The Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, isn’t until April 6, 2017, but now is the time to start planning your trip. At the time of publication, all 2017 Masters Tickets and patron-only Masters Series Badges for daily tournament rounds are sold-out. However, tickets for Practice Rounds may still be available. Alternatively, a club patron may chaperone your attendance, giving you a great excuse to watch the action live, spend time with friends, and enjoy the amenities that come with flying to the Masters on a private jet.
Early Tournament History and Controversy
Hosted at the exclusive Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters Tournament is one of professional golf’s four major championships. The club opened its doors in 1933 on the former site of Fruitland Nursery and hosted the first tournament in 1934. The Masters is the only major played on the same course each year.
The Augusta National Golf Club was infamous for its rigid membership policies, which included not allowing women and African-Americans to become members. The club amended its bylaws in 1990 to allow African-Americans to become members. In 2012, it welcomed its first female members, Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore.
The Course and Experience
Unlike many golf courses in the U.S., Augusta National has never been officially rated. In 1990, Golf Digest unofficially rated it as a 76.2 before giving it a reevaluated rating of 78.1 in 2009.
Because it sits on the site of a former plant nursery, each hole on the course has the name of a tree or shrub. As you walk the greens, the smell of sunscreen and cigar smoke scent the air. It’s part of the Masters experience, as is throwing back a beer in the morning.
The best spot to watch your favorite athletes is from the bleachers behind the 12th tee. Arrive early (7:00 a.m.) to secure a spot and don’t move. The treasured location allows you to watch tee shots at the 12th, shots around the green and approach shots at the 11th, and tee shots from the 13th. The nearby concessions and restrooms give the prime location added convenience.
Another great viewing area is the driving zone at the 10th hole. While the spot might seem unattractive because of the towering trees providing blessed shade, it provides an unobstructed view of the green that’s down the hill.
The 16th hole, along the water or at the green, is another choice spot for its fantastic view of the green and tee shot. Depending on where you stand, you can also see the 6th green and the green and approach at the 15th hole.
If you’re more into people watching—players, royalty of the golf world, patrons, celebrities and TV personalities—grab a pimento cheese sandwich and park yourself at the iconic oak tree behind the clubhouse. In addition to the first tee being a few yards away, you’ll also be able to see up the fairway and part of the valley below.
A Social Affair
When you go to the Masters, there is no shortage of swanky parties, including the Irish Tourism Bureau party, receptions hosted by USGA and PGA, and Gary Palmer’s annual dinner. However, the most anticipated party at the tournament is the exclusive Champions Dinner on Tuesday evening where prized guests gather and the previous year’s tournament winner selects the menu.
Learn more about the Masters Tournament, area accommodations, and etiquette.