For all the stories that have been told and all the words that have been written about Augusta National and the Masters, author David Barrett found one thing missing.
A book that brings together the story of every Masters played. It led Barrett, a long-time golf magazine writer, to write The Story Of The Masters (Tatra Press), which offers a detailed record of what happened and who made it happen at Augusta National.
“It seemed like a hole in the golf literature. There wasn’t a book looking back at the actual tournament itself,” Barrett said.
“There have been books written about the club and about Clifford Roberts but I thought people would enjoy reliving or being reminded of things at Masters they’ve seen.”
This being the 20th anniversary of Tiger Woods completing his Tiger Slam with a win in the 2001 Masters is a good example of what the book offers.
“I was reminded myself of how good that Masters was,” Barrett said. “Somehow in my mind I thought Tiger wasn’t really pressed that day. But Phil Mickelson was No 2 in the world and David Duval had recently been No.1 and they were in it the whole way. It was still tied as late as the 16th hole.”
Every year creates another collection of stories. They’ve all been pulled together in this book.
This being Masters week, the spirit and influence of Bobby Jones will again be part of the story that unfolds at Augusta National as it has been since the creation of the club and event.
Jones remains a figure of enormous impact and for good reason. His celebrity rivaled that of Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey and his 1930 Grand Slam remains one of the game’s singular achievements.
It was more than what Jones did on the golf course that led author Ron Rapoport to write The Immortal Bobby – Bobby Jones and the Golden Age of Golf (University of Nebraska Press) in 2005 and it has recently been released for the first time in paperback.
Jones was a scholar, a lawyer and a man who grew to represent the ideals of sportsmanship even if his own life was checkered with temper tantrums and his own battles with himself. Rapoport – a long-time sportswriter in New York and Chicago – tells more than Jones’ complicated story, he offers a vision of the times, creating a vivid and revealing portrait of Jones and what set him apart.
“Jones was a presence in my mind but I didn’t know much about him,” Rapoport said. “I was fascinated by what I learned.
“He was a great intellectual and he estimated that he wrote a million words. He was a fine writer. That made him different from other great athletes.”
From growing up in the segregated South to his lifelong relationship with O.B. Keeler to the health challenges he faced, Rapoport tells the Jones story all built around the golf he played.
“His actual golf was excruciating and it was amazing,” Rapoport said. “He won a lot but he lost a lot, too. I’m writing about a man and his life but I put a lot of golf in it because it is so fascinating.”
Ron Green Jr.