Who Owns Augusta National Golf Club?

Who owns Augusta National Golf Club, and when was it founded?

The clubhouse at Augusta National
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Augusta National Inc. owns Augusta National. It also owns the Masters tournament that is held there every April.

Augusta National Inc. was founded in 1935. It describes its core business as ‘owning a golf club and running golf tournaments’.

Augusta National is a private company. Private companies in the US are not required to disclose financial information, or details or its operation, to the public. Hence why no-one beyond a select few actually know how much income, or profit, the Masters generates.

The club knows how to create, and keep, secrets. But as an incorporated corporation, Augusta National Inc is subject to stringent legal formalities and record keeping.

So some of its business is carried out instead through affiliated limited liability companies – LLCs – where these requirements are much reduced. The company has registered around 90 trademarks relating to the golf club and the tournaments it hosts.

These relate to items ranging from computer games to packets of peanuts. Trademarks include not only logos but also terms associated with the Masters and Augusta such as Ike’s Tree – ‘Footwear; headwear and clothing.’

In 2020, when as no patrons were allowed on the grounds, the club launched Taste of the Masters, which they also trademarked. It is itemised, under Serial Number 86240118, as “Pre-packaged boxes containing commemorative cups and various combinations of food items primarily consisting of pimento cheese, egg salad, bar-b-que meats, chips, cookies, popcorn, brownies, crackers, candy with caramel, peanuts and pecans, alcoholic cocktail mixes, beer, roasted peanuts, ice cream, trail mix, corn-based snack foods.”

The company which owns Augusta National is vigilant in maintaining both the course’s and the tournament’s brand reputation. It filed a lawsuit against a golf memorabilia company which was auctioning a Masters champion’s Green Jacket. The lawsuit described the Green Jacket in general as ‘probably, the most coveted award in the golfing world”.

The lawsuit contended that the jacket could not be sold legally as Augusta National owns all the jackets. Moreover, it said, champions only have ‘possessory rights’ when they are on Augusta National grounds and only the current Masters champion can take his jacket off site.

The current CEO of Augusta National Golf Club is Fred Ridley. Ridley, the 1975 US Amateur champion, has held the position since 2017. He is the club's only CEO to have ever played in The Masters tournament itself.

Roderick Easdale

Contributing Writer Roderick is the author of the critically acclaimed comic golf novel, Summer At Tangents. Golf courses and travel are Roderick’s particular interests. He writes travel articles and general features for the magazine, travel supplement and website. He also compiles the magazine's crossword. He is a member of Trevose Golf & Country Club and has played golf in around two dozen countries. Cricket is his other main sporting love. He is also the author of five non-fiction books, four of which are still in print: The Novel Life of PG Wodehouse; The Don: Beyond Boundaries; Wally Hammond: Gentleman & Player and England’s Greatest Post-War All Rounder.