Mastering Your Masters Experience: Insider Tips for a Memorable Trip

Are you gearing up for a pilgrimage to the hallowed grounds of Augusta National Golf Club for the Masters Tournament? Congratulations, you're in for a treat! But before you embark on this golfing odyssey, allow me to equip you with some invaluable insider tips to ensure you make the most of your time at the Masters.

1. Beat the Crowds: If you're lucky enough to score tickets for Thursday to Sunday, seize the opportunity to beat the crowds by arriving early on Thursday. This strategic move allows you to breeze through the souvenir shop before the masses descend upon it. Pro tip: stash your purchases in your car or store them at the golf shop until you're ready to leave. Mark your chair with a business card in the holder and add some color with a ribbon to make it stand out from the thousands on the course.

2. Essential Gear: Pack light but pack smart. Ensure you have a Master's regulation backpack equipped with spray-on sunscreen for easy reapplication throughout the day. Don't forget a hat to shield yourself from the sun's rays. A small set of binoculars is great for viewing player shots at a distance and to view the leaderboards throughout the course.

3. Concession Delights:   The Masters isn't just about golf; it's also a culinary delight. Indulge in the legendary breakfast sandwiches, but be warned—they sell out fast, typically before 11 am. Favourites include the egg salad and pimento cheese sandwiches. And remember to save those cups with the Master's logo—they make for wonderful keepsakes.

4. Strategic Course Navigation: Plan your course strategy wisely. Start by walking the back nine upon arrival, parking your chair near 2 green close to the 3 tee off for prime viewing. For shade seekers, the area behind 7 Green offers respite, but be prepared for cool winds—stash a jacket or pants in your backpack.

5. Comfort is Key: Don't underestimate the importance of comfortable footwear. Invest in high-quality shoes to keep your feet happy during long walks around the course. Polarized sunglasses are a must for glare reduction, and a watch or Fitbit will help track your steps—expect to rack up 20-30k per day!

6. Be Prepared: Stay ahead of aches and pains by stocking up on pain relievers at the concession stand or bringing your own in individual packages. And don't forget to purchase a lanyard the first day for your ticket to keep it safe and accessible.

7. Prime Viewing Spots: Maximize your viewing experience with these prime spots:

  • Grandstands at #1 green: Sit on the far right side for a view of the approach and an amazing vista of the green.
  • Behind the tee box on 14: Enjoy a serene atmosphere and a great view of the ball leaving the club.
  • In front of the grandstand ahead of 14 tee: Get a great view of 13 green and the approaches.
  • Across from 11 green: Witness the excitement of this challenging hole and observe players scrambling around the green.
  • South grandstand on 15: Watch the approaches into the green and some spectacular shots. Also, catch shots heading into the 16th green and the resulting putts.
  • Behind hole 7: One of the few spots where you can watch the entire hole from tee to green. You're also close to #2 green, known for its epic shots with final round pin placements. It's a short walk to the 8th tee box and 17 green, offering five epic shots from one small area. Plus, it's conveniently located near washrooms and concessions, so no need to leave a chair there.
  • Difficult-to-access areas for leaving chairs: Consider leaving chairs at hole 16, although a preferred spot might be beside 14 tee box. Here, you can easily see the approaches and putts on 16 while enjoying a fabulous tee shot on 14. It's also a shaded area, which is essential for comfort. Behind 12 is another good spot if you have binoculars, providing a very good view of the approach to 11, known as the hardest hole on the course and often decisive in determining the champion's fate. On the final round, hole 18 offers an amazing view, but be aware that patrons tend to stand by their chairs despite regulations. To see the final putt, aim to be within the front 3-4 rows for an unobstructed view.

8. Accommodation and Dining Tips: Avoid disappointment by booking your accommodation well in advance. Steer clear of subpar options like the Days Inn on Washington Road and opt for establishments with stellar reviews. For a memorable dining experience, check out Frog Hollow in Augusta—a hidden gem with an amazing wine list. Make sure to book your rooms with good visuals and recommendations.

9. Navigating Transportation: Renting a car? Prepare for a slight challenge. While the rental process from Atlanta Airport may be a bit convoluted, it's worth the effort for the freedom it affords. Alternatively, consider a $35 taxi ride for convenience. If you can find a way to fly directly to Augusta, you will save a tremendous amount of time.

10. Shipping Solutions: Planning to purchase those coveted Masters chairs? Ensure you have a plan for getting them home—they're long and unlikely to fit in your suitcase. Arrange to ship them from the golf shop along with your souvenirs for hassle-free transportation. Green chairs will not fit as carry-on nor in most large suitcases, so shipping is the most practical solution.

With these insider tips in your arsenal, you're ready to embark on an unforgettable Masters experience. Enjoy every moment of golfing greatness, culinary delights, and camaraderie as you soak in the magic of Augusta National. See you on the green!