To honor the 80th anniversary of the first Masters, we salute Augusta National as golf's preeminent trendsetter -- from its innovative design to its pioneering TV broadcasts. Pictured: Augusta National in 1933, one year before the start of the Masters.
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1932: The former site of Fruitland Nurseries opens as Augusta National Golf Club, co-founded by Bobby Jones and businessman Clifford Roberts. Only 29 bunkers are built, at a time when most courses have more than 100. Jones considers bunkers 75 to 150 yards from the tee unnecessary. Soon dozens of courses follow suit, and Jones' thinking becomes conventional wisdom.
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1934: Augusta hosts the first "Augusta National Invitational Tournament." With the goal to become golf's most enjoyable event for players and fans, it is contested over four days, Thursday to Sunday, instead of the customary three days, with a 36-hole Saturday finale. Co-founder Bobby Jones (pictured) plays in the inaugural event.
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Horton Smith watches Bobby Jones putt at the inaugural Masters. Smith took the title, while Jones never won the tournament he helped create.
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1960: Chairman Clifford Roberts unveils a scoring system to make the Masters easier for fans to follow. The leaderboards show red numbers for under-par scores and green numbers for even- or over-par scores. Masters champions Arnold Palmer and Gary Player show off the leaderboard.
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The Masters was the first event to erect viewing towers for the media [shown at work in 1965]. It would soon be broadcast both in color and live overseas.
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1966: Azaleas pop off TV screens as the Masters has its first color broadcast, on CBS.
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2006: "Amen Corner Live" shows players tackling holes 11–13 live on Masters.com and CBS. sportsline.com. It is the first multi-hole webcast from a major championship.
9 of 9Ron Williams/AP
An opulent new invitation-only hospitality facility, Berckmans Place, opens off the fifth fairway; tickets sell for $6,000 each. The 90,000-square-foot club offers downsized replicas of the seventh, 14th and 16th greens, enabling guests to tackle the same putts faced by the professionals. (Holes are moved to match the daily pin position.) New member Condoleezza Rice reportedly greets VIP guests at the entrance.
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