For more than half a century (1856 to 1910), Georgia’s Fruitland Nurseries was known to be the oldest nursery in the Southern region. The nursery sold all of its azaleas and fruit trees, transforming from what was known to be a plantation. However, what happened next was even more striking than the transformation.
The 1930 Grand Slam champion Bobby Jones together with an investor, Clifford Roberts, were in search of a piece of land not to build a bank but to build a golf course. The two purchased the Fruitland Nursery in 1931. Alister Mackenzie was hired to help Bobby design the golf course, just to ensure everything was done right.
In 1932 the Augusta National Golf Club was launched. The first ever Masters, which was known as the Augusta National Invitation Tournament until 1939 when it acquired its current name, took place in 1934. A total of 12 amateur and 60 professional players took part in this maiden competition, which was won by Horton Smith. The event lasted for four days, and players had enough time to prepare for the challenge. This ground-breaking event attracted the attention of the golf world, and since then the Masters took off and never looked back. Some of the most outstanding stats in the history of the tournament include the following:
- In 1949, Sam Snead was awarded the first ever green jacket.
- Since its launch in 1934 the tournament has been played every year, save for the three-year break, which was necessitated by the outbreak of the World War II.
- Jack Nicklaus holds the record for the most victories (six).
- On his sixth victory at age 46, Jack Nicklaus became the oldest winner of the tournament.
- At age 21, Tiger Woods made history as the youngest golfer to win the tournament (1997). He also recorded the lowest ever shots in the history of the Masters (270).