The Masters Golf Tournament

Augusta_National_Golf_Club,_Hole_10_(Camellia)
The Masters at Augusta National, Augusta, Georgia

Each spring, the Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National draws millions of TV viewers. The unique tournament usually provides challenging competition and athletic drama.  The Masters is even more special for those lucky enough to be able to attend the event in person and has been sold out for years.  (See more info on this below) Here are some interesting facts about Augusta National that they may not tell you on TV.

Info below shortened and taken from an online article, link included at the bottom of this list.
Green Jacket-  The Green Jacket came about for a very simple reason. In the tournament’s early years Augusta National members were encouraged to wear the jacket so patrons would know who to ask questions. Secondarily, when a member hosts guests in the clubhouse, the green jacket designates who gets the bill.
Cheap badges- A badge that allows you to see four competitive rounds will cost you $200—$50 per round. In contrast, Sunday’s badge for the U.S. Open last year was more than twice that.

Of course, the stories are legend about how long it takes to get a Masters pass—years. Families will them down to generation after generation.

Careful with commentary–  More than 40 years ago, during one tense moment, CBS commentator Jack Whitaker used the term “mob” to describe the scene around a green. The Masters leadership let his bosses know that he wouldn’t be invited back, and he wasn’t.  Of course, there were Gary McCord’s famous lines about “bikini waxes” and “body bags.” It’s been 17 years. He hasn’t been back, either.

Patrons (spectators) enjoy the Masters!

Polite fans- They are not fans. They are not a crowd or even a gallery. They are patrons. You’ll hear it often during the CBS broadcast. Also, while on the grounds, patrons are told not to run. Walking only.

Icing the Azaleas-  the site founder Bobby Jones selected was a nursery, so the flora is amazing, to say the least.   If an early spring comes, grounds crew will put ice under the azaleas to slow down their blossoming. They want everything in full color come Masters week. (Note: They cannot control rain, however. Yet.)

The Masters menu, low prices!

1980 prices for food and beer:  It used to be pimento cheese  sandwiches, but now there’s bbq, chicken and others—each for about $3. A beer costs under $3.

Grounds crew keeps the course perfect!

Small field of golfers, large maintenance crew-  It’s the smallest major field—only 99 competitors compared to the 156 in the other three majors. Following the second round, the low 44 scores, plus ties and any golfer within 10 strokes of the lead advance to play the on the weekend.  (making the cut)  That means for Saturday and Sunday the field will be anywhere from 44 to 55. Get there early enough you will find more than 60 people working on the course, mowing, raking, edging, etc.

Augusta National bad for golf?- Of note, there are many who think this does the golf industry a disservice by showing a course so luxurious, verdant and immaculate. It’s a standard that any other course cannot meet, much less your local municipal.  (Augusta has almost unlimited resources for maintenance and the course is closed half the year.)  Article on the topic:  HERE

Limited playing time-  Augusta National closes in late spring and doesn’t open again until fall. Part of this stems from its origins in the mid-1930s. Jones wanted it to be a “national” club, meaning members live all over the country to play. For business executives from the Northeast, the winter was the best time to play.  During that no-play period during the summer, Augusta National undertakes projects to improve the course…..  “This club changes something in this course every year, and they never tell you about it.”

Cheap golf-  It’s one of the best-kept numbers in sports—the initiation fee to Augusta National. With barons like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, among others, as members it goes without saying that money isn’t the object. And it isn’t. To join is reportedly under $100,000, which might be one-tenth of other high profile clubs in the country.  And if you were lucky enough to play the course with member, you can probably afford it. Guest fees are said to be about $40.

Fine wine-  Augusta National is presumed to have one of the best private wine cellars in the world, buying the best French, Italian, American and Australian wines on futures. Those glasses of wine that tasted so good during dinner came from bottles that run $1,000 apiece, and more.

Source: The Masters: 10 Things They Don’t Tell You About Augusta National on TV:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/654298-the-masters-ten-things-they-dont-tell-you-about-augusta-national-on-tv

More info and links below-

Waiting lists for tickets-  Beginning in 2012, Augusta National Golf Club announced it would begin making a small number of tournament tickets available for purchase through a random drawing following online registration, directly from Augusta National. Each year, a small number of tickets are returned to The Masters following the deaths of longtime ticketholders, or other reasons. Previously, those tickets were simply removed from circulation. But since 2012, fans can register online to take part in a random drawing for those tickets.  To do so, golfers much register on the tickets page on Masters.com;  registrants receive notification when the ticket application process is opened each year, shortly following each Masters. The Masters doesn’t say how many tournament tickets are available, but rest assured the number is very small and your odds are very, very long.

Prior to those announcements, tickets to tournament days (rounds one through four) had not been available from the Masters Tournament directly to the general public since 1972. That year, Augusta National Golf Club opened a waiting list, but due to demand the waiting list itself had to be closed in 1978. (Practice-round tickets have been available)  Twenty-two years later, in the year 2000, a new waiting list was opened. But it is now also closed.

Augusta National Golf Club-  located in Augusta, Georgia, is a famous golf club. Founded by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts on the site of a former indigo plantation, the course was designed by Jones and Alister MacKenzie and opened for play in January 1933. Since 1934, it has played host to the annual Masters Tournament, one of the four major championships in men’s professional golf, and the only major played each year at the same course. It was the number one ranked course in Golf Digest’s 2009 list of America’s 100 greatest courses and is currently the number ten ranked course on Golfweek Magazine’s 2011 list of best classic courses in the United States, in terms of course architecture.

The golf club’s exclusive membership policies have drawn criticism, particularly its refusal to admit black members until 1990, a former policy requiring all caddies to be black and its refusal to allow women to join.   In August 2012, it admitted its first two female members – Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore. The golf club has defended the membership policies, stressing that it is a private organization.  Link:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusta_National_Golf_Club

The Masters:  http://www.masters.com/index.html

2013 Masters:  http://www.augusta.com/

Map:  http://goo.gl/maps/fXPI5

Masters hole-by-hole changes over the years, including the installation of heaters under the greens:  http://www.cbssports.com/golf/tournaments/masters/course/changes

The answer is NO at Augusta:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/sports/golf/at-augusta-national-if-you-have-to-ask-the-answer-is-no.html?_r=0

Patron behavior rules-

  • No running anywhere on the grounds.
  • No sitting on the grass near the greens.
  • No bare feet (even when sitting down).
  • No chairs with arms. No folding chairs. No flags. No signs. No banners. No coolers. No strollers. No radios.
  • No standing in officially designated sitting areas. No sitting in the standing areas. No cameras. No rigid chairs. No hats worn backward. No metal golf spikes. No outsize hats. No carts. And absolutely no lying down anywhere . No fanny packs larger than 10 inches wide, 10 inches high or 12 inches deep (in their natural state).
  • No ladders.
  • No selling a Masters badge within 2,700 feet of an Augusta National gate.
  • No walking through a driving gate.
  • No recorders.
  • No periscopes.
  • No outside food.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s