The Augusta National Golf Club in eastern Georgia is an American icon shrouded in intrigue. It is every bit as exclusive as its prestigious Masters Tournament. Behind the wondrous scenes and memorable tournament play, however, resides a secretive and clannish club with a gentlemen-only membership of 300. Their shared legacy is an institution co-founded by the unlikely partnership of Bobby Jones, unparalleled amateur golfer, and Clifford Roberts, a tight-lipped Wall Street investment broker. Mixing a deep respect for golf's traditions with a scrutinizing curiosity, Eubanks explores the significant role Roberts played in Augusta member-to-be Dwight Eisenhower's ascension to the presidency; Roberts' suicide and the club's subsequent loss of the pistol he used; the exclusion of African-American Charlie Sifford from the Masters field; Augusta's impetuous relationship with CBS; and the Tiger Woods-Fuzzy Zoeller brouhaha of 1997. Eubanks also recalls moments of Masters glory, the simultaneous rise of Arnold Palmer and the Masters in the late '50s and early '60s, and the 1997 coronation of Tiger Woods, the first Masters winner of African-American heritage. Augusta is required reading for any golf fan.More
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Fun to listen
I would heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of Augusta National or the Masters Tournament. Eubanks takes an honest look at the Club and Tournament that can be incisive, humorous, and respectful at the same time.
Eubanks describes the contentious Clifford Roberts fairly accurately. Roberts was cranky, irascible, and a stickler for detail. He was a hard man, somewhat aloof, and - as the Curtis Tillman story shows - not without a good share of racism in his veins. Yet, at the same time, his organizational skills went a long way in making the Masters the great tournament that it is.
Tom Parker's narration is pretty good. It would have been nice if he had pronounced Joe Dey's name correctly (it rhymes with "Die"). However, he handled Severiano Ballesteros with ease, so that says something.
This audio book is really quite good. It's competitor is Curt Sampson's volume on the Masters, and Eubanks beats that one hands down.