Augusta National Golf Club

Augusta National is consistently ranked as one of the top courses in the U.S. and the World by Golf Magazine's panel of experts.

When Bobby Jones retired from tournament golf in 1930, he and Clifford Roberts started looking for a site to build a club. They found 365 acres in Augusta, Ga., on the former site of Fruitland Nurseries, which had ceased operations in 1918, but many flowering plants and trees remained.

Construction began in 1931, and the course formally opened in 1933. The course began hosting an annual tournament in 1934, the Augusta National Invitation Tournament, which became the Masters in 1939.

One of the most exclusive clubs in the world, the 300 or so members of Augusta National include generations of Southern society folks and corporate titans who are discouraged from using the club too often. Microsoft founder Bill Gates was kept out for years for the sin of stating publicly that he wanted in. He made it, eventually.

But will women ever be admitted into a club that is famously independent? "There may well come a day when women will be invited to join our membership," former club chairman Hootie Johnson said in 2003. "But that timetable will be ours, and not at the point of a bayonet."

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