Maybe its how the club makes up the excess for the cheap membership fees.
All about magnolia
The course is also famed for the 60 magnolia trees which line the road leading to the Augusta National clubhouse. There were 61 but one of the trees was struck and felled by lightning two years ago.
Amen Corner is a notorious part of the course along a stretch of the 11th, all of the 12th and a chunk of the 13th holes. It was named by American sports writer and jazz buff Herbert Warren Wind in 1958 after a song called Shoutin’ in the Amen Corner by Andy Razaf.
No mobile phones
One thing Augusta isn't renowned for is its laid back approach to rules. Mobile phones and all other electronic devices are strictly prohibited on the grounds at all times with anyone violating this policy subject to removal from the grounds and a permanent ban. All of which means the pay phones get quite busy.