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The Masters: Golf, Money, and Power in Augusta, Georgia Hardcover – March 24, 1998

4.0 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Curt Sampson follows his exceptional biography of Ben Hogan with another sweeping exploration of one of golf's icier hearts: Augusta National and the powers behind the Masters. A combination of history, sociology, and good old sports writing, The Masters counterpoints a rich, white institution with the town surrounding it that is anything but. Ultimately, the book tells the story of a singular sporting experience--and the marvelous drama it has provided--that manages to succeed spectacularly despite the arrogance, dourness, and manipulations of the homogenous bastion that deigns to let the rest of the world intrude upon its exclusiveness for one week every April.

From Library Journal

Arguably the most prestigious event on the Professional Golfers Tour, the Masters imposes 13 specific qualifications a player must meet to be on the invitation list. Even then there is no guarantee that a golfer will be selected to participate. No wonder this competition is a who's who of the world's best golfers. Sampson, author of several books on golf (e.g., Hogan, Rutledge, 1996), has compiled an interesting study complete with bibliography and index. This portrait of the Masters, appropriately subtitled "gold, money, and power in Augusta," traces the tournament's history since 1933, revealing both the dramatic moments and the controversial secrets, most notably racismAcertainly a book to raise eyebrows at the Augusta National Golf Club. The members' code of silence and a tight control of the media have kept a lid on the club's less-than-flattering side. Golfing enthusiasts will enjoy the publication. Purchase where demand warrants.ALarry Robert Little, Penticton P.L., BC
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 263 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; 1st edition (March 24, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679457534
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679457534
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #787,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Having played at Augusta National and attending the tournament for over 25 years, everything Curt Sampson has to say is true. Until now, nobody had the courage to publish the truth, for fear of losing their "privileges". His book is not a revelation of new facts, but is more a history lesson of the elitist group of men who founded the club and the tournament and their relationship with the city of Augusta. The members are still pompous! We forget that what we see now on TV is far from how this event started. Very factual. Well written. Easy reading. A good gift for any golfer who dreams about Augusta National.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Masters is an interesting read, but surely the first rule of writing books like these is to provide both points of view. The average person has no chance to find out what Augusta National is really like, so we need to rely on authors such as Curt Sampson to go behind the myth and reveal the truth.

If you compare "The Masters" with "The Making of the Masters" by David Owen, you wouldn't believe the two authors are writing about the same golf club. Most likely the truth lies somewhere between the two books - Owen could be the chief cheerleader for Augusta National, while Sampson isn't likely to be on the Chairman's Christmas card list.

I would recommend the book to the serious golf fan, but have an open mind when reading it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked the book for the most part. I guess I wanted to read more about past champions and how they won as opposed to the trees, grass and watering systems at the national. At times I had a hard time understanding which direction the book was going. Really enjoyed learning more about Bobby Jones and cliff Roberts and the type of men they were.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've watched the Masters on tv for over 40 years and this book details who were the real powers behind the scenes. This book tells the history of Augusta National and the leading characters that kept it the most sought after membership of any club in the world. If you like reading about tournament golf, which I do, you will love his book. I would recommend the book to a friend.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are whispers & dark corners in most every enterprise and Augusta National is no exception. Even this expose likely just scratches the surface - the marks seem to have drawn blood from the netherworld. Though achieving a great place in golf, the 'means' have not always been pretty. A good read on the event & some more recent Augusta history.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was not impressed with this book. For my taste it was poorly written and failed to tie its main theme to the examples the author gave. I believe there are much better books on the Masters that I would recommend before reading Sampson's.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If Sampson's probe is anywhere near the truth, it surely smudges the high place we give to Augusta and The Masters.
Certainly, it still revolves around Jones, and it always has. The legend of this amateur and supposed gentleman is tarnished by his association with Roberts and his seizure of power and control of what has become golfing legend.
Without the champion's name and backing and tournament, The Masters and Augusta would be just another club and tour stop. But from the outset it was Bobby who kept it together. Then the illness and pulling away, and the inroads of Cliff and the rest is history, here well documented by one of the great golf writers. Sampson again weaves his literary magic with different piercing vignettes of the personalities and events which have led to Augusta lore and legend.
Story upon story from various facets permeate this fluid read--from club caddie to townfolk to neglected member and player -- one is given much to contemplate.
The tales are superb, sampling but a few: the caddie deliberately overclubbing Robert's opponent on a Par 3 course contest; Dave Marr's respone to Arnie that even his divot cleared Rae's Creek on 15; the asst. pro's wife being offered big money for the rope marker that only quandred off souvenir sales.
Augusta appears to be the premier "ole boys" club. If you want scoop about it's past and insights possibly into its present, this read will begin that path.
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Format: Hardcover
The author starts well but doesn't finish as he jumps from the course, to the town to the townspeople, but with no real insights into the main subject: the golf course and the tournament itself. His one-sided portrayal of Cliff Roberts doesn't help the reader truly understand why Roberts spent much of his life devoted to Augusta National. The last chapter was out of joint with the rest of the text as he struggles to end what he started. Hard to recommend to others.
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