Augusta's ultimate hideaway? Head to the Crow's Nest!

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It is the quirky sanctuary where talented amateurs find a secret refuge. M James Ward examines this fascinating haven and its enduring connection to Augusta National's storied history
Posted on
March 28, 2023
M. James Ward in
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Long-time Augusta observers know intimately a number of key storylines at each year's Masters. The winner receives the famed Green Jacket. Magnolia Lane provides the famed entrance way to the club. And Amen Corner is the home to three of the most famous holes in all of golf.

Ask those familiar with The Masters about the connection to the Crow's Nest and you might get a few blank stares. However, deep dive aficionados will correctly point out it's that special place located on the third floor of the clubhouse at Augusta National Golf Club where only invited amateurs can spend moments of solitude amongst themselves.

The room is located just above the library and Champion's Locker Room and many might not see the access way to the steep staircase that takes you to the Crow's Nest.

The room is quite spartan in its amenities. No one will confuse the matter-of-fact decor with the top-tier bells and whistles amenities found in today's hotel rooms. The single room is divided up into four cubicles, three of which houses a single bed and the other is the snuggest twin room you can imagine.

There is also a full bathroom, sink and shower. The common area includes a game table, sofa and chairs, telephone and 19-inch television. The main addition to modernity is WiFi availability. Bath tools and glasses all bear the Masters logo.

Within the room there are various golf books and photos of past Masters players. A stay at The Crow's Nest means you are joining a very special piece of history.

The 30’ by 40’ room is augmented by the clubhouse's 11-foot square cupola, which features a window on all sides and can only be reached by a ladder.

Co-founder Bobby Jones believed an ongoing connection to amateurs was a core element of The Masters. There is even an amateurs-only dinner held for invitees on Monday of Masters week. And the low amateur  – he has to complete 72 holes of play – is honoured during the televised awards presentation in the Butler Cabin.

The embodiment of amateurism is manifested front and centre with Chairman Fred Ridley, who played in his first Masters after winning the 1975 US Amateur. Ridley is also the last golfer to retain his amateur status as he pursued a career in the legal profession rather than attempt a pathway in the professional ranks.

While no amateur has ever won The Masters, eight champions have stayed at the Crow's Nest during their amateur days – Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Craig Stadler, Tiger Woods, Mark O'Meara, Tommy Aaron, Tom Watson and Ben Crenshaw.

The Crow's Nest marks a passage of time, honoring the past and celebrating the present. The idea of securing a good night's sleep can be a daunting task for the fortunate individuals who bunk there. A slew of emotions running through one's brain. Realising that experience will be indelibly marked for a lifetime.

In the silence of the night, if only the walls could talk regarding those who have gathered there.

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About M. James Ward

A GWAA and MGWA member, the 66-year-old from the USA has covered golf in all facets since 1980, notably the major championships and other high level events. He has played over 2,000 courses globally and has competed in USGA Championships.

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