Here’s a look at the Augusta National Media Center
Augusta National has long cherished the press. Founders Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts thought it was good for business. The club once installed observation decks on the course to provide journalists with lines of sight above the swell of patrons. These perches have disappeared, but other advantages remain for the fourth domain: the freedom to walk in the clubhouse (crab cakes and peach cobbler on the veranda, do you like it?); a chance, for the lucky few, to play the course on the Monday after the Masters; and, since 2017, what must be the sport’s most opulent and technical media center. The place was built at the same time it takes most people to renovate their basement – barely 10 months – but in the classic ANGC way, you would never know.
Where to start? With the Blown away by the windâA stylish staircase that greets journalists as they enter the main atrium? With the leather chairs, brass nameplates and sliding door lockers at every workstation, each of which overlooks through panoramic windows onto the sparkling practice center? With the mountain of data available on every journalist’s personal touchscreen, including clips of every shot hit by every player in every round? In the interview room, which looks like a state-of-the-art college conference room, where a device placed in each reporterâs place scans their credentials so the moderator in the green jacket can call them by name? Hunger? The full-service restaurant has everything but a Michelin star: prime rib and fried chicken, creamed spinach and butter oatmeal – and, yes, cheese and chili sandwiches. Don’t ask for a bill or dare to tip your waiter. This one is on ANGC.
It’s all in this press playground. Well, not quite. As the deadlines loom, reporters will be reminded that whatever the club provides, the columns still don’t write themselves.