Augusta National is reportedly to close at week’s end

Augusta National is reportedly to close at week’s end
Amen Corner - Augusta National Golf Club (Source: WFXG)

AUGUSTA, GA (AP) -- Augusta National first postponed the Masters. Now the home of the Masters is closing its club.

Golf Digest obtained a letter from Chairman Fred Ridley to Augusta National members that says the club will close by the end of the week because of increasing concerns over the new coronavirus and how it might affect the staff.

Golf Digest obtained a letter from Chairman Fred Ridley to Augusta National members that says the club will close by the end of the week because of increasing concerns over the new coronavirus and how it might affect the staff. (Photo: David J. Phillip, AP)

The club would confirm only that a memo had been sent.

“Beginning today, we are taking the necessary steps to curtail our operations so, by the end of this week, the Club will be closed until further notice,” Ridley said in the memo obtained by Golf Digest.

Ridley said the grounds would be maintained with limited personnel and said other duties would be handled remotely. He said he would review the situation and send timely updates, and he thanked the members for “patience and trust as we plan for the realities of this pandemic.”

The Masters was scheduled for April 9-12. This will be the first time since 1946 — when the Masters resumed after World War II — that golf’s most viewed tournament is not the first full week in April. Augusta National closes about a month after the Masters for the summer and reopens in October.

Still to be determined is when it could be rescheduled, which is the club’s plan. Ridley’s letter comes one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that events of 50 or more people be shut down for eight weeks. That would last until the second full week in May.

Still up in the air is the second major of the year, the PGA Championship, scheduled for May 14-17 in San Francisco.