The Augusta golf course - which hosts the Masters - is one of the most exclusive and secretive in the world.
The Augusta golf course - which hosts the Masters - is one of the most exclusive and secretive in the world.

Nine Augusta secrets kept under wraps

AUGUSTA is like the infamous Area 51 for golf.

It is the most secretive golf club in the world, with an intriguing history, some of which barely makes it down Magnolia Drive and into the public domain.

But some fascinating information has been leaked over the years.

In the lead-up to the US Masters which tees off at the famous course this week, we take a look at the juicy stuff Augusta members don't want you to know about.

1 Fake birds

Yes, those sounds you hear on television are not real.

Do not be fooled by the flourishing azaleas and stunning horticulture, some who have been to Augusta have reported on the distinct lack of birdlife.

American broadcasters CBS would pump bird noises out during their coverage.

2 Dyed water

One look at the glistening Rae's Creek and, given Augusta's natural beauty, it would be easy to conclude the water is just another incredible feature of this heavenly.

The water is not what is seems.
The water is not what is seems.

But you'd be wrong.

One journalist who played the course took a sample of the water from the pond in front of the 15th green.

Tests revealed the water contained food dye, similar to what's used in the blue-coloured icing you can get on a kid's birthday cake.

3 No food menu

We know the concessions for fans out on the course are some of the best in sport - ice cream cookie sandwiches, anyone?

But one pro told golf.com that there is no menu in the clubhouse.

Instead, players just ask for whatever they want and "it appears".

4 Some players call it 'Big Brother'

The list of things you cannot do at Augusta is pretty long, but did you know the players are governed by the same rules too?

The cameras are always rolling... Martin Kaymer walks across the Hogan Bridge. Picture: Getty
The cameras are always rolling... Martin Kaymer walks across the Hogan Bridge. Picture: Getty

One, who chose to remain anonymous, fell foul of the strict no phones policy when he posted a video of himself hitting a shot on the par three 16th.

Augusta took it down.

He said: "It was my first introduction to Big Brother."

Another was told off by a waiter for using his mobile in the clubhouse.

And one was reprimanded for sitting down on the driving range.

5 They paint the grass

Yep, Augusta's other-worldly colours are not all as they seem.

The eye-catching azaleas and towering pines give the course an incredible colour.

But blemishes can creep into the fairways, greens and around the putting surfaces, where a lot of professionals walk.

Not one blade of grass can be out of shape.
Not one blade of grass can be out of shape.

Andy Stranger is a greenkeeper who has worked at Augusta in the run-up to the Masters.

He told National Club Golfer: "You will get weak spots, bits that are in the shade we will be working on.

"Anything that can be picked up on camera will be painted green."

6 Cows were once used as lawnmowers

The Masters was postponed between 1943 and 1945 due to World War II.

And in place of the world's best golfers was turkey and cattle.

The animals were given free rein over America's most exclusive club in a bid to help the war effort - and cows munching the grass kept it from growing too long.

7 The bunkers are not filled with sand

The bright white "sand" that fills Augusta's copious hazards isn't actually sand.

It looks a lot like sand.
It looks a lot like sand.

It's actually a waste product from mining and is a substance called quartz.

Professor Drew Coleman said: "That's why the bunkers are so white.

"Spruce Pine quartz is the best in the world, and the quartz created from the feldspar mining process is so white and pure."

8 The trees are cut in a certain way

See if you can spot this when you're watching on TV.

None of the trees have leaves or branches on the outside.

It’s hard not to love Augusta.
It’s hard not to love Augusta.

Instead, all have been cut to fall in a specific direction.

One pro said: "The trees are cut so they all lean in toward the fairway. Check it out! There are no branches on the outside of the trees!"

9 A basement used by the Secret Service

One of the famous white cabins at Augusta looks like all the others but is in fact much different.

Former US President Dwight Eisenhower was a member of Augusta.

He frequented the club regularly and his home while there was one of the instantly recognisable cabins.

But his had three floors, seven bedrooms - and a basement that was used by the Secret Service as its headquarters in Augusta.

Noted golf fan, and former US President Dwight Eisenhower (L) greets Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies (R). Picture: Press United
Noted golf fan, and former US President Dwight Eisenhower (L) greets Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies (R). Picture: Press United

Eisenhower was Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during World War II and joined the club in the late 1940s before the first of his two successful presidential campaigns.

After Eisenhower won the 1952 election, the club had to figure out how to handle staff and security for a sitting president's visits to Augusta, hence the Secret Service setting up camp in his basement.

 

This article first appeared on the Sun and has been republished with permission.

News Corp Australia

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