We all know that money can’t buy all the really important things in life, like love, health, happiness, and membership to Augusta National Golf Club. That is not to say that membership is free, far from it, but we will return to that a little later.
It would be fair to say that Augusta is the world’s most exclusive golf club.
Whereas a keen golfer can realistically aspire to play on most of the world-famous PGA championship courses, the chances of testing this exquisite venue are on par (no pun intended) with a big-time lotto pay-out.
The home of the US Masters and an unmistakable green jacket was founded in 1932 on a former plantation then called Fruitlands. Due to the Great Depression, the club initially struggled to attract members. The first Masters was held in 1934 to attract the crowds and boost membership. After World War 2 the club began to prosper and in 1948 General Dwight D Eisenhower was invited to join and during his eight years as POTUS, he played there many times.
There is no application process, membership is strictly by invitation only and is limited to about three hundred. Most of the members are enlisted from the cream of the world’s golfers, however there are a few noticeable exceptions as the current roster includes such luminaries as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Pete Coors of the eponymous brewing company and Condoleezza Rice former Secretary of State.
Even with a roster of the “great and the good” the club is steeped in traditions and rules that must be adhered to or suffer the consequences.
No mobile phones or electronic devices are permitted, no running or loud talking. Even when a pro has their own regular caddy, if they wish to play the course, they must use a club caddy who are always dressed in signature white jumpsuits and unbelievably the Masters Champion has to return their green jacket at the end of their champion year.
Lest we forget, Augusta is very much a for-profit organisation so you may still be wondering what the cost of membership really is? Whilst exact figures are not readily available the cost to join is believed to be between $100, 000-£300,000 with annual dues approaching $30,000.
Now you know the facts and figures if you still want to play those hallowed greens may we suggest either getting “pally” with Bill Gates or practicing really, really hard.