Here are secrets we learned about Augusta National’s grounds crew

Grounds crew workers at Augusta National tending to a bunker

As proof that golf fans can't get enough of Augusta National, consider the popularity of this video about maintenance practices at the club.

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As you may have heard, Augusta National Golf Club is shrouded in mystique. The golf media hammers home this message. The club cultivates that reputation, too.

And because mystique depends partly on mystery, that means operating out of the limelight, even as images from the Masters are broadcast every April around the world. 

The club’s secrecy applies to matters large and small, from membership policies to maintenance practices. How is it decided who gets admitted? Augusta National won’t say. Then again, the same is true if you ask the green jackets how they get their turf looking so good.

Now and then, though, information from behind the guarded entrance of Magnolia Lane leaks into the public. Sometimes it arrives in unverified rumors (Did Bill Gates really have to lobby hard for years to get into the club?). And on rare occasions, it comes out in trustworthy torrents, as it did in advance of the 2023 Masters, when we caught up with a former longtime volunteer on the Augusta National grounds crew.

In a wide-ranging interview, this turf-care tipster went into detail on what it takes to get the famous course tournament-ready. The machinery and manpower. The pre-dawn prep and post-round priming. The emergency maintenance systems the club has implemented in the unlikely event that a blade of grass falls out of place. 

Though our source spoke solely in glowing terms (“It’s the best of the best and the most of the most,” he said of the workers and equipment Augusta National draws on), we kept his identity hidden. 

As further evidence that golf fans can’t get enough of Augusta National and the Masters, the story and video we produced around it turned out to be among our most-read and most-watched maintenance content of the year. So much so that we decided to send it out again now as a refresher. So check it out here or watch the video above. The countdown to the 2024 Masters has already begun…

Josh Sens Contributor

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.