Rare Augusta National Invitation Tournament programs highlight a Masters-themed PGA REACH collection auction

By Bob Denney
Published on

Two of the rarest golf spectator programs in the game – the 1934 inaugural and second annual 1935 Augusta National Invitation Tournament – head the second cycle of items of the PGA REACH Collection featured through April 14 on The Golf Auction.
Managed through The Golf Auction (TGA) of Tampa, Florida, all proceeds will benefit the initiatives of PGA Foundation Inc., d/b/a PGA REACH, the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America.
Golf collectors will find the only printed programs by Augusta National – which changed the tournament’s title to The Masters in 1939 – a journey into how a renowned club promoted its property to the general public and as a springboard to recruit new members.
Due to the financial constraints of the Great Depression and a fear of limited interest, the club printed a small number of copies. It is estimated that less than 25 copies of the 1934 program are in existence. The original sold for 25 cents and was auctioned for between $17-18,000 in recent years. 
The Masters programs were preserved to arrive in near mint condition after 85 years.    
In his 2003 book, “The Making of the Masters,” David Owen mentioned the 1934 publication:
"The program was forty-four pages long and contained a map of the course, descriptions of the holes (written by Alister Mackenzie), photographs of the clubhouse and other points of interest, historical information about the property, photographs of most of the members of the club, and several dozen advertisements. It sold for twenty-five cents. Over-represented among the advertisers were the club's numerous creditors, who had been offered space in lieu of payment."
Mackenzie died two months before the inaugural Masters, and his personal observations on his creation are among the special morsels to savor in the program.
This original 1934 programs not sold on site were retrieved by Augusta National and scores from Horton Smith's victory appeared in issues soon after the inaugural tournament. Those programs were used to solicit memberships and advertising for the 1935 season and program. 
For any serious collector, the 1935 program is an even rarer find. Titled “Augusta National Yearbook,” it sold for $15-16,000 at auction, and perhaps 25 copies exist today.
Augusta National only issued a 1934 and 1935 program prior to renewing the tradition in the 1990’s. 
Prior to any souvenirs being offered, tickets, pairing sheets, and programs were all that remained in the printed pieces.
One insert that wasn’t part of Augusta National’s 1934 layout is a mystery that may cause collectors to step out and go about their own historical research. It’s pure speculation, but this “bookmark” may originate from a collector during the start of World War II. 
It was printed by B.H. Blackwell, Ltd. Of Oxford, England, the legendary bookseller. It is a one-paragraph note to all American customers:
“To those who sympathy and faith in us has helped to sustain us in our ordeal, and who are now our Comrades in Arms, we send Greetings and Cheer, in the certain hope that in the day of Victory, we shall stand with them as Comrades in Peace.”
More about the PGA REACH Collection auction:
Managed through The Golf Auction (TGA) of Tampa, Florida, all proceeds will benefit the initiatives of PGA Foundation Inc., d/b/a PGA REACH, the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America.
Highlighted items in the collection include the 1934 and 1935 spectator programs; President Dwight D. Eisenhower plus fours; contestant badges from PGA Championships, vintage golf clubs and more.
Public bidding is available by visiting All items sold in the PGA REACH Collection will be accompanied by a letter of provenance.
Among the featured items offered in the initial auction period:
1934 Augusta National Invitation Tournament (inaugural Masters) spectator program
1935 Augusta National Invitation Tournament spectator program
Horton Smith’s 1933 International 4-Ball Winner’s Plaque with Paul Runyan
1948 PGA Championship at Norwood Hills CC Contestant Badge – Ben Hogan winner
President Dwight D. Eisenhower plaid plus fours
Ram Horn Inkwell set with Silver-plate Well
1963 PGA Championship Contestant Badge – Jack Nicklaus winner
1935 Augusta National Invitation Tournament field photo – matted and sealed
Old & Young Tom Morris 1987 Memorial Tournament sterling silver replica woods
Denny Shute signed photo to Horton Smith “Highest admiration for Augusta ‘34”
Original Horton Smith Trophy awarded annually to a PGA Professional for Outstanding Contributions to Education
Interested bidders will be able to review images and online descriptions in a presentation by TGA, by visiting
All winning bids for auction items will be deemed to be at fair market value. As a result, none of the items are eligible for a charitable tax deduction and no acknowledgment letters will be provided.
PGA Foundation Inc. d/b/a PGA REACH, is the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America. PGA REACH positively impacts the lives of youth, military, and diverse populations by enabling access to PGA Professionals, PGA Sections and the game of golf.
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