The Masters Tournament
The names of the world’s top tournaments roll off the tongues of golfing aficionados with ease – but it’s not so often we think about how they came about and whose blood, sweat and tears went into creating them.
Ever heard of the Masters Tournament? Of course you have – it’s been around since 1934. Ever heard of Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts? Maybe not…
From Little Things, Big Things Grow
The iconic Green Jacket is one of the most coveted prizes on the hit list of professional golfers all over the world. When that time of the year comes around, there’s not much chat about anything else around the water cooler at A Golfing Experience. However, while we love bandying around stories of the big names past and present, like Woods, Mickelson, Faldo, Snead or Player, thestory behind how the Masters Tournament was born involves two other guys thatwe think definitely deserve a mention.
A Collaboration of Champion and Money Man
The Augusta National Golf Club was founded by a couple of visionaries called Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts.
Bobby Jones was an amateur champion of legendary status in the1920s and 30s who provided the know-how and reputation. His achievements include:
·Five US amateur championship wins
·Four US Open wins
·Three British Open titles
His extensive credentials also include designing golf clubs,writing books (guess the subject) and countless newspaper articles. He holds the title of President of the Augusta National in perpetuity.
Roberts was a well-heeled investment banker, but his contribution to the club went beyond simply bank rolling it. Over the years he implemented many innovative changes that contributed to the quality of spectator viewing, scoring systems, marketing and broadcasting. After his death he was named Chairman in Memoriam.
The Road to the Masters
Jones and Roberts decided on the 365-acre property near Augusta(in Georgia) and construction commenced in 1931. The men settled on the name Augusta National and opened up membership to a national audience, which turned out to be a pretty good idea – not to mention providing a catchy name! The club officially opened in 1933, although play actually began in 1932.
In 1934, the two men came up with the idea of hosting a national golfing tournament, and it was Roberts who suggested the name ‘Masters’.However, thinking that was a little too ambitious, Jones insisted on the Augusta National Invitation Tournament.
After five successful years under the aforementioned name, Jones was convinced, and the event became the Masters Tournament in 1939. From the following year it was a regular fixture on the golfing calendar, held in the first week of April every year (as if you didn’t already know).
Where to Stay
If you like the idea of a golfing getaway and the opportunity to stay and play here, our experts at A Golfing Experience highly recommend the Southern hospitality of the Willcox Hotel, Aiken which has been named as one of the best hotels in the world. Set on a charming street, the elegant building offers a graceful exterior and interiors to match. The rooms are beautifully appointed and you can enjoy fine dining and a range of indulgent spa services. By staying here, you’ll feel like you’ve won the Masters yourself.
Thinking of heading to the Masters? Why not get in touch with us and we can help you organise your bespoke golfing holiday of a lifetime. We also specialise in other excellent destinations in the USA, as well as Italy, France, Spain, Scotland, Ireland and more. Call 01494 875164 for reservations