Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
Fruitlands/Augusta National Golf Club


Fruitlands, Augusta National Golf Club
David J. Kaminsky
Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Fruitlands, Augusta National Golf Club, is the site of an antebellum plantation set on a tract of 345 acres now in the heart of Augusta’s western suburbs.  Located on Washington Road, the main commercial artery leading from Downtown Augusta to Interstate Highway 20, the secluded and pristine ambiance inside its gates belies the suburban nature of its setting.  Since 1930, Fruitlands has been the home of the Augusta National Golf Club, an exclusive internationally renowned course designed by Alistair McKenzie and Robert Tyre (“Bobby”) Jones, who became famous for winning the Grand Slam of Golf as an amateur in 1930.

In 1854 Dennis Redmond, an Irish born horticulturalist, built the plantation house now used as the clubhouse.  Redmond edited the widely read Southern Cultivator, which was published in Augusta. He chose a design with broad, 2-story verandas topped by a hipped roof and cupola suitable for the hot, sultry summers typical in the South.  A gallery with 20 square pillars encircles the building, which is constructed of concrete and is important as possibly the first example of such construction for a dwelling in the southeastern United States.  Redmond espoused this construction as superior in his publication, stressing its cooling effect in the summer and its insulation in the winter.  It also guarded against vermin.  The Augusta National Golf Club has modified the house in a number of ways.

In 1857 and 1858, Redmond sold Fruitlands to a Belgian horticulturalist named L. E. M. Berckmans.  He and his son, P. J. A. Berckmans, established Fruitland Nursery on the site, which became one of the most important horticultural centers in the South.  Not only did they sell plant material, but they also imported new specimens and developed new varieties well adapted to the climate.  The Berckmans created some of the most common southern shrubs and trees at Fruitlands.  The beautifully landscaped golf course still has many plantings that originated when the Berckmans family operated their nursery. 

One of the most famous scenes at the Augusta National Golf Club is Magnolia Lane, which leads from Washington Road to the clubhouse. The Berckmans planted its trees in 1858 and 1859 from seeds sent to them from Athens, Georgia.  Fruitland Nursery imported more than 40 varieties of azaleas before 1861, popularizing the use of this flowering shrub as an ornamental planting in the region.

In 1930 Bobby Jones of Atlanta, Georgia, fresh from winning the Grand Slam, headed a group that purchased the former nursery in order to establish the Augusta National Golf Club. Intended from the beginning to be devoted to golf and not to provide the typical recreational opportunities offered by a country club, Augusta National has become one of the most exclusive golf clubs in the world.  Working with Jones, Dr. Alistair McKenzie was the course architect.  Jones was attracted to the site originally because he felt that it naturally lent itself to use as a golf course.  The design of the course is an often-copied prototype for modern golf course construction.

President Eisenhower frequently played golf on the course. The Eisenhower cottage, where President and Mrs. Eisenhower stayed, was built for their use. The simple white frame house is about 200 feet south of the clubhouse area.

Since 1934 Augusta National Golf Club has held the Augusta National Invitational Tournament watched round the world (with the exception of the years during World War II) during the first full week in April. The club invites the most outstanding players in the world to play in the Masters Tournament, its name since 1939, and awards the winner the coveted green jacket. Augusta National is very generous to the Augusta community with proceeds from its annual tournament, which involves many residents who help host the thousands of visitors who attend each year.

Plan your visit

Fruitlands/Augusta National Golf Club is located at 2604 Washington Rd. Public access is limited to ticket holders during the week of the tournament. For information, visit the Masters Tournament website.  Otherwise, admittance is limited to members.  The public often has photos taken beside the guardhouse and sign at the entrance on Washington Rd., but the clubhouse is not visible from that vantage point. Fruitlands and Ike's Cottage on the grounds of the Augusta National Golf Club have been documented by the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey.

previous page Next page