Program from first Masters up for auction

A program from the first Augusta National Invitation Tournament similar to this one is up for auction this week.

A program from the first Masters Tournament, formally known as the Augusta National Invitation Tournament, is up for auction this week.

Leland's, which specializes in sports memorablia, is offering the rare item. The program opened with a starting bid of $1,000 and was up to $1,610 on Wednesday afternoon. Bidding ends at 10 p.m. Friday.

The tournament started by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts began in 1934. It was not formally recognized as the Masters until 1939 when the name was changed.

Programs were produced for the 1934 and 1935 tournaments. There is no record of other programs being produced until 1990, when the club launched the Masters Journal as its preview magazine.

Leland's lists the program as being in very good to excellent condition with minor wear to the cover. "There is writing on the cover of the program by the original owner, as well as writing inside," according to the description on the auction website.

The 1934 program is a fascinating look at the club.  With a light green cover, it features an Augusta National logo and the words "First Annual Invitation Tournament'' in prominent type.

Inside, pictures of famous club members - including Grantland Rice, L.B. Maytag, Eugene Grace and Edward F. Hutton - are featured. A description of the layout's holes by architect Alister MacKenzie offers insight on how he thought the course should be played.

Black-and-white photographs show the clubhouse, Magnolia Lane, flowers and various holes on the course. 

In the early 1990s, Augusta National produced reprints of the 1934 program and sold them in its gift shops.

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