Augusta National reaffirms it’s support for ‘The Patch’

Bernie McGuire

Augusta Municipal Golf Course, affectionately known as 'The Patch' (Photo:@TourMiss)

Bernie McGuire

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As true golf fans will know, the chances of ever teeing-up to play Augusta National are pretty much impossible.

Even attempting to approach the Augusta National front gates facing Washington Road, you know you’re going to be ‘hassled’ by security personnel.

Though there is one golf course in nomally sleepy Augusta, Georgia where you are welcome and where you can play golf even on the Wednesday afternoon of Masters week when the famed Masters host course at Augusta National golf course is traditionally closed from 3pm.

That course is the Augusta Municipal Golf Course, affectionately known as ‘The Patch’.

Augusta Municipal is located about a five-mile drive south of Augusta National and adjacent to The First Tee facility. There’s also the sight of a World War II Sherman tank on one corner of Augusta Municipal and the expanse of Daniel Field Airport, with its constant stream of light aircraft taking off and landing, borders the entire eastern side of the course.

Read the story from 2012 when champion Scottish golfer Paul Lawrie visited ‘The Patch’:

It’s your normal public golf course where there’s no imposing front gates, no security personnel present but plenty of parking spaces and a golf course that was founded in 1928, making Augusta Municipal six years older than the ultra-exclusive Augusta National.

Though just like Augusta National, Augusta’s Municipal golf course remains simple, focusing on course conditioning while remaining true to the roots of the course.

The Augusta Municipal clubhouse (Photo: @TourMiss)

Better still are the green fees that remain the same whether it’s Masters week or not. It will cost you $20/round if you intend walking the course with your clubs from Monday through Thursday or $28 if you take a motorised buggy. The green fee rises to $23 from Friday to Sunday and up to $37 if you’d rather ride than walk.

‘The Patch’ is owned by the town of Augusta and managed by Cypress Golf Management and news that Augusta National would get involved in helping redevelop ‘The Patch’ was released a year ago by club chairman Fred Ridley at his 2023 ‘State of the Masters’ press conference.

And it was good to learn from Ridley yesterday how matters were progressing at ‘The Patch’.

“Well, the planning is still in process. I think it has almost unlimited potential. I mean, you’re right, it has a lot of history,” said Ridley.

“We’re going to honour that history. Well, for example, we’re not going to build a new clubhouse. We’re going to, there’s been a lot of history in that clubhouse, and we’re going to hopefully make it nicer and freshen it up. But, yeah, we’re going to, the main thing we’re going to try to do is to really provide a great golf course and practice area and possibly a short course.

“As I mentioned, we hired Tom and Beau to help us with that. It’s really going to be a hub for junior and high school golf. Also, you know, one aspect that I’m really excited about is the Golf Management Program that Augusta Tech has.

“So it’s really a confluence of a lot of different elements of the game that can really be a great thing for Augusta. So, while planning is still in process, we’ll have more details next year, I think it’s just going to be fantastic.”

Hole number one at ‘The Patch’ (Photo:@TourMiss)

‘The Patch’ plays to just short of 5,900 yards boasting three par-5s, four par-3s and playing to outward nine of 37 with the inward half 34 for a combing par-71 experience.

I’ve had the pleasure over my 20-plus visits to The Masters to have played ‘The Patch’ on a number occasions.

If anything, a round on ‘The Patch’ in the company of good friends and fellow golf journalists was the highlight of Masters week. We just enjoyed the opportunity so much on the Wednesday afternoon of Masters week, once all the pre-tournament interviews were over, to jump in our cars and head to ‘The Patch’.

You probably gathered from some of my articles how much I enjoyed ‘taking the mickey’ in writing feature articles originating from afternoons spent golfing on ‘The Patch’.

Such fond memories, and great news that Cypress Golf Management and Augusta National are continuing with their mutual partnership to restore ‘The Patch’ to its former glory.

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