Alister Mackenzie & Bobby Jones (1933)/Perry Maxwell (R. 1937-1938)/Robert Trent Jones (R. 1946, 1950)/George Cobb (R. 1967, 1975, 1977)/George Fazio (1973-1974)/Joe Finger & Byron Nelson (1979)/Jack Nicklaus (1985)/Bob Cupp (1987)/Bob Walker and Ray Floyd (R. 1989)/Tom Fazio (R. 1999-2005)
No club has tinkered with its golf course as often or as effectively over the decades as has Augusta National Golf Club, mainly to keep it competitive for the annual Masters Tournament, an event it has conducted since 1934, with time off during WWII. All that tinkering has resulted in an amalgamation of design ideas, with a routing by Alister Mackenzie and Bobby Jones, some Perry Maxwell greens, some Trent Jones water hazards, some Jack Nicklaus mounds and swales and, most recently, extensive rebunkering and tree planting by Tom Fazio. The tinkering may soon continue if the club, as reported, closes on a deal with adjacent Augusta Country Club to buy a portion of land that will allow the famed par-5 13th to be lengthened.
100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 1, 2009-12, 2015-16. Previous ranking: No. 1
“One of the greatest days one can spend in golf is the day you get to play ANGC, especially the first time. The routing solutions, to the elevation changes, the brilliance of Amen Corner, visiting all ends of the property, the many directions of the holes, the risks and rewards, the total brilliance of the green complexes -- wow.”
“I guess the thing that made me the most impressed was the shot values around the greens. Putting is one thing, but the full exam of one's imagination with all kinds of short shots is so fun and challenging. Add into that the counterintuitive nature of the canyon grade that impacts the site, and your brain really has to work overtime. Add in the sensory overload of beauty and Augusta National truly is mind-blowing.”
“Even if the Masters wasn’t played here every year, you’d still have one of the most memorable layouts with unrivaled topography and aesthetics. The traditional deep green fairways with minimal rough provides a feeling of uniformity throughout the grounds that has been copied at other courses. This is the best sanctuary in golf.”
“So much has been changed over the years to accommodate the tournament and the modern game that I fear Alister MacKenzie would hardly recognize what he and Bobby Jones created. If only we could bring Dr. MacKenzie into 2016 and ask him how he would change the course to modernize it.”
“Without all the patrons and the galleries, you do notice some flaws, albeit small ones. Most of the holes are defenseless without the huge slopes in the greens. The fifth green, in particular, was a little too extreme and overdone. It's hard not to be totally taken in by the atmosphere and history and simply look at the quality of the design.”