Billy Payne, the man whose visionary 11-year chairmanship of Augusta National reshaped and expanded the club’s leadership role in golf, is on the phone and he’s quick to share some news.
It’s not about his rightful induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame next Monday in Carmel, Calif., though that has him excited, too.
Payne, 71, has just become a great grandfather for the first time, giving him 11 grandchildren and one great grandchild.
“Really cool,” Payne says of his expanding clan. “We’ve got a big crew.”
Since stepping down as chairman of Augusta National in 2017, Payne has more time to do other things, though his attachment to the club remains strong and deep. In his own way, Payne led Augusta National into a new age, committed to sharing the Masters Tournament with a wider worldwide audience while also expanding the club’s amateur initiatives.
Under Payne’s leadership, Augusta National was proactive, creating the Asia-Pacific Amateur, the Latin America Amateur and the hugely popular Drive, Chip and Putt Champio...
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