The Masters that wasn’t

The 2020 Masters would have been held this week. We are told the azaleas are currently in bloom at Augusta National, but this year history will be made not by any player – rather, this year will go down in the annals of golf history as just the fourth time the championship has not been held in April.

Here are a few tidbits to remember this major championship:

  • The first Masters was held in 1934.
  • Other than 2020, the only other years the Masters was not held were 1943-1945 (during World War II). *the 2020 Masters will attempt to be rescheduled for the week of November 9-15, but is contingent on the evolving status of the global health crisis.
  • Ross Somerville made the first hole-in-one at the Masters, in 1934, at the (then) 145-yard par-3 16th. He used his mashie niblick.
  • Claude Harmon is a member of the World Golf Teacher Hall of Fame. A good player himself, he had exactly one PGA Tour victory: the 1948 Masters, which he won by five shots, shooting a then-tournament record 9-under 279.
  • Jack Nicklaus has the most Masters titles with six, and he also is tied for the most runner-up finishes with four.
  • Augusta National has never submitted to having a Course Rating or a Slope Rating performed by the USGA. In 1990, Golf Digest covertly sent a team of course raters to mingle in the gallery of that year’s Masters to gather the information, and they figured the course’s rating as 76.2 and had a slope of 148. These unofficial findings, high figures even then, were gathered long before the course was retrofitted (read: Tiger-proofed) to become today’s behemoth at 7,445 yards.
  • The cost of joining Augusta National in 1932 was $350.
  • An all-week pass to watch the first Masters, in 1934, was $5.50.