As all golf lovers know, the Masters is golf’s equivalent to the football fans’ World Cup. Over the years, Augusta has been the scene for many remarkable and magical golf moments, who can forget a 46-year old Jack Nicklaus shooting a 65 to win his sixth Green Jacket at the 1986 Masters? Or in 1997 when Tiger Woods stunned the millions watching at home when he won by an astonishing 12 shots?
Anyway, if you’re not that familiar with the ins and outs of the Masters and want to get up to speed before the big event next April, here is everything that you need to know:
Each year the Masters is played at the famous Augusta National Golf Club. Located in Georgia, it was established back in 1933 is a par 72 course designed by Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie.
Dates: In 2020, the Masters Tournament runs from Monday 6 April through to Sunday 12 April.
As one of the biggest sporting events on the calendar, as you would imagine, it is not very easy to get your hands on tickets for the event and especially for the final day. The organizers operate a lottery system for people looking to buy tickets after many of the available tickets will have been distributed to sponsors and people within the PGA.
Visit the official Masters tickets website to register your details and sign up to the lottery but the chances are fairly slim of being successful, as there will be high volumes of applicants. Daily tournament tickets cost $115 each in 2019 through the official channels and other ticket sales from unauthorized companies will be even higher.
The closing date for applying for the 2020 Masters was June 2019, so you will have to apply for the following year instead. Or apply for tickets for the practice rounds, as they might still be available.
The practice rounds
There is a better chance of getting practice round tickets as more of them are allocated compared to the tournament rounds. This way you will get to see all of your favorite golfers as they prepare for the big tournament. Often, this can be the more exciting golf play, as the players try out shots that they might not be able to risk in the actual tournament. Tickets for the practice rounds are also much cheaper than the tournament tickets and you can buy one for $65.
Flying to Augusta
Augusta has its own airport although flights will often be fully booked around the time of the Masters, in which case, an alternative is flying to one of the nearby airports and hiring a car. Atlanta is just a two-hour drive from Augusta and you could spend some time there to extend your stay in the US.
When you are traveling to the US from another country, you will require either a visa or an ESTA as travel authorization. An ESTA is a quickest and most simple way to visit the US for tourism purposes or to attend events such as going to watch the Masters. To find out more about applying for an ESTA, visit https://www.estaform.org/.
Accommodation in Augusta
Finding accommodation can be difficult too due to how busy it will be over that week. The sooner you start looking for accommodation, the better. Some people choose to stay in cities such as Atlanta, Charleston, Columbia, and Savannah and then arrange transport from there.
Another option is to rent property in the area, as quite a lot of homeowners prefer to get out of the area whilst the Masters is on and can make a lot of money by renting their house out during this time.
Etiquette at the Masters
Whilst most golf fans will know that playing on a golf course involves many rules and an expectation of etiquette, especially at the top golf courses. However, there are also plenty of rules for spectators to follow, given the magnitude of the tournament.
Mobile phones are not allowed onto the grounds, neither are cameras or any electronic devices. Flags and banners are not permitted either. Traditional clothing is preferred for patrons and you must be quiet during play. Look out for the volunteer holding up their hands or a quiet sign. You should also stay still when a player is taking a shot.
With the winning purse standing at $11,500,000, all players will be hoping to be fit to play and make the cut to get through to the final two days of the tournament. Last year was the year of the unbelievable comeback of Tiger Woods (pictured right) who knows what could happen in the 2020 Masters. If you’re lucky enough to get tickets then you are in for a great time, from watching the best golfers in the world to enjoying the atmosphere at the event.