William Porter Payne

William Porter "Billy" Payne (born October 13, 1947) is the former chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, having served in that position from 2006 to 2017 and oversaw the introduction of the first women to the club's membership rolls. He was Managing Director of Gleacher & Company, Inc., Vice Chairman of Bank of America, Vice Chairman of PTEK Holdings, Inc., Vice Chairman of WebMD, and a member of the Board of Directors of Lincoln National and Cousins Properties.[1] He is chairman of Centennial Holding Company, an Atlanta-based real estate investment concern. Through the late 1980s and early 1990s he 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).

Billy Payne

Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club
In office
October 16, 2006 – October 15, 2017
Preceded byHootie Johnson
Succeeded byFred Ridley
President & CEO of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games
In office
August 9, 1992 – August 4, 1996
IOC PresidentJuan Antonio Samaranch
Preceded byPasqual Maragall
Succeeded byMichael Knight
Personal details
BornOctober 13, 1947 (age 71)
Alma materUniversity of Georgia (BA, JD)

Early life and education

Born in Athens, Georgia, Payne played football for the University of Georgia and received his Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) with honors in political science in 1969 from the University as well as his law degree (J.D.) from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1973. While at the university, he was initiated into the Gridiron Secret Society and the Georgia Alpha Chapter of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. He received an honorary degree Doctor of Laws from Oglethorpe University in 1991.[2]

1996 Olympics

Payne first had the idea of Atlanta hosting the Olympic Games in 1987 and began to bring others to support this vision. He first gained support of Atlanta leaders for this effort, including then-mayor Andrew Young, an ally who helped Payne convince International Olympic Committee members to award Atlanta the games. Payne's plan for the games depended heavily on private support, leading him to convince sponsors to back the games. In September 1990, Atlanta was selected by the IOC to host the 1996 Games, surprising many.

After winning the bid, Payne remained as the head of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, serving as the chief administrator to organize the Olympics. He was the first person to lead the bid effort and then remain to lead the Games.

Tenure as Augusta National chairman

On May 5, 2006, Billy Payne was announced as the replacement for Hootie Johnson as chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament, with Payne taking office with the opening of the club's season that October. As chairman, Payne has already made some adjustments at the Masters, including a new television contract with ESPN that allowed for unprecedented coverage of the par-3 tournament, beginning in 2008. Also that same year, a junior-patrons program was instituted, which allows one Augusta National Golf Club-accredited patron the opportunity to personally bring one junior patron (ages: 8-16), free of charge, to each of the four competitive rounds of the Masters. The program is not available on practice round days, and is also unavailable to company patrons.[3]

On April 7, 2010, immediately before that year's Masters Tournament, Payne criticized Tiger Woods, stating that he failed as a role model.[4]

In 2011, Payne and his fellow members at Augusta National continued further with diverting from the club's usually uncompromising, tradition-laden ways by establishing another contemporary modification to their featured golf tournament. They have now sanctioned a video game that features the Masters name, logo, and their fabled golf course. The video game is so technologically sophisticated that if rain – for example – should happen to be falling in Augusta, Ga. on the day an end-user powers up the game from anywhere around the world, rain will also be simulated on the end-user's video screen.[5]

Payne had said in a statement: "'Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters' will inspire the next generation of golfers." According to Payne's release, the proceeds from sales of the video game made by Augusta National will benefit a non-profit foundation that promotes youth golf.[5]

At the 2012 Masters Tournament, the public was reminded that some traditions at Augusta National Golf Club (ANGC) still hold true to form as Payne sideswiped reporters' questions about any prospect of allowing a female (specifically IBM CEO Virginia Rometty) to join ANGC. Payne explained the issue of who gets invited to join ANGC, which is notoriously known as having male-only members, is "subject to the private deliberations of the members." Incidentally, ANGC has offered prior membership to the last four IBM CEOs as IBM is one of three major corporate sponsors of the Masters.[6] However, on August 20, 2012, Payne announced that former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and business executive Darla Moore would be the first female members of the club after 75 years of all male membership.[7]

On August 23, 2017, Augusta National announced that Payne would retire as chairman of the club effective October 16, to be succeeded by Fred Ridley.[8]


Payne received the Olympic Order at the Closing Ceremonies of the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. In 2014, he was inducted as a Georgia Trustee. The honor is given by the Georgia Historical Society, in conjunction with the Governor of Georgia, to individuals whose accomplishments and community service reflect the ideals of the founding body of Trustees, which governed the Georgia colony from 1732 to 1752. He was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame, class of 2019, in the lifetime achievement category.[9]


  1. ^ "William Porter "Billy" Payne: 2014 Georgia Trustee". georgiahistory.com. The Georgia Historical Society. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Honorary Degrees Awarded by Oglethorpe University". Oglethorpe University. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  3. ^ Gelpi, Greg (April 11, 2008). "Program is ticket to Masters memories for future golf fans - The Masters 2012". Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  4. ^ "Around Tiger's world in 365 days". USA Today. Associated Press. April 7, 2010.
  5. ^ a b Brown, Robbie (March 28, 2011). "An Augusta Open to All (Online, Anyway)". The New York Times. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  6. ^ "IBM CEO Virginia Rometty attends Masters on Sunday, but question of female members at Augusta National Golf Club remains". Fox Sports. April 8, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  7. ^ "Most Popular E-mail Newsletter". USA Today. August 20, 2012.
  8. ^ "Payne Announces Retirement, Ridley Named Successor". Augusta National Golf Club. August 23, 2017.
  9. ^ "World Golf Hall of Fame introduces the Class of 2019: Peggy Kirk Bell, Retief Goosen, Billy Payne, Jan Stephenson and Dennis Walters to be enshrined into the World Golf Hall of Fame on June 10, 2019 in Pebble Beach". PGA Tour. 10 October 2018.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Spain Pasqual Maragall
President of Organizing Committee for Summer Olympic Games
Succeeded by
Australia Michael Knight
1996 Summer Olympics

The 1996 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXVI Olympiad, commonly known as Atlanta 1996, and also referred to as the Centennial Olympic Games, were an international multi-sport event that was held from July 19 to August 4, 1996, in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. These Games, which were the fourth Summer Olympics to be hosted by the United States, marked the centenary of the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens—the inaugural edition of the modern Olympic Games. They were also the first since 1924 to be held in a different year from a Winter Olympics, under a new IOC practice implemented in 1994 to hold the Summer and Winter Games in alternating, even-numbered years.

More than 10,000 athletes from 197 National Olympic Committees competed in 26 sports, including the Olympic debuts of beach volleyball, mountain biking, and softball, as well as the new disciplines of lightwight rowing and women's football (soccer). 24 countries made their Summer Olympic debut in Atlanta, including a number of former republics of the Soviet Union (who competed in 1992 under the Olympic flag as the Unified Team) participating for the first time as independent nations. The hosting United States led the medal count with a total of 101 medals, and the most gold (44) and silver (32) medals out of all countries. Notable performances during competition included those of Andre Agassi—who became the first men's singles tennis player to combine a career Grand Slam with an Olympic gold medal, Donovan Bailey—who set a new world record of 9.84 for the men's 100 meters, and Lilia Podkopayeva—who became the second gymnast to win an individual event gold after winning the all-round title in the same Olympics.

The festivities were marred by violence on July 27, when Eric Rudolph detonated pipe bombs at Centennial Olympic Park—a downtown park that was built to serve as a public focal point for the Games' festivities, injuring 111. In 2003, Rudolph confessed to the bombing and a series of related attacks on abortion centers and a gay bar, and was sentenced to life in prison. He claimed that the bombing was meant to protest the U.S. government's sanctioning of "abortion on demand".

The 1996 Summer Olympics were considered to be financially successful, due to record revenue from sponsorship deals and broadcast rights among other factors. The Games faced criticism for being overly commercialized, as well as other issues noted by European officials, such as the availability of food and transport. The event had a lasting impact on the city; Centennial Olympic Park led a revitalization of Atlanta's downtown area and has served as a symbol of the Games' legacy, the Olympic Village buildings have since been used as residence housing for area universities, and the Centennial Olympic Stadium has been re-developed twice since the Games—first as the baseball park Turner Field, and then as the college football venue Georgia State Stadium.

Augusta National Women's Amateur

The Augusta National Women's Amateur is an upcoming women's golf tournament, to be held at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia and Champion's Retreat Golf Club in Evans, Georgia.

The tournament will be split between the two venues, with Champion's Retreat hosting the opening rounds. The tournament will be held on the week directly preceding the Masters Tournament, with a Wednesday to Saturday scheduling.

List of Phi Delta Theta members

This is a list of prominent alumni of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Names are listed followed by the school attended and their graduation year.

Olympic Order

The Olympic Order is the highest award of the Olympic Movement and is awarded for particularly distinguished contributions to the Olympic Movement, i.e. recognition of efforts worthy of merit in the cause of sport. It was established in May 1975 by the International Olympic Committee as a successor to the Olympic Certificate. The Olympic Order originally had three grades (gold, silver and bronze). In 1984, at the 87th IOC Session in Sarajevo (Yugoslavia), it was decided that in future there would be no distinction between the silver and bronze order. The gold order would continue to be awarded in exceptional circumstances. Traditionally, the IOC bestows the Olympic Order upon the chief national organiser(s) at the closing ceremony of each respective Olympic Games.

The insignia of the Olympic Order is in the form of a collar (or chain), in Gold, Silver or Bronze according to grade; the front of the chain depicts the five rings of the Olympic Movement, flanked on either side by kotinos emblem (olive wreath). A lapel badge, in the form of the five rings in Gold, Silver and Bronze according to grade, is presented to recipients to wear as appropriate.

Nadia Comăneci is the only athlete to be awarded the Olympic Order twice (1984, 2004). She is also the youngest recipient of Olympic Order since 1984 when she was only 23 years old at the time of award.

Theodore Roosevelt Award

The Theodore Roosevelt Award is the highest honor the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) may confer on an individual. The award is awarded annually to a graduate from an NCAA member institution who earned a varsity letter in college for participation in intercollegiate athletics, and who ultimately became a distinguished citizen of national reputation based on outstanding life accomplishment. Each awardee, by personal example, is said to exemplify the ideals and purposes to which collegiate athletics are dedicated.

The award, nicknamed "The Teddy," is named after U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, whose concern for the conduct of intercollegiate athletes and athletic programs led to the formation of the NCAA in 1906. Past winners include four former Presidents of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower (1967), Gerald R. Ford (1975), George H.W. Bush (1986), and Ronald Reagan (1990).

University of Georgia

The University of Georgia, also referred to as UGA or simply Georgia, is a public flagship research university with its main campus in Athens, Georgia. Founded in 1785, it is one of three schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States.The Center for Measuring University Performance ranks the University of Georgia among the top research universities in the nation and the university is classified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a Research I university (having highest extensive research activity). It also classifies the student body as "more selective," its most selective admissions category, while the ACT Assessment Student Report places UGA in the "highly selective" category, the highest category. Incoming students include those from nearly every state and 47 countries around the world. The university is ranked as one of the ‘’Best National Universities for Undergraduate Teaching’’ (tied with such universities as Harvard and Columbia), tied for 13th overall among all public national universities in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings, and is a Kiplinger's and Princeton Review top ten in value.The university is organized into 17 constituent schools and colleges offering more than 140 degree programs. The university's historic North Campus is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places as a designated historic district. The contiguous campus areas include rolling hills, gardens, and extensive green space including nature walks, fields, shrubbery, and large and varied arboreta. Close to the contiguous campus is the university's 58-acre Health Sciences Campus that also has an extensive landscaped green space, more than 400 trees, and several additional historic buildings.

Athens has consistently ranked among America's best college towns primarily due to its vibrant restaurant, bar, and music scenes. In addition to the main campus in Athens with its approximately 460 buildings, the university has two smaller campuses located in Tifton and Griffin. The university has two satellite campuses located in Atlanta and Lawrenceville. The university operates several service and outreach stations spread across the state. The total acreage of the university in 30 Georgia counties is 41,539 acres (168.10 km2). The university also owns a residential and research center in Washington, D.C., and three international residential and research centers located at Oxford University in Oxford, England, at Cortona, Italy, and at Monteverde, Costa Rica.

Nearly 700 student organizations, cultural groups, religious groups, volunteer and community service programs, and philanthropic groups, as well as varsity and intramural student athletics, are integral parts of student life. The University of Georgia's intercollegiate sports teams, commonly known by their Georgia Bulldogs nickname, compete in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). UGA served as a founding member of the SEC in 1932. In their more than 120-year history, the university's varsity sports teams have won 42 national championships, 151 conference championships, and 31 Olympic medals. The Georgia Redcoat Marching Band, the official marching band of the university, performs at athletic and other events.

University of Georgia School of Law

The University of Georgia School of Law (also known as Georgia Law or UGA Law) is a professional graduate school and the second-oldest school or college at the University of Georgia. Located in the college town of Athens, Georgia, it is approximately a one hour drive from the global city of Atlanta, the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, which is in the top nine largest metropolitan areas in the nation. Founded in 1859, it is among the oldest law schools in the United States and is a nationally ranked top-tiered law school.

William Payne

William Payne may refer to:

William Payne (priest) (1650–1696), English controversialist

William Payne (painter) (1760–1830), British painter

William Payne (pantomimist) (1804–1878), actor and pantomimist and father of the Payne Brothers

William D. Payne (born 1932), American Democratic Party politician

William Edward Payne (born 1933), Alberta MLA, 1979–1993

William Ernest Payne (1878–1943), Alberta MLA, 1931–1935

William Hector Payne (1914–1989), Canadian Member of Parliament, 1958–1962

William H. F. Payne (1830–1904), general in the American Civil War

William K. Payne (1903–1963), American university president

William Morton Payne (1858–1919), American educator and writer

William Porter Payne (born 1947), chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, president and CEO of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG)

William Winter Payne (1807–1874), U.S. Representative from Alabama

William Payne (New Mexico politician) (born 1951), Republican politician

William Payne (cricketer) (1854–1909), English cricketer

William Oscar Payne (1879–1944), professor of history at the University of Georgia

William Payne (mathematician) (died 1779), English mathematician and author

William H. Payne (1836–1907), American educator and translator

Will Payne (television producer) (born 1974), television producer, writer and director

Will Payne (actor) (born 1989), English actor

Bill Payne (born 1949), musician, keyboardist and founder of the band Little Feat

Bill Payne (athlete) (born 1967), retired American pole vaulter

Billy Payne (footballer) (1881–1967), Australian rules footballer with Carlton

Bill Payne (footballer, born 1883) (1883–1940), Australian rules footballer with Fitzroy

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