We checked another item off our Georgia Bucket List with a trip to The Masters golf course thanks to our generous friends in Augusta, Georgia. It was even more spectacular than I imagined!
It was so great to be at Augusta National Golf Club where world-famous golfers like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, and Tiger Woods have put on that green jacket after becoming The Masters champion.
I probably don’t need to tell you this, but The Masters is the first of the four major PGA Tour championship golf tournaments played annually in the United States. The 2023 Masters Tournament will be the 87th edition of the Masters Tournament and is scheduled to be played from April 6–9, 2023, with practice rounds being April 3-5, 2023.
While I was there, I couldn’t help but take in the cultural and traditional nuances that have evolved over the years, as well as a bit of the history. Here’s what I gathered:
35 UNUSUAL THINGS YOU PROBABLY DON’T KNOW ABOUT THE MASTERS…UNLESS YOU’VE BEEN!
Have you been? Did you notice something that I didn’t mention here? I’d love to add it to our list!
1. You can’t just buy tickets to The Masters. You must apply for the opportunity to purchase tickets via a lottery. When the lottery application process opens be sure to register.
2. Many families own tournament or “series” badges, but they are awarded only to those on the patron list (which is full). According to Augusta National, after the death of a badge holder, the account is transferable only to a surviving spouse and cannot be transferred to other family members. So much for being in Uncle Bob’s will.
3. The Clubhouse was constructed in 1854 by the property owner who farmed indigo. It is considered the first cement house constructed in the South.
4. After the indigo plantation was purchased, it became a fruit tree orchard– Fruitland Nurseries – owned and operated by Prosper Berckmans. Can’t make The Masters? Pay tribute with a glass of Fruitland Augusta Vodka & Tea.
5. In honor of the nursery heritage, each hole is named for a special tree…The first hole is named for the lovely Tea Olive. Magnolia is hole 5, Azalea is the 13th hole, Redbud is hole 16, etc.
6. The Masters is probably the only place in America (the world??) where the line to the restroom is exponentially longer for men than for women. We overheard some speculation that the restroom line is almost 15:1 men to women, but the attendee ratio is more like 4:1. Crazy, right?
7. Almost everyone here owns a green folding chair with The Masters logo. You can purchase one in the gift shop for around $40.
8. Find your favorite spot on the course and sit out that special chair. You are free to roam the course now, with your spot marked for the rest of the day. Common courtesy dictates that you may sit in another chair (someone might even sit in yours), but when you head back to your chair, you have dibs on that spot.
9. Despite the large gathering of people, the restrooms are impeccable. Each group of restrooms is outfitted with 3-5 people cleaning stalls as they are used.
10. You can’t buy a Coke or Sprite (or even a Pepsi) at The Masters. Name-brands are no-no. Don’t fret, though. You are welcome to purchase a cola, diet-cola, lemon-lime and the like. And this Georgia girl is quick to tell you that her “cola” tasted just like it came from a red can!
11. You know about the famous pimento cheese and egg salad sandwiches, but did you know the sandwiches at The Masters are wrapped in green plastic? Why green? If anything should drop on the pristine lawn, then it will not show up on camera.
12. The flags flying above the ticket gates and main score board represent the players in the tournament.
13. If you’re a cigar aficionado, then you can continue the ancient golf tradition of smoking your stogie at The Masters. It’s not as popular as it used to be, but enjoyed in good taste, it is still welcome.
14. You might give a second thought to the winding line outside the gift shop. Have no fear. Though it seems enduring, they take careful measures to ensure that it takes only 8 minutes or less to make it into the store. And the checkout line is considerably shorter, with barely a wait. And most of the items are surprisingly affordable.
15. Empirical evidence suggests the most popular souvenirs are the koozie 2-pack, hats, and the Masters gnomes, if you want one of these little guys, grab one early because they go quickly!
16. Strapped for cash? The plastic cups emblazoned with The Masters logo are also big hits. For $2 for soda, $4 for domestic beer, or $5 for imports, you can get a drink with your souvenir. You’ll often see people dumpster diving for these gems.
17. The grounds on which The Masters parking lot sits used to be a neighborhood. Today, one house still stands, refusing to sell despite being offered millions, and you may be directed to park next to it. Herman and Elizabeth Thacker have owned the house since 1959, and their goal is to see their grandson –PGA professional Scott Brown– play in his hometown of Augusta.
18. The difference between the highest point on the course and the lowest point is 175 feet, but that says nothing about how hilly the course is. Everyone dresses to the nine’s, but sneakers are the right call because you will do a ton of walking!
19. Jeans are not explicitly listed as a no-no on the dress code, but it’s an understood rule. In the crowd of thousands, we saw only four people wearing their denim on the green.
Fun Fact: Jack Nicklaus has won the most Masters titles with 6!
20. The beer list at The Masters expanded in recent years. In addition to the domestic and imported varieties, you could also order an American craft beer. No labels were in sight, but our sources at The Augusta Chronicle confirm it was Blue Moon on tap. But this changes from year-to-year. Can you guess which one it it?
21. Georgia allows Sunday sales of alcohol at noon, but don’t expect to drink until at least 12:30 on the final day. No beer sales are allowed until the last church calls to indicate that church is out.
22. Want to know how many people attended The Masters Tournament and the practice rounds? So do we, but the Augusta National is hush-hush about those numbers.
23. You can’t bring your phone or a camera into the course during the tournament. If you’re dying for photos, the practice rounds are when you want to visit. Cameras are allowed on those days. But phones are NEVER allowed.
24. Don’t even think about breaking the rules about cameras (or otherwise). The GBI will politely escort you out, and the pass holder’s rights will be forever revoked.
25. So how do you prove you were at The Masters without the ability to snap a selfie? Head over to the Founder’s Circle where you can get a free snap in front of the Club House. Don’t miss peeking at Magnolia Lane as you are standing in line.
26. You can also catch a glimpse of the Par 3 course as you stand in the photo line. The Masters Par 3 Contest is held on Wednesday prior to the main event, and it is much beloved because you’ll find wives and girlfriends, children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews-all happily serving as caddies.
27. You’ll notice bleacher seating along a number of holes. These aren’t special seats; they are open to anyone (except the very back row of each stand, which is reserved for members and their guests). Strangely, the bleacher seats generally aren’t filled until the last hour or so, at the later holes. These seats offer stellar views, especially at Amen Corner, where Rae Creek helps the course here look extra picturesque with tons of perfectly timed blooming azaleas.
28. Poor eyesight? No worries. Binoculars are an authorized item, and they are also sold in the gift shop.
29. The best place to see your favorite players up close is at the putting green near the Club House. Golfers enter the area with an armed escort, making their way through a line of spectators anxious to catch a glimpse of their favorite player.
30. When you see your prized golfer making his way to the putting green, don’t ask for his signature. Autograph-seeking is allowed only on the Washington Road side of the clubhouse near the new practice facilities. Want to get Scottie Scheffler, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, or Jordan Spieth’s autographs? In your daily Masters patron book, given as you enter the gates, there is a practice schedule for the golfers. Many guests purchase an iconic yellow Masters flag from the Gift Shop and ask players to autograph it in this approved area.
31. We noticed a few infants on the course (with brave parents) and a considerable number of youth. Are these golf-frenzied kids who received coveted tickets to the world’s greatest game? Nope…they are probably related to someone with a coveted Series Badge Patrons. The Masters offers a Junior Pass program for Series Badge patrons, and those who qualify are contacted directly by the Masters Tournament with the details of the program. No other ticket holders qualify.
32. According to the Spectator Guide, the best place to grab a seat is behind hole 2, with five scenic golf views within 100 yards.
33. You’ll find 10 cabins on the Augusta National course, available to members and their guests. The Eisenhower is the most famous of these, built by the club for the president and his wife in 1953, meeting all the necessary security specs. He visited 45 times prior to his death.
34. Can I bring a bag/purse to Augusta National? Backpacks, Bags, and Purses must be 10” x 10” x 12” (in their natural state) or smaller, but these bags are allowed. But be prepared to have them searched at the gate.
35. Last, but not least, entering the gates of the Masters can only be compared to entering the gates of Walt Disney world in Florida. It’s an experience only those who have been will understand. Be ready!
WHO WILL WEAR THE COVETED GREEN JACKET IN 2023?
Here are some of the previous year’s champs:
- 2022-Scottie Scheffler (United States)
- 2021-Hideki Matsuyama (Japan)
- 2020-Dustin Johnson (United States)
- 2019-Tiger Woods (United States)
What else do winners receive? A sterling silver trophy, pay out of around $2 million, the opportunity to choose the next year’s Champions Dinner, and an invitation to attend The Masters every year after that! Not only do you receive lifetime membership into the Augusta National, but you are also welcomed into the club as an honorary member. That has to be the best perk of them all!
WHERE TO STAY IN AUGUSTA GA
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR MASTERS VISIT
- YOUR GEORGIA VACATION
- AUGUSTA: THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN AUGUSTA GA: A WEEKEND ITINERARY
- AIKEN, SC: 10+ SENSATIONAL THINGS TO DO IN AIKEN SC THAT ARE CHARMINGLY SOUTHERN
- COLUMBIA, SC: 15 FAMILY-FRIENDLY THINGS TO DO IN COLUMBIA SC AND LAKE MURRAY COUNTRY
THE MASTERS FAQ
How does one qualify for the Masters?
There are 20 qualification categories of major championships for the Masters including: all past Masters champions; the U.S. Open, PGA Championship and British Open Championship winners for the previous five years; The Players Championship winners for the previous three years; the current U.S. Amateur champion and runner-up, plus the champions of the British Amateur, Asian Amateur, U.S.
What is the rain policy?
Unfortunately, no refunds, rain checks, exchanges, or replacements will be made if the course is closed for weather or other safety reasons.
Are cell phones allowed at the Masters?
Cell phones, beepers, and other electronic devices are strictly prohibited on the grounds at all times. Cameras are strictly prohibited on Tournament days but are allowed during the practice rounds.
Follow us here: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube | MSN | TripAdvisor | Flipboard
We make no guarantees of any price listed on our site. We are not responsible for content on external web sites linked from ours, including linked resources, an external blog post, any partner site, hotel property sites, or affiliate sites. We only write about places we love in an attempt to help you in your adventures, but we can’t guarantee you will love them, too.
Posts may contain affiliate links at no cost to you. Several of our trips are also compensated by the respective tourism boards for the city or state we are visiting. This never impacts how we share the destination with you – opinions are always our own and we pride ourselves on that. We do not sell links or accept unsolicited guest posts under any circumstances. Don’t even ask.
United States Copyright, 365 Atlanta Family, LLC