There are four ways a visitor can get to known Augusta.
JAMES BROWN’S AUGUSTA
SELFIE OF SOUL: You can’t leave the Godfather’s stomping grounds without visiting his bronze statue in median of the 800 block of Broad Street. Throw your arm around him and take a selfie.
HISTORIC STAGE: The Imperial Theater at 749 Broad St. was a second home for the Godfather. It was here that he rehearsed for world tours. It’s where the funeral was held for his third wife, Adrienne. In his last public appearance before his death in 2006, he handed out Christmas toys to kids in the lobby, as he did every year.
SOUL SIPPIN’: If you get a little thirsty, head to the Soul Bar at 984 Broad St. The bar is dedicated to Soul Music and the Godfather, and its walls are covered top to bottom in James Brown knick-knacks from old records to photos and posters.
REVOLUTIONARY: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 605 Reynolds St. hasn’t had it easy. It was established in Augusta in 1749 by the Church of England and was destroyed during the Revolutionary War. The church’s first minister wrote that his parish lived “in fear of our lives” because of constant attack from Native Americans. The church was rebuilt after the Revolution, later moved, and a third building was destroyed by the Great Augusta Fire of 1916. The present building was completed in 1919, and its cemetery has a signer of the U.S. Constitution.
CIVIL RIGHTS BASE: Tabernacle Baptist Church was established in 1885 and had a membership of 2,000 by 1889. When the black congregation outgrew its home on Ellis Street, a new building was constructed in 1915. The church’s first pastor, the Rev. Charles T. Walker, became a world renowned pulpiteer before his death in 1921. Tabernacle became a base during the Civil Rights Movement and played host to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1962. Soak in the history at 1223 Laney-Walker Blvd.
MASTERS OF MASONRY: If you like awe-inspiring architecture, Sacred Heart Cultural Center at 1301 Greene St. is a must see. Built in Victorian Romanesque style with Byzantine influence, its twin spires, turrets, parapets, arches and 15 styles of brickwork make it one of the best tenants of Victorian masonry in the state. It was founded in 1874 for the influx of Irish immigrants to Augusta, and its sprawling structure was built in 1898. Its last Mass was said in 1971, and it is open today for weddings, events and admiring passers-by.
BIRTHPLACE OF A LEGACY: Springfield Baptist Church claims the title of the country’s oldest continuously operating black church. It was officially organized in 1787, but the congregation is believed to date back to 1773. The church’s first pastor was the Rev. Jesse Peters Galphin, a slave whose master allowed him to train as a minister. In 1867, 37 students gathered in Springfield’s basement and formed what is now Morehouse College. The school later moved to Atlanta and has educated greats such as Martin Luther King Jr. and filmmaker Spike Lee. Visit the church at 114 12th St.
GRAB YOUR CLUBS AND PLAY A ROUND: If you’re inspired by the pros, play a round yourself at Augusta Municipal Golf Course at 2023 Highland Ave. Masters Week prices for a round of 18 holes and a cart are $27 for residents and $37 for nonresidents. First tee begins at 7:30 a.m. and the course closes at 7 p.m. Designed by David Ogilvie of Scotland, the course has two loops of nine holes, par-3s in different directions, and a mix of right-to left and left-to-right holes.
WANT TO BE LIKE BOBBY? Go to Forest Hills Golf Club, 1500 Comfort Road, where Bobby Jones played. Masters Week prices are $151.20 (tax included) for balls, 18 holes a cart and lunch. First tee begins at 7:30 a.m. and the course closes at 7 p.m. Jones began 1930, his Grand Slam year, by winning the Southeastern Open at Forest Hills. It is also home to the Georgia Regents University Jaguar Golf Teams.
GOLF DELIGHT: When tee time is over, head to Luigi’s for an authentic Greek or Italian dinner that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The place has checkered tablecloths, dim lighting and a jukebox that cranks Dean Martin. The fourth-generation, family-owned restaurant at 590 Broad St. draws pro golfers, celebrities and regulars for the golf memorabilia.
MUSEUMS OF AUGUSTA
AUGUSTA MUSEUM OF HISTORY: While in the golf capital, learn about the sport’s roots. The museum displays the evolution of golf from tees to attire and has memorabilia from Bobby Jones and Arnold Palmer. Did you know the LPGA also started in Augusta and had green jackets before the guys? Also visit the James Brown exhibit, the most comprehensive collection of James Brown memorabilia in the world. You’ll see flamboyant costumes dating to the ’70s and the crown he wore when he called himself the “King of Soul Music.” The museum at 560 Reynolds St. has extended hours for Masters Week, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
MORRIS MUSEUM OF ART: An exhibit honoring one of golf’s leading landscape artists will be underway during Masters Week. Linda Hartough was commissioned by the Augusta National Golf Club in 1984 to paint the famous 13th hole and her work has gained international fame ever since. She is the only artist ever to be commissioned by the U.S. Golf Association and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, and she has painted golf courses all over the world. See her paintings, among other exhibits, at the museum at 1 10th St. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday during Masters week.
LUCY CRAFT LANEY MUSEUM OF BLACK HISTORY: The area’s only African-American history museum is housed in the former home of Lucy Craft Laney, a revolutionary educator who started the first school for black children in Augusta in 1883. See an exhibit honoring Laney and her contributions as well as memorabilia from Pilgrim Health and Life Insurance company, the first insurance provider for blacks in Georgia and one of the largest employers of African Americans in Augusta. Visit the museum at 1116 Phillips St. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.