Here’s what Augusta National’s 7 chairmen did before holding the title

April 2, 2020

One of the highest positions in all of golf is chairman of Augusta National Golf Club. It’s a post currently held by Fred Ridley, just the seventh ever in that role.

The title is a figurehead for one of the most exclusive golf clubs in the world and a talking head that represents the membership and its precious event, The Masters tournament. In past years, some of the biggest statements made by the club come via announcements from the chairman.

Understandably, the role has required impressive resumes of all its holders, and has meant different things for each of them. Below is a roundup of the positions each man held prior to running the club and the Masters. There is obviously much more to the story, but we’ll let you peruse Wikipedia for the biography of each person.

Clifford Roberts was a traveling salesman, an oil and gas exec and a stockbroker on Wall Street.

William Lane was a food industry executive who sold rice and caviar. Classy!

Hord Hardin was president of the USGA and a pretty good stick, competing in six U.S. Ams.

Jack Stephens was an oilman, investment banker and Navy pal of prexy Jimmy Carter.

Hootie Johnson played fullback at the University of S. Carolina. Got his rockin’ moniker at age 5.

Billy Payne headed the organizing committee for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

Fred Ridley was a nationally-acclaimed lawyer based out of Tampa, Fla. He competed in the Masters three times in the 1970s.

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