A History of the Masters

From 1856 to 1910, the Fruitland Nurseries in Augusta, Georgia claimed to be the oldest nursery in the South. It sold fruit trees and azaleas, having transformed what used to be an indigo plantation. But that transformation was not as striking as what happened next.

Bobby Jones, an amateur golfer who had won the 1930 Grand Slam, and Clifford Roberts, an investment banker, were looking for land to build a golf course, when they found the Fruitland Nursery property. Purchasing it in 1931, they hired Dr. Alister Mackenzie to work with Jones in designing the golf course, and brought in Louis Alphonse Berckmans, the son of one of the nursery founders, as a consultant for the landscaping.

The Augusta National Golf Club opened in December of 1932 and the first official rounds were played in January 1933. The first Masters, called the "Augusta National Invitation Tournament" until 1939, was played in March 1934 by 60 professional and twelve amateur golfers. Horton Smith won, with a score of 284, and the tournament was notable for being the focus of the first national radio broadcast of a golf event.

Another ground-breaking aspect of the first Masters was the fact that the 72 holes were played on four days, rather than packing the final two rounds into one day. The additional time helped some players to play better, and it allowed special events to be integrated with the tournament, a brainchild of Jones, who dreamed up skills contests and other entertainments.

Here are some of the outstanding statistics from the Masters Tournament history:

o The first green jacket was awarded in 1949, to Sam Snead.

o The player with the most victories is Jack Nicklaus who won six times in three decades: 1964, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, and 1986.

o The Masters has been played since 1934 with a three-year break during World War II. In 74 championships, only 35 different players have won.

o The oldest winner of the Masters was Jack Nicklaus at 46 years, 2 months, 23 days, on his 6th victory.

o The youngest winner of the Masters was Tiger Woods at 21 years, 3 months, and 14 days in 1997.

Not only was Tiger Woods the youngest player to win the Masters, but in that same year, he achieved both the lowest score ever shot at the Masters, 270, and the widest margin of victory ever seen at the Masters: 12 strokes.

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Better, C. (n.d.). How to play Augusta National Golf Club without a member connection. Golf Vacation Insider. Retrieved from http://www.golfvacationinsider.com/private-golf-courses/how-to-play-augusta-national-golf-club-5873 Boyette, J. (2006, April 8). Augusta National's natural beauty was born in nursery. Retrieved from http://www.augusta.com/stories/040306/mas_75606.shtml Masters.com. (n.d.). About the Masters. Retrieved from http://www.masters.com/en_US/history/about.html Masters.com. (n.d.). Masters Timeline. Retrieved from http://www.masters.com/en_US/history/timeline.html Masters.com. (n.d.). Records Stats. Retrieved from http://www.masters.com/en_US/history/records.html TeeTimes.info. (2010, April 8). History of the Masters Golf Tournament - Green Jacket. Retrieved from http://www.teetimes.info/golf-news/history-of-the-masters-golf-tournament-%E2%80%93-green-jacket/

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