Billy Payne Named Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club2006
On May 21, 2006, Billy Payne, Georgia ’69 was named chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament. Through the late 1980s and early 1990s, Payne was a leading advocate for bringing the Olympic Games to Atlanta and, in 1996, Payne was named president and chief executive officer of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG).
During his tenure as Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, Payne was a collaborative presence, bringing together golf’s leading institutions to implement new ways to expand the reach of the game, such as his vision for the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, Latin America Amateur Championship and the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship. He worked to make the sport more welcoming, including the addition of women into the Club’s membership and the creation of the popular Junior Pass Program during the Masters. In keeping with the tradition of constant improvement established by Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones, Payne directed the significant expansion and development of the Augusta National campus, leading to the creation and improvement of numerous facilities and services enjoyed by the membership and visitors to the Tournament. He also encouraged innovation, especially through the development of digital media offerings and emerging television technologies, in an effort to help reach new and younger audiences.