Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Augusta National and Lee Brandenburg

Brandenburg Historical Golf Museum

President Eisenhower's Green Members Jacket
If you have had a chance to stroll through the Brandenburg Historical Golf Museum, you know that Augusta and the Masters are represented very well. There is a wonderful collection of all sorts of types of memorabilia – from a Masters water bottle to Ike’s Green Members Jacket. Mr. Brandenburg's affection of Augusta National and Dwight Eisenhower goes back a while. 

Mr. Brandenburg during his
years of service
Lee Brandenburg was stationed at Camp Gordon near Augusta National as a young lieutenant in the mid 1950's. He had read in the paper that President Eisenhower was going to be playing golf at Augusta National and decided to investigate. He took a buddy with him and found a seldom used dirt track that lead to the course. Lee and his buddy were apprehended by the secret service and held until President Eisenhower could play through. When the President saw the two  young soldiers in uniform, standing by the green he had just played, he walked over and chatted with them, and of course, told the security to release them. 
Christian (left) and Brandenburg enjoying the Masters from
the veranda at Augusta National

This is not an isolated incident. Lee has a colorful history of sneaking into events without credentials. The list is too long to mention here.

This wonderful story has been shared by Frank Christian, official photographer for the Augusta National from 1952 - 2000, and close friend of Lee's.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Augusta National and Alister MacKenzie

Augusta National and Alister MacKenzie

Bobby Jones and his friend and fellow founder of the golf course, Clifford Roberts, hired the famous architect Alister MacKenzie to help with the design the golf course. How Jones and MacKenzie met is still a bit of a mystery, but it turned out to be a perfect match. They would together wander the properties, planning each golf hole, and Jones would sometimes toss out a golf ball and hit a shot to where the green was going to be. They would make adjustments as needed. Next time you stop by the clubhouse, take a look on the wall by the trophy cases. One of MacKenzie’s early drawings of the Augusta National layout is displayed. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have this early original drawing of what came to arguably be the most famous golf course in the world.

Photo Courtesy: Getty Images
Original drawing of the proposed layout of Augusta National
by Mr. Alister Mackenzie. This drawing hangs in the museum at
Cinnabar Hills Golf Club

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Augusta National and Berckmans Nurseries

Augusta National: Hole 12, Par 3
The Masters will as usual kick off the Major championship golf season during the first week of April. Augusta National has something magical about it with the dogwoods and azaleas, perfect fairways and stone bridges. It’s no question that the beauty of the golf course enhances the viewer’s enjoyment. It seems everyone – from the non-golfer to us diehard fans – is entranced by Augusta National. 

Bobby Jones and his Vision
Berckmans' Nurseries before Augusta National was built.
Photo in museum.
Bobby Jones, the well-known amateur who to this day is the only player to every have earned a calendar Grand Slam, had decided to retire from competitive golf in 1930. But he wasn’t done with being involved with the sport. He had been intrigued by the thought of building a members only golf course, and heard about a perfect piece of land for his vision.
The area in question was formally the home of Berckmans Nurseries, the first large-scale horticultural nursery in the southeast. Louis Berckmans and his son Prosper, immigrants from Belgium, had introduced a range of new plants to the southeast. Prosper became known as "Father of the Peach Culture" after introducing and developing many types of peach varieties. The nursery operated from 1858 to 1918.
Prosper Berckmans

Jones is said to have exclaimed “Perfect!” when he saw the land and purchased it for $70,000. Construction for the golf course began in 1931.
Posters from Berckmans Nurseries, aka Fruitland Nurseries

Prosper Berckmans, Jr., and Louis Berckmans helped with the landscaping surrounding the clubhouse and golf course, and many of those plants still are the ones we admire around Augusta National today. Berckmans’ former home, Fruitland Manor, became the Augusta National Clubhouse. 

Nowadays, each Masters winner raises the silver trophy, which is a small replica of the clubhouse. The life size replica trophy is on display in the Brandenburg historical golf museum.

Members Only

Jones, who built Augusta along with his friend Clifford Roberts, had been dreaming about a private club where members could play without being bothered by the media or fans. He started writing letters to friends and acquaintances, spreading the word about his plans. Below is one of the original letters displayed at Cinnabar Hills, in which Jones is asking Mr. Crawford Johnson if he was interested in becoming a member. If you aren’t familiar with Mr. Johnson's story, he was the clever man who purchased the exclusive franchise rights to bottle and distribute Coca-Cola in 1902. 

Come by Cinnabar Hills and the Brandenburg Historical Golf Museum to stroll through golf's spectacular past time. There is no entry fee to the museum. Our restaurant is open daily with lunch from 11 am - 3 pm and appetizers from 3 pm to closing. Breakfast is served from 7:15 am on the weekends.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Twilight Events at Cinnabar Hills
Over the past 6 months we have tried to create fun and exciting tournaments, some 9 holes and some 18 holes that tee off with a 3:00pm shotgun.  Usually when you hear the word "tournament" you think long, painfully slow rounds of golf.  Our goal was to change that thought.  In December we held our first Par 3 Challenge on the Mountain Course.  We created 9 "Par 3" holes on the Mountain that ranged from 100 - 190 yards.  Tees we placed in adjacent fairways or non-traditional spots on each hole to make the shots new and fun.  To add to the fun, we used a 2-person Alternate Shot format.  This first event drew 52 participants and was finished in under 2 hours.  The following two events had a field of 70 and were played on the Lake and Canyon courses with a similar pace of play.  The last Par 3 event in June drew 94 players on a day with 100 degree heat!  18 Holes were completed in 3 hours and 15 minutes!  There is always a appetizer reception after along with the awards presentation.  Due to the pace of the events and the fun of playing creative team formats, these events have become a much talked about part of the Cinnabar culture.  The event that was held in June was our 1st Annual Par 3 Championship.  We crowned both a gross and net team champion and will hold this event every year in June.  We will also hold a Tournament of Champions Par 3 tournament in the Fall.
Last week we experimented with a new 2-person Scramble format that was played over a full length Mountain and Canyon Course.  It was another success and we will continue to try new exciting formats to keep the tournament fresh and fun. 
The date of the next twilight tournament will be announced soon.  If you are not part of our e-mail club, please contact the golf shop and they will get your information

Monday, April 6, 2015

Augusta National & The Masters

Photos Taking us Back to the Beginning of the Masters

Frank and Lee enjoying the veranda at Augusta National
As we are in the final days before the Masters, we wanted to share some special photos with you. Frank Christian, Sr., was a great friend of Bobby Jones', and became the Club Photographer soon after Augusta National opened. Please enjoy the paragraph by Frank Christian, Jr., as well as the photos by both Frank Sr. and Frank Jr. 

Frank Christian, Jr. and Lee Brandenburg, owner of Cinnabar Hills Golf Club, are great friends and share the love for Augusta National and the Masters. In this picture you can see Mr. Frank Christian, Jr and Mr. Brandenburg enjoy the scenery from the veranda at Augusta National.

This blog post only contains a couple of pictures from this incredible collection. To view all of them (there are over 100 great Masters  photos), please go to:

As told by Frank Christian, Jr:

Frank Christian, Sr, in Augusta
1927, as he was the apprentice to
his uncle Montell. Six years later,
he became the photographer
for the newly established
Augusta National Golf Club
Bobby Jones and Dr. Alister Mackenzie, scoping
out the future Augusta National design, 1932
Photo by Frank Christian, Sr
"My father, Frank Christian, came to Augusta in 1927 to learn the photography trade from his uncle, Montell. In the course of photographing guests at the newly constructed Forrest Hills Resort, my father met and became friends with Bobby Jones who played the Augusta course often. In 1930, Jones' Grand Slam year, my father covered the Southeastern Open, which was held at the Forrest Hills course and the Augusta Country Club. Bobby Jones was impressed with my father's work and soon after invited him to accept the job as Club Photographer at the newly formed Augusta National Golf Club. I sort of grew up there. I was introduced to Bobby Jones in 1942 when I accompanied my father to the ANGC for an assignment. Mr. Jones must have taken a liking to me because he gave me one of his golf clubs along with my first golf lesson. As my father's assistant, I made my first photos at the Masters in 1948. I worked at the club with my father through 1954 when my father had a massive heart attact. His career was over and I carried on with his work. I was the Club Photographer at the ANGC for a 52 year period, retiring in 2000. Most of the information about our family is contained in my book, The Augusta National and the Masters, A Photographers' Scrapbook." 

Horton Smith putting on the 8th green of the first Masters
Invitational Golf Tournament in 1934. Denny Shute
is looking on. Photo by Frank Christian, Sr

To purchase prints, please email Frank Christian, Jr. himself at frankchristian35@gmail.com

For more information, consider ordering the book Augusta National & The Masters, written by Frank Christian. 

Here is a video clip of an interview with Frank Jr. from the Golf Channel: http://www.golfchannel.com/media/golf-america-frank-christian-jr-exclusive-interview/

Friday, January 9, 2015

The British Open - Claret Jug

The British Open, or The Open, is the oldest of the four majors played today, dating back to the year 1860. The tournament started out with a field of only eight professionals who played three rounds of 12 holes in one day at Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland. The following description is posted below the Claret Jug replica, which is on display at Cinnabar Hills Golf Club. 

The description posted below The Claret Jug Replica, located in the Brandenburg Historical Golf Museum at Cinnabar Hills Golf Club 
In 1871, Prestwick Golf Club agreed to organize the tournament jointly with The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, and in 1892 it expanded from 36 to 72 holes. With the growing number of entrants, a cut was introduced after 36 holes in 1898. Full responsibility for The Open in was handed over to The R&A Golf Club in 1920.
The Claret Jug replica, located in the Brandenburg Historical Golf Musem

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Countdown to Ryder Cup 2014

Who was Mr. Ryder?

A sample of Ryder's
Penny Packet seeds
Early Life
Born in 1858 in Lancashire, England, Samuel Ryder was the fourth of eight children. His father, Samuel Ryder, Sr., was a gardener whose business expanded to include a nursery, florist, and seed merchant. Samuel Jr. worked for his father for a while, but frictions between them eventually drove Samuel Jr. to move to southern England and join a rival seed merchant. 

Samuel Ryder soon came up with a brilliant idea -- to sell small amounts of seeds in packets priced at a penny each. Overnight, the "penny seed packets" business was born and grew instantly. 

Golf Ryder frequently suffered from poor health. Before he started his penny seed packet business, he studied to become a teacher at Owens College. He wasn't able to graduate due to his poor health. When he was 50 years old, his friend Frank Wheeler suggested that he took up the game of golf as a way to get more fresh air. Ryder fell in love with the game and quickly reached a single digit handicap. He joined Verulam Golf Club, where he served on the greens committee for 20 years. During a family vacation at Dorset, he ran into the Whitcombe brothers (Ernest, Charles, and Reg) who were English professional golfers in the 1920's and 30's. Ryder was very impressed by their game and wondered if they would be playing in The Open that year. The Whitcombe brothers explained that they couldn't afford to play in an event like that. They explained, "The Americans come over here smartly dressed and backed by wealthy supporters; the Britisher has a poor chance compared to that." 
The replica of the Ryder Cup trophy, located in the
Brandenburg Historical Golf Museum at
Cinnabar Hills Golf Club

After his encounter with the Whitcombe brothers, Ryder made it his mission to have clubs encourage young golfers like them. Over the following few years, Ryder expanded this idea with sponsorship of tournaments. His interest in challenge matches ultimately resulted in his donation of the famous Ryder Cup trophy.

Ernest and Charles Whitcombe played in the 1929 and 1931 Ryder Cup events, representing Britain. All three brothers played in the 1935 Ryder Cup.

Site Meter