A Golf Story: Bobby Jones, Augusta National, and the Masters Tournament
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Soon after its original publication in 1986, A Golf Story was heralded as one of the classics of golf literature. It is a book that intertwines three immortal subjects-Bobby Jones, Augusta National, and the Masters Tournament-into one compelling narrative. These three stories are inextricably linked; together, they form a fascinating backdrop to an April drama that is unique in the annals of golf and that, like Jones himself, transcends sports. Using firsthand experiences with Augusta National and the Masters Tournament that date back to 1948, Charles Price spent three years weaving together this historic story and, in an unprecedented move, Augusta National opened its guarded archives for his research, thereby making this book the first authorized history of both the club and the tournament.
why nobody but Jones could have brought off such an enterprise—the trinity of club, course, and tournament—is first to understand who Bobby Jones was in the context of golf’s long, long history. For, even half a century after his retirement, no more than a handful of golfists fully comprehended Jones and what he had done, despite his fame, etched as it was in marble. Jones’s historical career straddled the eight years from 1923 through 1930, part of an intoxicating era labeled the “Jazz Age,”
the simon-purity behind the production of The Masters Tournament, or maybe because of it, the event nevertheless holds the reputation everywhere in golf as being the most professionally run tournament or championship the game has known. Even people who direct golf tournaments for a living go to The Masters and come away shaking their heads at how complex everything is behind the scenes, never to be seen by the public, and how casually the tournaments committees manipulate it all, solving problems
nine-iron, to the back of which had been added twenty-five ounces of lead, giving it the feel of a sledgehammer. It was the forerunner of the sand wedge, and had been given to him by Horton Smith earlier in the year at the Savannah Open. Jones had hit only two shots with it before, both of them unimportant. He addressed the ball with his right foot resting on top of the bank, and then hit the ball with a sharp, descending blow. A teaspoonful of sand too much, and Jones would have left the ball in
Air Vanderbilt was the only hotel of any size, and it had been taken over mainly by contestants, whom Walton Marshall had given a special rate of five dollars a night. Another, smaller, more commercial hotel downtown was The Richmond, and there were a few quaint inns, like The Partridge, which had been built on the side of a hill across the street from the Bon Air years before it and whose floors even then were beginning to sag. Housing would be a problem at the tournament for another thirty
world were glowing, some of them having been prepared by writers whom Jones outlived. The public, almost none of whom had ever seen him play, gathered from the obituaries that he had once been a young, rich amateur who won a lot of big tournaments, some of them against professionals, because he didn’t do anything but play golf. Then he quit, most readers presumed, because he had sense enough not to try to play against the big boys. What the obituaries didn’t say was this: Some men who played