Augusta Grove.JPG Augusta Grove sign (2020). Mike Gooch. Word on the Street image collection.

Augusta Grove is another of the golf-themed street names located in The Links subdivision next to New Plymouth Golf Club.

It was named after the Augusta National Golf Club which hosts one of golf’s four major championships, The Masters. The course was designed by well-known amateur Bobby Jones and Scottish golf course architect Alister Mackenzie - who also designed the Titirangi golf course in Auckland. Augusta officially opened in 1933 and the first Masters tournament was held the following year, won by the American professional Horton Smith.

The club takes its name from its location in Augusta, a city in the American state of Georgia. Although the course has always been regarded as one of the world’s best, the club has courted controversy due to its membership rules. African Americans were not permitted to join until 1990 and the first women (former US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and millionaire investor Darla Moore) were not granted membership until 2012.

Over the years a number of traditions have been attached to the Masters. Since 1949 a distinctive green jacket has been awarded to the winner, presented to them by the previous year’s victor. The winner then has the honour of choosing the menu for the following year’s Champions Dinner held on the Tuesday before the tournament.

This has led to some interesting choices since the 1980s when foreign golfers have had more success in the prestigious tournament. German Bernard Langer chose Wiener schnitzel in 1986, Scotsman Sandy Lyle served haggis in 1989 and Englishman Nick Faldo picked fish and chips in 1997.

The American dominance is demonstrated by the golfers with the most wins: Jack Nicklaus with six victories, Tiger Woods on five and Arnold Palmer with four. The best performance by a New Zealander at the famous course came from Auckland golfer Frank Nobilo in 1996 when he finished fourth.

This story was originally published in the Taranaki Daily News.

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