AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — The members of Augusta National Golf Club are mourning the loss of former Augusta National Chairman, Hootie Johnson. Johnson died this morning at the age of 86 years old.
Johnson led the Augusta National Golf Club for 8 years, taking the helm on May 1, 1998. According to a statement from current Chair, Billy Payne, Johnson was always admired for his genuine and unrelenting respect for the traditions and vision of the Club and Tournament established by Founders bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts.
During Hootie Johnson’s tenure, he oversaw the expansion of television coverage of The Masters Golf Tournament, improved qualifications for tournament invites and reopened the series badge waiting list welcoming more people to The Masters and game of golf.
Hootie stepped down as Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club in 2006, he is survived by his wife Pierrine, four daughters and 10 grandchildren. Chairman Billy Payne is quoted in a statement saying, “I owe an immeasurable debt to Hootie Johnson, and I will thank him every day for what he has meant to me personally as well as to the legacy of Augusta National and the Masters. “
Augusta National Golf Club, its staff and members will privately honor the memory and legacy of Hootie Johnson.