Augusta National Golf Club, located in Augusta, Georgia, is one of the most famous golf clubs in the world. Founded by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts on the site of the former Fruitland (later Fruitlands) Nursery, the course was designed by Jones and Alister MacKenzie and opened for play in January 1933. Since 1934, it has played host to the annual Masters Tournament, one of the four major championships in professional golf, and the only major played each year at the same course. It was the number one ranked course in Golf Digest‘s 2009 list of America’s 100 greatest courses and is currently the number ten ranked course on Golfweek Magazine‘s 2011 list of best classic courses in the United States, in terms of course architecture.
The golf club’s exclusive membership policies have drawn criticism, particularly because there were no African-American members admitted until 1990, as well as a former policy requiring all caddies to be black, which was omitted from the club’s bylaws in 1959. The club began granting membership to women in August 2012. Prior to the acceptance of female members, Augusta National defended its position by citing that in 2011, more than 15% of the non-tournament rounds were played by female players who were member guests or spouses of active members. In August 2012, it admitted its first two female members, Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore. The golf club has defended the membership policies, stressing that it is a private organization.