When the Augusta National Golf Club opened for play in January 1933, much was expected for this course that was brainchild of the great Bobby Jones. It’s fitting that one of the most special golf courses on earth now hosts one of the most special sporting events on the planet.
In 1934 Bobby Jones and Augusta National Golf Club co-founder Clifford Roberts decided to host a golf tournament. Roberts proposed the event be called “The Masters”. Although Jones initially objected to the name, considering it too “presumptuous”, he would eventually acquiesce.
The first tournament was held on March 22, 1934 and was won Horton Smith, club professional at Oak Park Golf Club. Smith would win the Masters again in 1936 and is still the only golfer with local Chicago ties to ever win the Masters tournament.
Beginning in 1940, the Masters was scheduled each year during the first full week in April. In 1960, the first Par 3 Contest was held on the 9-hole short course at Augusta National Golf Club. No one has ever won the Par 3 tournament and the Masters in the same year.
The Par 3 course was built in 1958 by architect George Cobb and Clifford Roberts. Tournament participants, past champions and honorary invitees can participate in this fun, good-natured event.
The Masters photo gallery below includes images taken at Augusta National Golf in 2011 on the Wednesday before the Masters. Also included are images from the Par 3 tournament and the 9-hole short course.
Augusta National Golf Club
2604 Washington Road, Augusta, GA