we go again
KEVIN McCALLUM: Augusta National has a unique and strong link with SA
Thanks to Dr Alister MacKenzie, a Boer War veteran, the country can claim to having a small and yet vital role in the design of the prestigious golf course
The beginnings and building of Augusta National, the home of the Masters, has a small link to SA. Its designer, Dr Alister MacKenzie, fought in the Boer War. He served as a civilian doctor with the British. It was there that he is said to have first become interested in the science and principles of camouflage. The Alister MacKenzie Society writes that “he saw the defensive value of the concealed trenches and camouflage techniques of the Boers”. His experiences in Flanders early in World War 1 led him to resign his commission as a major in the medical corps to act as second lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in order to teach camouflage techniques at the Army Camouflage School in London. These skills were to prove of great value in his subsequent career. That subsequent career was in golf course design. He had followed his father into medicine, but golf was his love. He often prescribed a round of golf to his patients to fix what ailed them. “How frequently have I, with great difficu...