Augusta National & The Masters: A Photographer’s Scrapbook


By Frank Christian
In keeping with The Masters theme this week I thought there would be no better time than now to do a review of this book. Augusta native Frank Christian comes from a long line of photographers associated with Augusta National Golf Club. His great uncle began photographing the club in 1933, his father was the first Club Photographer and Frank carried on the tradition. Christian’s library of photographs from Augusta National and the Masters are likely to be rivaled by none. With photos from the early 1930s all the way up to the modern era this book is as complete a scrapbook as can be found. Christian has skillfully compiled a wonderful collection of photography that features the course, the tournament and all of the personalities that have made Augusta National and The Masters the icons of golf that they are. This is a great book about one of the most important clubs and tournaments in American golf, and a must have for any golf library.

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    Mr. Christian would have to look at the plaque on his wall to confirm
    the year that we met because my memento is not quite date stamped.
    While playing late in the afternoon by myself on a day following my most
    recent hole in one on the Golden Bear course at Indigo Run in Hilton
    Head I was on my way from the 7th green up on to the 8th Tee where I was
    alarmed by a gentleman doing a little jig on the green as he pulled his
    ball out of the hole.

    He moved on without any
    further interruption and I never gave it another thought until finishing
    the ninth hole and heading into the clubhouse. Ironically, this gave
    me a second chance encounter with the mysterious man who had briefly
    celebrated “something” earlier on the 8th green. As soon as I inquired
    about what I had witnessed, I was met with a hug and a jubilant plethora
    of “Thank You’s”.

    It turns out that it was Mr. Frank
    Christian sneaking in a round of golf in all by himself after wrapping
    up his official photography duties at the Master’s earlier in the week.
    At the time, I had no idea who he was but we were brought together by
    something really quite spectacular. Evidently, I was the only witness
    to him walking up to pluck his ball out of the hole following a hole in
    one. Until I walked in, everyone in the bar was razzing him as though
    he might have been making the whole story up so he was elated when I
    innocently asked what he was celebrating back on the 8th hole. I spent
    the next hour celebrating with him and hearing stories of his experience
    at the Master’s. In fact, it may have been the year he was going to
    launch his book.

    Anyway, when I broke the news
    that I had aced the very same hole the day before he he seemed to feel
    horrible when I told him it I hadn’t told anyone because I was all by
    myself. As a consolation, he went out to his car and returned with a
    portfolio of photos he had taken at Augusta National and offered for me
    to choose one as a gift. My selection was an awesome photo of Fred
    Couples in his finish position following a tee shot on 8 at Augusta with
    Tiger, and Greg Norman standing next to their golf bags and caddies in
    the back ground. The photo is even more special because it was Tiger’s
    final year at the Master’s as an amateur proven by the Walker Cup golf
    bag with his name on the front in the background.

    Frank’s as good of a guy as his photography.