Augusta National members: 10 things to know about the membership behind the Masters

April 4, 2019

Augusta National members are easily visible during Masters Week, dressed in green jackets and nametags as they play host to the famed “patrons” arriving on their course. The rest of the year, however, the club and its members are shrouded in privacy. Still, we’ve gleaned plenty of insider info over the years on how things are conducted up Magnolia Lane. Here are 10 things you need to know about being a member at Augusta National.

1. How much does it cost?

The membership costs at Augusta are relatively low for a club of its stature. The initiation fee is estimated to be in the range of $40,000. And the yearly dues are estimated at “a few thousand” dollars per year. There are other costs involved, whether for guest fees or on-site lodging, but those are also relatively low.

An original membership stake in Augusta cost $350, which is still less than $5,000 in today’s dollars.

2. How can you become a member?

There’s no application process. If you ask, your chances of every being considered reportedly plummet. And if you do get through initial screening stages, you’ll be exhaustively vetted before it’s determined you’re member material.

The Augusta National membership cost is reportedly relatively low compared to other clubs of similar stature.
The Augusta National membership cost is reportedly relatively low compared to other clubs of similar stature.
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3. Where do members stay on property?

In all, there are just over 100 beds available to stay on the Augusta National property. That includes 10 cabins. Seven of those are in a semi-circle to the left of the 10th hole (think Rory in 2011 territory) while the three most famous — the Eisenhower, Butler and Cliff Roberts cabins — stand more visible nearer the clubhouse.

4. How has the leadership changed things at Augusta?

The son of a prominent member told GOLF.com that the vibe at Augusta has changed significantly since chairman Fred Ridley took over in 2017. “I mean, it’s still Augusta,” he said. “Nobody’s walking around in bathing suits. But still, it’s different.”

5. When can members play?

The club’s season runs from October through May, with an obvious break in play for the Masters. Members can bring several guests at a time, but guests won’t be allowed onto the property until their member has already arrived.

On the last day in May before the course is closed, Augusta National’s caddies get to play all day for free.

6. What do members do with their green jackets?

Augusta National members are each issued one green jacket, for which they are charged a small fee. They aren’t allowed to remove these jackets from the grounds. Instead, a member will arrive on property to find his or her jacket freshly prepared in the locker room.

7. What are the big club events?

In addition to the Masters and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, there are four main members-only events throughout the course of the year: The Opening Party in October, the Governors Party in November, the Jamboree in late March and the Closing Party in May. Each are reserved for members only and draw a sizable percentage of the club’s 300 members.

8. Who are the most famous Augusta National members?

Depends on your definition of fame, I suppose. Included in the membership are Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and billionaire Warren Buffett. There are CEOs abound, too, from companies like IBM, Bank of America, MillerCoors, American Express, General Electric and plenty more. Former Georgia senator Samuel Nunn is among the politicians who belongs.

And there’s a contingent from the larger sports world, too, including NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Hall-of-Famer Lynn Swann, college football coach Lou Holtz and former USC athletic director Pat Haden. The membership is growing and changing, of course — but not quickly.

9. Who are Augusta National’s female members?

It was not until 2012 that Augusta National announced for the first time that it would be admitting women to its membership. Now, four women are reportedly members. Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore became the first two women admitted. In 2014, a third female member, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, joined the group. And in 2018 former USGA president Diana Murphy was spotted wearing a green jacket on site.

10. Who is the best player at Augusta National?

When USA Today published a list of Augusta National’s membership fr0m 2002, 39-year-old Jefferson B.A. Knox was listed as the youngest. He was a fantastic player then and has emerged as a cult hero around the club. When an odd number of players make the weekend at the Masters, Knox plays as a marker with the first group — and often beats the pros. His most ridiculous assertion? Paul Casey revealed last year that he aims away from the flag at No. 6 because he hits it too regularly.

“He said he aimed left of the pin, because he hates hitting that pin and ricocheting back into the bunker. Then he landed that far from the hole, Ben Hogan style,” Casey said, gesturing with his hands.

Knox reportedly owns the course record from the member’s tees with a 61.