Imagine Golf Blogs

A look at the Masters

Clock ticking down to golf's first major

Posted Mar 31, 2011 by Jeff Dawson

Augusta National

With the Masters just around the corner, Imagine Golf is going to take a look back at perhaps the most prestigious golf tournament there is.
Played at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, US, the course is as iconic as some of the players that have played there. In fact, it’s probably more so. Ask any golfer in the world and they would love the opportunity to play on a course designed by the legendary Bobby Jones – possibly the greatest amateur of all time.
Jones, along with investment banker, Clifford Roberts, formed the club and Jones played a key role in the design and build of it alongside esteemed British architect Dr. Alister Mackenzie. And it was the popularity of Jones that helped to form the Masters and turn it into the competition it is today.
In 1934, at the inaugural event, Jones was joined by a host of star players whilst Roberts worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure a smooth and seamless tournament. And it worked.
From that day in 1934, the tournament and the course have grown in stature and it now provides the kind of test that few can handle as seen by many a collapse down the years and none more famous than Greg Norman’s capitulation against Nick Faldo in 1996.
And being the first major of the calendar, it holds so much meaning for the star golfers of today’s game.
This year the likes of Tiger Woods, who holds the championship record with his 270 in 1997, and Phil Mickelson will be hoping that the course they have performed so well on in year’s gone by is as friendly in 2011.
Woods in particular will be looking to tame the beast that he has done on four previous occasions while Mickelson will be hoping to build on the success he achieved last April.
As for the Europeans, they will be hoping they can contest the championship this year. It’s not been a particularly happy hunting ground in recent years and the likes of Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald – the world’s top three – will be hoping that they have what it takes to go all the way.
One thing we can guarantee is that Augusta National will be out to get these players and make them feel like struggling amateurs. The relentless, lengthy nature of the course will no doubt prove an incredible challenge once again. As a golf fan, I await the opening drive with bated breath and eagerly anticipate a stunning show of golfing skills from course design through to putting. The Masters enables us to enjoy it all.

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