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Magnolia Memories: Iconic Landmarks of Augusta National

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Augusta National Golf Club is home to some of golf’s most iconic landmarks. From Magnolia Lane, the legendary driveway that greets members and participants, to the dramatic Rae’s Creek, which spans Amen Corner, these landmarks have become synonymous with the Masters Tournament. Visitors to Augusta National are captivated by the blend of tradition and natural beauty that permeates every corner of the grounds.

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In this post, we’ll learn more about the iconic landmarks that define Augusta National and The Masters. As always, our suggested reading selection of books and audiobooks will help you take it further. As three-time Masters champion Gary Player once said, “The Masters is the only tournament I ever knew where you choke when you drive through the front gate.”

Check out our Masters content, including our running list of the best promos, deals, and authentic merchandise, as well as our book recommendations and articles about the course’s history and those who have shaped it.

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Magnolia Lane

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Magnolia Lane is one of the most iconic and recognizable features of Augusta National Golf Club. This 330-yard driveway, lined with dozens of towering magnolia trees, provides a dramatic and picturesque entrance to the hallowed grounds.

The magnolia trees were planted generations ago, creating a serene and stately atmosphere as visitors approach the club. The lane’s charm and allure have only grown over the decades, with the large, fragrant blooms of the magnolias serving as a welcoming sight for golfers and patrons alike.  

Jack Nicklaus stated, “The Masters isn’t just another tournament. It is something really special. I get as much excitement driving down Magnolia Lane now as I did 40 years ago.” The sights, sounds, and emotions that Magnolia Lane elicits have become an integral part of the Masters tradition, making it a must-see destination for any golf enthusiast.

Founder’s Circle

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Founders Circle is one of Augusta National Golf Club’s most iconic landmarks. Located at the end of Magnolia Lane, it features a flowerbed in the shape of the United States. This picturesque spot is the most photographed location on the Augusta National grounds, as patrons flock to capture the Masters logo formed by yellow pansies in the center of the circle.

Founders Circle is a tribute to the visionaries who created Augusta National – co-founders Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts. At the base of the flagpole in front of the clubhouse are two plaques honoring their contributions to the club and the Masters Tournament.

Founders Circle is a popular spot for patrons to take photos, and a tournament employee is often available to take pictures for visitors. It provides a glimpse into Augusta National’s history and tradition and has become an essential part of the Master’s experience.

Eishenhower’s Legacy

President Dwight D. Eisenhower had a deep and lasting connection to Augusta National Golf Club that went far beyond the iconic landmarks associated with his name. Eisenhower first visited Augusta National in 1948 at the urging of Masters Tournament chairman Clifford Roberts, and he quickly became enamored with the club.

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Eisenhower became a member and made frequent trips to Augusta, both before, during, and after his presidency. Eisenhower formed close friendships with the club’s leadership, including Roberts, who served as one of Eisenhower’s informal advisors. The club provided him with a peaceful respite from the demands of the presidency, where he could relax, play golf, and enjoy the company of his friends. Eisenhower’s affection for Augusta National was reciprocated as the club, and the city of Augusta embraced the former president.

After the 1953 Masters, the club built the Eisenhower Cabin, a three-story, seven-bedroom retreat, where Eisenhower and his wife Mamie would stay at Augusta National. With its cozy and inviting atmosphere, the cabin gave Ike a peaceful respite to relax, entertain guests, and indulge in his passion for the game. Local architect Lowrey Stulb designed the cabin with the Secret Service, as it needed to accommodate the President and his security detail.

Ike’s Pond, which spans the 8th and 9th holes of the Par-3 course, was named after the former President, whose love for the game was evident in his frequent visits to Augusta National, where he would often work on his game or enjoy a round with fellow members.

Eisenhower Pine

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The Eisenhower Pine was a loblolly pine tree that stood approximately 65 feet tall on the left side of the 17th fairway. The tree was comically named after former Eisenhower, who frequently hit his ball into the tree during his rounds. Eisenhower was so frustrated by the tree that he proposed cutting it down at a club meeting in 1956. However, Augusta National co-founder Clifford Roberts quickly adjourned the meeting to prevent the tree from being removed.

The Eisenhower Pine stood sentry on the 17th hole for nearly 80 years until an ice storm severely damaged it in February 2014. Despite efforts to save it, the tree had to be removed, changing the hole’s character forever.

After the tree’s removal, Augusta National worked to preserve its legacy. They created a memorial case featuring a cross-section of the fallen pine and successfully grafted three seedlings from the original tree, allowing its genetics to live on. The club also gifted the tree’s remains to the Eisenhower Presidential Library to commemorate the strong connection between the former president and his namesake landmark.

Sunday Golf – Masters Loma Bag

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Sunday Golf has developed the Masters edition of its popular Loma bag, perfect for playing your local par-3 or executive course while supplies last. The Loma is a premium, lightweight golf bag for golfers who prefer a minimalist setup. It’s ultra-lightweight, weighing only 1.95 lbs, which makes it ideal for walking the course or taking to the driving range.

Despite its small size, the Loma Bag can hold up to 6-8 clubs, allowing you to carry just the essentials without lugging around a full set of clubs. It has practical features like a built-in stand, an insulated drink pouch, and various storage pockets, which help make your round more convenient and enjoyable.

Sunday Golf specializes in lightweight, minimalist golf bags designed for ease of use and convenience on the course. Their bags, such as the Loma series, are ideal for golfers who prefer to carry fewer clubs and enjoy a quick round. 

These bags often feature comfortable straps, insulated cooler pockets, and enough storage for essential gear. Sunday Golf’s products are appreciated for their portability and functionality, making them a popular choice for golfers looking for a simplified golf experience.

Butler Cabin

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Butler Cabin is named after Thomas B. Butler, a prominent member of the club who was also a personal friend of former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower. Constructed in 1964 and originally built as a caddie locker room, it is one of ten cabins on the club’s grounds used for lodging by members and their guests during non-Masters weeks.

Butler, the chairman of Mercantile Bank and Trust in Baltimore, Maryland, was a frequent playing partner of President Eisenhower at Augusta National, and the two men shared a close friendship. The Butler Cabin was but has become an iconic part of the Masters Tournament, serving as a hub for network coverage during the Masters and the location where the new champion is presented with the coveted green jacket each year.

Rae’s Creek

Rae’s Creek, which winds through the course, is a prominent feature at Augusta National. This natural waterway has become a defining element of the course, adding beauty and challenge to the layout. The creek’s presence is felt throughout the tournament, as players must navigate its treacherous banks and strategize their approach shots accordingly.

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The creek is named after John Rae, an Irish trader who settled in the Augusta, Georgia, area in 1734 and owned over 8,000 acres of land near the Georgia-South Carolina border. Rae established a farm, trading post, ferry service, and grist mill along what was then called Kenyon’s Creek, which was renamed Rae’s Creek in 1765. Rae’s fortified home and ferry service on the Savannah River made his property an important safehouse for British soldiers during the colonial era.

Rae’s Creek is a 10-mile-long waterway with 74 tributary streams that flows through Amen Corner. During the construction of Augusta National in the early 1930s, Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie strategically placed the 12th green between Rae’s Creek and the property’s southern boundary, creating one of the best short holes in the world, “Golden Bell.”

Hogan, Nelson, and Sarazen Bridges

The first bridge ever dedicated to a player at Augusta National, the Sarazen Bridge was named for Gene Sarazen in 1955 to commemorate his famous “shot heard round the world” at the 1935 Masters. It was a pivotal moment that propelled the event into the national spotlight. Trailing Craig Wood by three shots with four holes remaining, Sarazen hit a remarkable 4-wood from 235 yards on the par-5 15th hole that bounced onto the green and rolled into the cup for a double eagle. This incredible shot tied him with Wood and forced a 36-hole playoff the following day, which Sarazen went on to win by five strokes. Read more about Sarazen in our posts “The Squire’s Tale” and “Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf: Looking Back.”

the hogan bridge overlooking the 12th hole at the master augusta national peter nowell

Perhaps the most famous of these landmarks is the Hogan Bridge, which spans Rae’s Creek to the left of the 12th green. This bridge was dedicated by Augusta National in 1958 to honor Ben Hogan’s then-record score of 274 at the 1953 Masters, documented in our post “Triple Crown: Revisiting Hogan’s Historic 1953 Season.” Hogan’s masterful performance that year, which included a birdie on the 12th hole, cemented his status as one of the game’s all-time greats and solidified the Hogan Bridge’s place in Masters lore.

The Nelson Bridge at the 13th tee also crosses over Rae’s Creek. It commemorates Byron Nelson’s dramatic charge during the 1937 Masters, when he recorded a birdie on the 12th hole, followed by an eagle on the 13th to secure the championship.

These bridges have become iconic landmarks, not only for their historical significance but also for the emotional and psychological impact they have on the players. Crossing the Hogan and Nelson Bridges is a rite of passage for any Masters champion, and the images of golfers navigating these crossings have become ingrained in the collective memory of golf fans around the world.

Golf Shop

The Augusta National Golf Shop is a landmark in its own right, offering a unique shopping experience for visitors to the course. This expansive retail space is a hub of activity during the Masters, as fans flock to purchase official tournament merchandise and commemorate their visit to this hallowed golfing destination. Check out our post on Masters deals and promos for links to limited edition as well as authentic merchandise from the golf shop.

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The golf shop’s design and layout are a reflection of the course’s attention to detail and commitment to excellence. From the carefully curated selection of apparel and accessories to the knowledgeable staff who provide exceptional customer service, the golf shop embodies the same level of quality and attention to detail that is synonymous with Augusta National.

For many visitors, a trip to the golf shop is an essential part of the Augusta National experience. The opportunity to purchase exclusive merchandise and take home a piece of the Masters’ legacy is a cherished memento that serves as a lasting reminder of their time at this iconic golfing destination. The golf shop has become a landmark in its own right, a place where the spirit of Augusta National is celebrated and preserved for generations of golf enthusiasts to come.

Further Reading – Books and AudioBooks

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Seven Days in Augusta
by Mark Cannizzaro

Summary: The Masters is unquestionably the crown jewel of golf’s major tournaments, not only for the transcendent performances it has inspired over the years, but for the incomparable sights and sounds of Augusta National and its environs, each distinct element contributing to the storied, rarefied atmosphere which draws tens of thousands to Georgia each spring.

Seven Days in Augusta spans everything from the par-3 contest, to Amen Corner, to Butler Cabin. Mark Cannizzaro goes behind the scenes of the exclusive competition, covering wide-ranging topics including green jacket rituals, tales from The Crow’s Nest atop the clubhouse, the extreme lengths some fans have gone to acquire tickets, and what goes on outside the gates during Masters week. Also featuring some of the most memorable and dramatic moments from the tournament’s history, this is an essential, expansive look at golf’s favorite event.

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Shouting at Amen Corner
by Ron Green

Summary: Shouting at Amen Corner is a collection of the best of Ron Green’s columns and articles from his 45 years of covering the Masters for The Charlotte News and The Charlotte Observer. It’s a book about Hogan, Palmer, Nicklaus, Watson, Faldo, and Woods; but it’s also about Norman, Weiskopf, Miller, and others who have come so close, only to see the Green Jacket slip away at the last moment.

This book is unique in that it recounts history as it was being made and offers a special intimacy and perspective. Not a behind-the-scenes expose about members, money, and power, but a story of golf’s greatest showcase event and the players who have created cherished memories over the last five decades.

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The Spirit of St Andrews
by Alister McKenzie

Summary: Alister MacKenzie was one of golf’s greatest architects.  He designed his courses so players of all skill levels could enjoy the game while creating fantastic challenges for the most experienced players.  MacKenzie’s courses, such as Augusta National, Cypress Point, and Pasatiempo, remain in the top 100 today.  

In his “lost” 1933 manuscript, published for the first time in 1995 and now finally available in paperback, MacKenzie leads you through the evolution of golf–from St. Andrews to the modern-day golf course–and shares his insight on great golf holes the swing, technology and equipment, putting tips, the USGA, the Royal & Ancient, and more.  With fascinating stories about Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, and many others, The Spirit of St.  Andrews gives valuable lessons for all golfers and an intimate portrait of Alister MacKenzie, a true legend of the game.

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The Masters: A Hole-by-Hole History of America’s Golf Classic
by David Sowell

Summary: Discover the secrets of Augusta National with “The Masters” audiobook by David Sowell. This comprehensive guide provides insights into each hole’s history, challenges, and iconic moments. Perfect for both seasoned fans and casual enthusiasts, gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the tournament with this audio tour.

So, the next time you’re watching the Masters on TV, you’ll have a newfound respect for what it takes to conquer Augusta. And who knows? The strategic insights might just help you tackle your local course a little more skillfully.

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Making the Masters
by David Barrett

Summary: Making the Masters by David Barrett provides the origin story of the Masters tournament, detailing how Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts conceived it in the 1930s and quickly established itself as one of golf’s most prestigious events. The book chronicles how Jones and Roberts built the tournament from the ground up despite tough economic times, highlighting key events, winners, and moments that shaped its legacy over the years.  Barrett’s comprehensive history shares little-known stories about the Masters and the many golfers who have defined its prestige as one of America’s greatest sporting events.

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