Augusta National's Harshest Critics

SUBSCRIBE

Augusta National's Harshest Critics

March 31, 2016

Photo By: LA Times via Getty Images

Photo By: Augusta National/Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Augusta National/Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Jim Murray

The legendary sports columnist used his voice to press Augusta National to invite an African American play in its tournament. "Wouldn't it be nice to have a black American at Augusta in something other than a coverall?" he once wrote. And Murray did more than just talk. He boycotted the event for a seven-year period, returning in 1975 when Lee Elder became the first black golfer to earn an invite to Augusta National. "I like the tournament," Murray told a colleague a few years later. "I don't much like the people."

Photo By: LA Times via Getty Images

Charlie Sifford

Unfortunately, despite Murray's efforts, the breaking of Augusta National's color barrier came too late for Sifford, a winner on the PGA Tour in 1967 and 1969. Understandably, Sifford held a grudge against the Masters until he passed away in 2015. "F*#$ Augusta," he said in an interview with the L.A. Times in 2011 when asked about the club. "When I was good enough to play there, the Masters never invited me, so why would they invite me now?" he went on. "I could have been invited, I should have been invited, but a long time ago they thought all golfers should be white and all caddies should be black. I've never been to Augusta and I'm never going."

Tom Weiskopf

You wouldn't expect someone with such a strong record at Augusta National to have such a low opinion of the course. "Back in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, alone there are four courses... as good as Augusta," Weiskopf said in 1978. "You can go elsewhere, too, and find other courses that play as challengingly without having to resort to putting the pins on slopes and knolls." Then again, maybe that's exactly what you'd expect someone with four runner-ups and no green jackets to say about the Masters venue.

Photo By: Augusta National/Getty Images

Jack Nicklaus

OK, so this is a truly surprising name. With a record six green jackets, Nicklaus loves the Masters and Augusta National. But after the course underwent its latest lengthening, he offered this candid comment to Golf Digest in 2006: "They've ruined it from a tournament standpoint." OK then. . .

Photo By: Getty Images

Frank Beard

The former player is one of several TV announcers to be banned from working the tournament through the years. His crime? He wrote that Bobby Jones would "roll over in his grave" if he saw the changes to course -- something which angered co-founder Cliff Roberts. Imagine what Beard would have said after Augusta National was "Tiger-proofed"?!

Bob Costas

How about an announcer who has nothing to do with Masters coverage? While appearing on the Dan Patrick Radio Show in 2013, the NBC commentator said this about CBS' handling of Augusta National's checkered past involving inclusivity: "What no CBS commentator has ever alluded to, even in passing, even during a rain delay, even when there was time to do so, is Augusta's history of racism and sexism. Even when people were protesting just outside the grounds -- forget about taking a side -- never acknowledging it. So not only will I never work the Masters because I'm not at CBS, but I'd have to say something and then I would be ejected. . . . I think somebody should have had the guts to do it along the way." Easier said than done, Bob. And speaking of those protestors just outside the grounds. . .

Photo By: Getty Images

Martha Burk

In 2003, then the Chairwoman of the National Council of Women's Organizations, Burk led a protest during the Masters. ''They will open those doors up there to women,'' Burk proclaimed. "They know it and we all know it, because we are right, and we will prevail.'' And she was proved right, eventually. A decade later, the club announced Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as its first two female members.

Photo By: Getty Images

Lee Trevino

Imagine the uproar today if a superstar golfer skipped the game's most popular event three times in the prime of his career? That's exactly what Trevino did, not playing the Masters in 1970, 1971 and 1974. Trevino indicated it was his game that didn't mesh with the course, but the real reason was that he didn't mesh with the course's co-founder. "Cliff Roberts and I locked horns the first time I was there," Trevino told Global Golf Post in 2015. "I took a disliking to the man and he took a disliking to me. I stayed away from there because I didn't want to have anything to do with him." However, there was also this comment about the course, where Trevino had just two top 10s in 20 trips. "The tournament is the eighth wonder of the world. I watch it every year, but it's not a great golf course. Never was a great golf course. It's a great venue, it's got a tremendous amount of history, but as far as a great golf course, it is not."

Photo By: Augusta National/Getty Images

Sergio Garcia

Another brilliant ball-striker who has had his struggles through the years at Augusta National. After a rough weekend in 2009 saw him fall out of contention, Garcia expressed his frustration. "I don't like it, to tell you the truth. I don't think it's fair, and it's just too tricky. Even when it's dry, you still get mud balls in the middle of the fairway. It’s too much of a guessing game." He apologized for his comments two days later.

Photo By: Getty Images

Shop This Look