Augusta National Golf Club, located in Augusta, Georgia, is one of the most famous and exclusive golf clubs in the world. It is best known for hosting The Masters Tournament every year in April, one of golf’s four major championships. Augusta National Golf Club is one of the most well-known and exclusive golf clubs in the world. It was founded in 1932 by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts in Georgia, United States. The club has a strict membership policy, and getting in is difficult. Augusta, famous for hosting the annual Masters Tournament, has only 300 members at any given time. It is strictly an invite-only club, so only the most privileged can become members.
Augusta prefers to keep its membership list under 300 people. When a member dies or leaves for any reason, the club chooses someone to replace him or her. New members are typically people who have been recommended by existing members. They are usually politicians, professional athletes, or wealthy business owners.
The initiation fee ranges from $250,000 to $500,000, and it has been voted the best golf club in the country.
History of Augusta National Golf Club
Founding and Early Years
Augusta National Golf Club was founded in 1931 by legendary golfer Bobby Jones and investment banker Clifford Roberts. It was designed by golf course architect Alister MacKenzie on the site of a former indigo plantation. The land Jones and Roberts chose was ideal for a golf course, with rolling hills and flowering fruit trees.
The new club struggled financially in its early years due to the Great Depression. To increase revenue, Jones came up with the idea in 1934 to hold a special golf tournament at Augusta National each year. This would become The Masters Tournament, held the first full week of April. Ticket sales and broadcasting revenue transformed The Masters into golf’s most prestigious major tournament.
Over time Augusta National made improvements to the course conditions and spectator amenities. The clubhouse was constructed in the 1950s. The Par 3 contest was added in 1960 to entertain crowds before the main tournament. Under the leadership of Clifford Roberts, Augusta National and The Masters grew in stature and fame.
Evolution of the Club Over Time
In its early decades, Augusta National had around 100 members at any given time. They consisted of Bobby Jones’ friends as well as business, political and cultural elites he wanted to associate with. The club stopped adding new members during World War II.
After the war, as Augusta National’s reputation spread, more high-profile men joined. Dwight D. Eisenhower was extended membership in 1948 after his war heroics. Legendary golfers like Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus were welcomed as members. CEOs of major corporations also gained entry.
Augusta weathered some controversies around excluding black and female members. The club admitted its first African-American member in 1990. After years of protests, Augusta National finally admitted women in 2012. Despite these issues, Augusta National preserved its culture of secrecy and exclusivity.
Today Augusta National retains its status as one of the most exclusive clubs in the world. While evolving with the times, it has stayed true to Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts’ vision of a private sanctuary for accomplished individuals at the pinnacle of their professions.
Augusta National Membership Overview
General Eligibility Requirements
Gaining membership into Augusta National proves extraordinarily difficult, as the club maintains complete secrecy regarding who considers entry and why. However, some general eligibility requirements are known:
- Candidates must be nominated by a current Augusta National member.
- Candidates undergo strict vetting of their background, achievements and character.
- Ideal members have reached the top levels of business, sports, politics, academia or other fields.
- Membership favors individuals who will uphold the club’s values and culture.
- Diversity factors like race, nationality and gender are considered but secondary.
Notoriously Exclusive Club
Augusta National’s small membership roster and stringent entry requirements make it one of the most exclusive clubs in existence. Many luminaries in business, politics and culture have been denied membership over the decades.
Examples of high-profile men reportedly turned down include Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Warren Buffett, Donald Trump and former CBS CEO Leslie Moonves. The announcement of a new member intensively interests people due to the exclusivity.
Augusta National cherishes its privacy and does not feel pressure to expand membership. The club would rather remain small and selective than cater to public scrutiny or dilute its brand.
Long Waiting List
Given Augusta National’s cachet and The Masters’ global fame, demand for membership far exceeds supply. The club maintains a long waiting list of eligible candidates patiently biding their time hoping for a membership offer.
The selection process favors nominations from current members. But those on the waiting list have undergone initial vetting and proven their accomplishments. With new member invites slow and infrequent, availing candidates can wait years or decades for the chance to join Augusta National.
Number of Members at Augusta
Around 300 Members Currently
While Augusta National keeps membership numbers confidential, estimates based on available data put the current membership total around 300. The club had roughly 100 members in its early history, expanded to about 200 by the 1950s, and now falls in the range of 300 to 350 according to sources.
The club stopped reporting membership totals in the 1960s. But observers can derive reasonable estimates based on new member announcements and general attrition trends. initiations and deaths. The total rises gradually most years with new invites, though rarely by more than 1 or 2 members.
The exact Number Not Publicly Disclosed
Augusta National defends its right to privacy regarding internal matters like membership totals. The club views this secrecy as integral to preserving its mystique and brand appeal. For this reason, one cannot obtain a precise membership number.
Estimates come from analysis by golf journalists, historians, and former Augusta National staff. But the club will not confirm or deny any estimates. Augusta National releases only select details on new members, such as their name, age, and professional background.
Fluctuates Over Time
Augusta National’s membership total fluctuates over time as new members fill openings left by departures and deaths. For example, the club lost some iconic members in recent years like Arnold Palmer, George H.W. Bush, and T. Boone Pickens.
To counter attrition, Augusta National invites 1-2 new members annually in recent decades. Notable names added since 2010 include Jeff Bezos, Roger Goodell and Condoleezza Rice. The selectivity ensures the club maintains around 300 members despite turnover.
Membership Selection Process
Strict Vetting of Potential New Members Gaining membership in Augusta National requires far more than just wealth or prestige. The club vets every candidate thoroughly on key criteria:
- Professionally accomplished with name recognition in their field
- Perceived as honorable with no controversies or scandal
- Philosophically aligned with Augusta National’s values
- Low-key demeanor who will respect club’s privacy
- Fit with current member composition in terms of diversity
This rigorous vetting ensures anyone who does get an invitation will uphold the club’s standards. Augusta National values quality over quantity when evaluating potential new members.
Augusta National inviting you to join is the most crucial membership requirement. Candidates cannot apply or lobby for entry. Members must either nominate them, or the membership committee must identify them as desirable additions.
The nomination process favors high-profile individuals with existing connections to the club through acquaintances or business partners already at Augusta National. Those without personal member advocates have longer odds for consideration.
Even with a member’s nomination, there is never a guarantee of acceptance. The membership committee makes selections judiciously based on strict criteria. There are always far more qualified candidates than available spots.
Long Process Even for Elite Candidates
The lag time between initial nomination and final admission can take years even for elite candidates who check all the boxes. For example, Warren Buffett was first proposed in 2000 but not admitted until 2010. In 2006, they nominated Roger Goodell, but he had to wait until 2021.
This waiting period allows for deep vetting into a candidate’s background and character. To await openings in the optimal membership categories, one must also exercise patience. Augusta National intentionally maintains a methodical pace of making very few annual additions to preserve exclusivity.
Augusta National Golf Club’s membership process and policies heighten the exclusivity and mystique surrounding the famous club. The organization closely guards the precise details of its roughly 300 current members and does not release them publicly. Gaining entry requires flawless credentials, key connections among existing members, and immense patience even for the highest profile of candidates.
This purposeful air of mystery helps make Augusta National and The Masters international sensations. The public is intensely curious about the identities and backgrounds of the privileged few who get to wear the coveted green jackets awarded to members. While specific membership numbers remain confidential, Augusta National’s exclusiveness and prestige appear safely intact for the foreseeable future.
They don’t share the exact count of members at Augusta National Golf Club with the public. However, estimates based on available information place the current membership total around 300 people. The ultra-exclusive club founded in 1931 has maintained strict privacy around its member roster since then. Augusta National adds only about 1-2 new members per year to replace losses from attrition. Gaining entry requires a nomination by a current member, undergoing rigorous vetting, and demonstrating professional excellence. The total number of members fluctuates between 300-350 as new additions balance out departures each year.
Attendance at the Masters Tournament at Augusta National averages around 40,000 to 50,000 patrons per day. The four-day tournament sees an estimated total attendance of 200,000 to 250,000 people annually. The Masters is one of golf’s four major championships and the only one held at the same course every year. Badge holders, members, family guests, and media accounts for about one-third of the daily patrons. The remaining two-thirds of tickets are available to the general public via an advanced lottery system. Demand for tickets always exceeds supply for the Masters, leading to highly coveted badges and a robust ticket resale market.
Augusta National zealously guards the identities of its roughly 300 members and does not make a full membership list publicly available. Some prominent members, past and present, include Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Sam Nunn, Charles Koch, Roger Goodell, and Condoleezza Rice. Augusta looks to admit leaders in business, sports, politics, and other fields who align with the club’s values. Members lean heavily male with just a handful of women admitted in recent decades since the club started allowing female members in 2012. Augusta National values privacy and exclusivity over promoting diversity or public transparency regarding its member composition.
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