Bon Air Golf Club, as Augusta Country Club was originally called, dates back to the 19th century, 1897 to be precise, and the club pre-dates its famous neighbour across Rae’s Creek (Augusta National) by more than 30 years. The club started out with a 9-hole course featuring sand browns instead of greens. My how things at Augusta have moved on since then!
At the turn of the 20th century, the club had expanded its facility to 18 holes and re-branded itself the Country Club of Augusta. Golf in the area continued to grow in popularity, fuelled by visits to the club by US presidents Warren Harding and William Taft, and by 1909 a further 18 holes were added by club president William Harrison and club pro David Ogilvie for the exclusive use of club members. The new course became known as the Hill course and the original layout as the Lake course.
In 1927, Donald Ross was commissioned to convert the sand putting surfaces on the Hill course to grass. Additionally Ross re-routed the front nine and re-bunkered the entire course.
After the Great Depression the Lake course was sold but thankfully the Hill course survived, becoming an important tournament venue for ladies golf with the club hosting to the Titleholders Championship for thirty years.
In 2000, inspired by original Donald Ross plans, Brian Silva was commissioned by Augusta Country Club to restore the course. The result of his greens, bunkers and tees reconstruction has put Augusta Country Club back on the map.
The club will always be overshadowed by its famous neighbour, but Silva’s work is undoubtedly artful and we’re sure Augusta Country Club will only rise higher in future rankings.