The 1934 Masters Program is simply titled: Augusta National First Annual Invitational Tournament.
Schedule of Events
The inside cover contains an advertisement for the St Regis Hotel in New York. Opposite, there is a Schedule of Events for the first tournament’s festivities. They are as follows:
- Sunday 18 March – Practice Round
- Monday 19 March – Practice Round
- Tuesday 20 March – Practice Round
- Wednesday 21 March – 2 Ball Foursome Matches
- Thursday 22 March – AM – Approach & Putt Contest
- Thursday 22 March – PM – 1st Round Medal Play
- Friday 23 March – AM – Iron Contest
- Friday 23 March – PM – 2nd Round Medal Play
- Saturday 24 March AM – Driving Contest
- Saturday 24 March PM – 3rd Round Medal Play
- Sunday 25 March PM – 4th Rounds Medal Play
Page 2 contains a full-page photo of the architect, Dr Alister MacKenzie, in his kilt. He is honoured with the designation: “Designer of Augusta National.” There is then three and a half pages of portraits of members belonging to Augusta National Golf Club. Interspersed are adverts taken out by Coca Cola, Warner Bros, The Bon Air VanderBilt Hotel, Quick Quaker Oats and Evans Implement Company.
Historical Sketch of Fruitlands
Page 11 contains an essay entitled Historical Sketch of Fruitlands. It describes in detail the home of the ANGC from 1853 until 1934. It also lists interesting specimens of trees and shrubs and landmarks found throughout the property. Many of these are now the names of the various holes found on the course.
Photos and Beauty
Pages 14 and 15 contain six photos from the course and estate including a photo of the then 17th (now 8th) bunkerless green. Page 17 lists the results of the tournament. Horton Smith turned in a winning score of 284. Bobby Jones finished ten shots back ties with Walter Hagan with a score of 284.
Page 19 lays out the Augusta National Beautification Plan. All 18 holes are named according to the species which was chosen to adorn the hole. The idea as stated was to make each hole memorable on the basis of its surrounding beauty and colouring. The blooming season is also indicated. 6 of the original hole names have been changed.
Mackenzie lauds Jones as a collaborator and an active leader in all matter pertaining to designing, construction and organization of the ideal golf course. Alister says that he and Bob agreed on the 4 elements of the ideal course. They were:
- It must be pleasurable to the greatest possible number. St Andrews is used as an example – ‘the course Bob likes best of all.’
- It must require strategy as well as skill.
- It must give the average a fair chance and require the utmost from the expert who tries for sub-par scores.
- All-natural beauty should be preserved, natural hazards should be utilised, and a minimum of artificiality introduced.
There are no templates at Augusta National Golf Club. Alister is quite clear on this point but rather explains elements form classic holes are found among the 18.
Page 27 contains a full course plan of the Augusta National Golf Club. The remainder of the pages making up the 1934 First Masters Program have a half-page each dedicated to each hole. There is a sketch of the green site, an overview of the hole itself and an oblique sketch showing the election of the hole. Mackenzie offers a few sentences on each hole describing its design and attributes. Take a deep dive into the original, 1934 Augusta National and see what the original course looked like.
The program is truly unique and offers a complete picture of the course and estate which made up Mackenzie’s original design. Those who criticise the club and its presentation do well to remember the plan of action laid out with Mackenzie’s approval. Although the course has changed, the course still captures the attention of the world’s golfers each and every year like no other.
Should I Buy It?
If you love golf course design & architecture, Augusta National, Alister MacKenzie and Bobby Jones – then absolutely.