Discover Fruitlands Augusta National Golf Club - It is the site of an antebellum plantation set on a tract of 345 acres now in the heart of Augusta’s western suburbs. Stay and Play in GA!
Fruitlands Augusta National Golf Club
Since 1930, Fruitlands has been the home of the Augusta National Golf Club, an exclusive internationally renowned course designed by Alistair McKenzie and Robert Tyre (“Bobby”) Jones, who became famous for winning the Grand Slam of Golf as an amateur in 1930.
In 1854 Dennis Redmond, an Irish born horticulturalist, built the plantation house now used as the clubhouse. Redmond edited the widely read Southern Cultivator, which was published in Augusta Georgia. He chose a design with broad, 2-story verandas topped by a hipped roof and cupola suitable for the hot, sultry summers typical in the South.
A gallery with 20 square pillars encircles the building, which is constructed of concrete and is important as possibly the first example of such construction for a dwelling in the southeastern United States. Redmond espoused this construction as superior in his publication, stressing its cooling effect in the summer and its insulation in the winter. It also guarded against vermin. The Augusta National Golf Club has modified the house in a number of ways.
In 1857 and 1858, Redmond sold Fruitlands to a Belgian horticulturalist named L. E. M. Berckmans. He and his son, P. J. A. Berckmans, established Fruitland Nursery on the site, which became one of the most important horticultural centers in the South. Not only did they sell plant material, but they also imported new specimens and developed new varieties well adapted to the climate.
The Berckmans created some of the most common southern shrubs and trees at Fruitlands. The beautifully landscaped golf course still has many plantings that originated when the Berckmans family operated their nursery.
One of the most famous scenes at the Augusta National Golf Club is Magnolia Lane, which leads from Washington Road to the clubhouse. The Berckmans planted its trees in 1858 and 1859 from seeds sent to them from Athens, Georgia. Fruitland Nursery imported more than 40 varieties of azaleas before 1861, popularizing the use of this flowering shrub as an ornamental planting in the region.
In 1930 Bobby Jones of Atlanta, Georgia fresh from winning the Grand Slam, headed a group that purchased the former nursery in order to establish the Augusta National Golf Club. Intended from the beginning to be devoted to golf and not to provide the typical recreational opportunities offered by a country club, Augusta National has become one of the most exclusive golf clubs in the world. Working with Jones, Dr. Alistair McKenzie was the course architect.
Jones was attracted to the site originally because he felt that it naturally lent itself to use as a golf course. The design of the course is an often-copied prototype for modern golf course construction.
President Eisenhower frequently played golf on the course. The Eisenhower cottage, where President and Mrs. Eisenhower stayed, was built for their use. The simple white frame house is about 200 feet south of the clubhouse area.
Since 1934 Augusta National Golf Club has held the Augusta National Invitational Tournament watched round the world (with the exception of the years during World War II) during the first full week in April. The club invites the most outstanding players in the world to play in the Masters Tournament, its name since 1939, and awards the winner the coveted green jacket. Augusta National is very generous to the Augusta Georgia community with proceeds from its annual tournament, which involves many residents who help host the thousands of visitors who attend each year.
Public access is limited to ticket holders during the week of the tournament. Otherwise, admittance is limited to members. The public often has photos taken beside the guardhouse and sign at the entrance on Washington Rd., but the clubhouse is not visible from that vantage point. Fruitlands and Ike's Cottage on the grounds of the Augusta National Golf Club have been documented by the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey.
The Augusta National Golf Club is to The Masters, one of the four masters' tournament on the US PGA Tour, every year. It is one of the most famous and exclusive golf clubs in the world.
2604 Washington Rd., Augusta Georgia
History of the Course
Bobby Jones leased a 365-acre property called Fruitlands Nursery in Augusta Georgia for a sum of $70,000. The land was used as a nursery for many trees and plants from different countries and as a result the course is full of a wide variety of flowers giving it an exquisite look.
All the holes in the course are named after a flower. The driveway leading to the clubhouse is lined by 61 magnolia trees giving it a serene atmosphere. Turtle, fish, raccoon, red-tailed hawk, several species of birds and snakes can also be found at the course.
Renowned golf architect Dr Alister Mackenzie, who also had designed the Cypress Country Club and Pine Valley Golf Club, designed the course. The Augusta National Golf Club was opened with a limited number of players in December, 1932 but was formally opened one month later in January, 1933.
The course underwent modifications many times over the years with the likes of Perry Maxwell, Robert Trent Jones and Jack Nicklaus contributing towards the changes. Another noted designer, Tom Fazio, made several changes to the course after the 2001 Masters. He lengthened the first, seventh, eighth, ninth, 10 th , 11 th , 13 th , 14 th and 18 th holes by moving the tee boxes back. The club also has a nine-hole course designed by Fazio.
The course is a favorite among the golfers who have leveled it as the best course in the world. It is so popular around the world that a lot of golf courses in Japan are modeled upon it.
The Augusta National Golf Club plays host to one of the four master tournaments, The Masters, which takes place every year on the US PGA Tour.
Hole No. 11, 12 and 13 are known as the Amen Corner . The term was coined by sportswriter Herbert Warren Wind from an old jazz song Shouting at Amen Corner.
Dwight D Eisenhower, former president of the United States was a member of the club.
Membership to the club is by invitation only with fees ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 per year. Outsiders can enjoy a round of golf at this prestigious course on being invited by a member. Women are still allowed to be a member of this club.
The Augusta National Golf Club is generally regarded as the most revered course among fans. It ranks 2nd behind the Pine Valley Golf Club in Golf Digest magazine's list of top 100 golf courses in U.S. As we continue on this tour we will learn about the other top-100 golf courses in the U.S.