Book Review: “The Story of the Masters”

storyofthemastersDavid Barrett is a talented, experienced, and passionate golf writer, credited with authoring six books about golf, with two published works encompassing golf’s greatest triumphs: “Miracle at Merion”, Ben Hogan’s inspiring victory at the 1950 U.S. Open, and “Making the Masters”, detailing how Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts built the Masters from scratch into the world’s most prestigious golf event.

The Story of The MastersNow, arriving on the eve of the 85th Masters, Barrett’s latest book “The Story of the Masters” is a comprehensive year-by-year history of the world’s most famous golf tournament. Barrett’s work reads to a total of 340 pages, and details each and every annual tournament from the inaugural 1934 ‘Augusta National Invitation Tournament’ through the covid-19 plagued November 2020 Masters.

David’s book groups the 87 year history of the Masters into nine distinct eras — nine chapters. In his adept manner, Barrett’s era / chapters relate how the tournament has progressed from the early years when it was founded by golf great Bobby Jones then quickly established itself as an elite event, and moved into to the post-World War II period when Sam Snead and Ben Hogan dominated. Next came the thrilling exploits of dashing hero Arnold Palmer who brought the tournament into the television age, and the sustained excellence of Jack Nicklaus, who further elevated the prestige of the tournament.

Following the success of the “Golden Bear”, nearly two full decades of European dominance headlined the Masters as the international age of golf took precedence. Then Tiger Woods came along and used the Augusta stage for his coming-out party in 1997 and epic comeback in 2019.

Horton Smith

Horton Smith

Using his experience as a sportswriter at the Augusta Chronicle, the hometown newspaper of the Masters, Barrett incorporates into “The Story of the Masters” newspaper-like-accounts for each of the four rounds of the tournament for every year of the event. For each tournament, Barrett adds some spice and drama to his newspaper reports by including little known, perhaps forgotten, mishaps, weather issues, one-of-a-kind shots and other human interest sidebars.

Of particular interest for Chicago fans of golf history, “The Story of the Masters” begins with the inaugural 1934 ‘Augusta National Invitation Tournament’ which was won by Horton Smith working at that time as the head golf professional of Oak Park Country Club. Jumping ahead by 34 years, one of the more lengthy of Barrett’s tournament reports is that of the 1968 Masters, which due to a scorecard gaffe by Roberto De Vincenzo resulted in a one shot victory for Illinois Golf Hall of Fame inductee, Bob Goalby.

Roberto De Vincenzo's Scorecard Gaffe in 1968

Roberto De Vincenzo’s Scorecard Gaffe in 1968

About the author: David is a 1978 graduate of Haverford College, Haverford, PA, where he played on the school golf team and wrote for the student newspaper. He was a sportswriter at the Augusta Chronicle newspaper and then for 18 years a senior editor at Golf Magazine, where he covered the pro tours and major championships. He also served as an editor for Links magazine and as a producer, columnist, and blogger for In addition to authoring six books about golf, Barrett’s magazine articles have appeared in Golf World, Links, and Met Golfer. Presently, Barrett continues as a blogger for his own website,, part of

Further reviews and accolades:

“David Barrett is an able and thorough writer, and he has clinically and thoughtfully broken down the Masters in tournament form. This is a distinctively different look at the history of the tournament.” —Ben Crenshaw, Professional golfer, golf historian, two-time winner of the Masters tournament.

1934 Masters Admission Ticket

1934 Masters Admission Ticket

“We’ve never seen a telling of the Masters tournament remotely like this one–comprehensive and colorful.” —Guy Yocom, Writer, Golf Digest.

“David Barrett brings Masters history to life through compelling storytelling and meticulous research. This belongs on every golfer’s bookshelf.” —Jim Nantz, CBS Broadcaster.

“The Story of the Masters” available on 04/06/21; ISBN-13: 9781732222724; Publisher: Tatra Press; 340 pages; Product dimensions: 6.75(w) x 9.25(h); Price:$30.00, hardcover, Nook Book $11.49, Kindle $11.49.
Sellers: Barnes & Noble Bookstores, and at


Greg Miles

Greg Miles has been a writer following golf in Chicago since 1990. For the past 28 years he has been a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and currently is classified as a GWAA "Life Member". He played his first round of golf on his 11th birthday, and since then has played more than 7,200 rounds of golf in his lifetime at 517 different courses. He has interviewed more than 280 golfers across all the professional tours along with famous celebrity golfers. Additionally, he is a member of several other competitive and honorary golf associations, as well as the Golf Nut Society.

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