There have been many books written about Augusta National and the Masters and it can be a tough subject to sort out. The publication of a new book featuring Herbert Warren Wind’s writing about the course gave us the inspiration needed to tackle this big subject.
The Best of the Best
1. The Making of the Masters by David Owen provides extended insight into this lesser known golf god, Augusta co-founder Clifford Roberts. Owen was granted access to the archives of Augusta National, which is rare, and thus the book has an unusually detailed look behind the scenes. Filled with tons of little known facts about the course and its original plans done in a great writing style. (1999)
The best overall book on Augusta
2. A Golf Story: Bobby Jones, Augusta National, and the Masters Tournament by Charles Price (1986). Jones took Price into his confidence and befriended him for many years. He also had access to the Augusta archives, so it is a very good historical look at both Bobby, the club and the tournament. Some fascinating tid-bids to discover, for example Jones landed in France on D-Day plus one when he was in the military. A worthy book, but more than a few extended diversions away from Augusta, and some of Price’s analogies are a bit dated. Also published in a deluxe edition. (1986)
A good insider’s look at Bobby Jones and the club
3. The Story of Augusta National was written by co-founder Clifford Roberts. The three-part story of Augusta: The course and its designers; The Masters; The men who have played the course and who have made it so memorable. (1976)
A nice gift book
4. Augusta National & The Masters A Photographers Scrapbook by Frank Christian with Cal Brown. High quality book chronicles the story of father and son who were both official photographers of Augusta. Very well done with some seldom seen pictures and lesser known but fabulous stories. The limited edition of 500 presents well and would make an especially nice gift. (1996)
Would make a nice gift book
5. America’s Gift to Golf: Herbert Warren Wind on The Masters. In our view Wind is the best writer that golf literature has ever seen. Wind coined the term “Amen Corner” and this is only the beginning of his genius. The only question is why did the world have to wait until 2011 to have all his writings on Augusta published in one place? Brilliant. (2011) A fabulous storyteller who never gets dated
The Masters Tournament was published in 1952 with a foreward written by Bobby Jones and Cliff Roberts. The book was produced by Augusta National and includes a map of the course and a plan for crowd control. The book was issued in appreciation to those who have actively contributed to the success of the Masters Tournament. Rarely comes up for sale
Suggestions On How To See the Masters Tournament was first produced in 1949 and is an 11 page softcover. Very difficult to find
The Rest of the Masters Books
Listed in date of publication order. Rating indicted with an asterick, three astericks represent the best books.
The Masters: The Story of Golf’s Greatest Tournament by Tom Flaherty (1961)
The Masters: the winning of a golf classic by Dick Schaap (1970). Dated.
The Masters: All About its History, Its Records, Its Players, Its Remarkable Course and Even More Remarkable Tournament by Dawson Taylor (1973). Leather bound.
Augusta Revisited: An Intimate View by Furman Bisher (1976). Bisher was a sports columnist & editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 50 years and covered the Masters for a long time. Good solid history, depth and breadth of period and historical pictures. Detailed chapters on Snead, Palmer, Hogan, Sarazen, Nelson, Demaret, Goalby and Nicklaus.
The Masters: an illustrated history by Dawson Taylor (1981)
The Masters: Golf’s Most Prestigious Tradition by Dawson Taylor. A year-by-year description of each tournament. (1986)
The Masters: Golf, Money, and Power in Augusta, Georgia by Curt Sampson. The book jumps around a lot and isn’t the most balanced view of the club. (1988)
Augusta from the Air by Robert Green. Softcover, 20 pages. (1995). Hello.
Augusta: Home of the Masters Tournament by Steve Eubanks. Not as perceptive or deep as other Augusta books. A me-too effort. (1997)
Shouting at Amen Corner: Dispatches from the World’s Greatest Golf Tournament by Ron Green, Sr. A collection of articles by a Charlotte-based sports reporter who covered the Masters for 45 years. (1999)
One Week in April: The Masters: Stories and Insights from Arnold Palmer, Phil Mickelson, Rick Reilly, Ken Venturi, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, and Many More About the Quest for the Famed Green Jacket by Brad Faxon and Don Wade. An anthology of stories about Augusta. (1999)
I Remember Augusta: A Stroll Down Memory and Magnolia Lane of
America’s Most Fascinating Golf Club by Mike Towle. Quotes about Augusta and the Masters. Some interesting, some not. (2000)
The Masters: A Hole-by-Hole History of America’s Golf Classic by David Sowell. A study of the holes of interest to architecture aficionados. (2003)
The Augusta National Golf Club: Alister MacKenzie’s Masterpiece by Stan Byrdy. For the golf course architecture fan. Chronicles the changes to the course over time on a hole-by-hole basis. (2005)
Golf Heaven: Insiders Remember Their First Trip to Augusta National Golf Club by John Andrisani. Somewhat interesting, parts a bit dry and formulaic. (2007)
The Masters: 101 Reasons to Love Golf’s Greatest Tournament by Ron Green, Sr. (2008) Light, breezy and a quick read. Entertaining and often funny and a lot of anecdotes about players.
Freddie & Me: Life Lessons from Freddie Bennett, Augusta National’s Legendary Caddie Master by Tripp Bowden. A former Augusta National caddie life lessons he learned from the late Freddie Bennett, the fabled club’s legendary caddie master. More of a tale about two unlikely friends. Rarely do you see a new book on Amazon with all 5 star ratings, but this book achieves it, although I thought it a bit clichéd and the use of slang becomes overbearing. (2009)
Augusta National Golf Club Photo Gallery of 8×10 Images: Exclusive Sports Photography from Famed Photographer by Phil Reich. (2010)
The 1986 Masters: How Jack Nicklaus Roared Back to Win by John Boyette (2011). Self-explanatory and a good book that tells one of the most compelling golf stories of our era. The better of the two (see below).
One for the Ages: Jack Nicklaus and the 1986 Masters by Tom Clavin (2011).