Scratch’s Guide to Mastering the Masters

Mickelson at the MastersSo you’re a hard-core golf enthusiast with dreams of watching your favorite players live at Augusta’s Masters tournament, eh? Well congratulations – so are thousands of other people. The Masters tournament is one of the hottest ticket items in the golfing world. So you wanna attend and see the magic in person? Good luck with that. Though Masters tickets aren’t impossible to find, they are one of the hardest tickets in all of sports to get. And with Tiger Wood’s latest comeback boosting ticket prices, they’re only growing more elusive and expensive. Single ticket prices for the tournament range from $641 to $2,509 – and that’s if you can find ’em in the first place. The rarity of Master’s tickets led Russ Berkman to actually try to piece together the gooey half-masticated mess that his dog left behind when the impish pooch decided the tickets would make a good snack. After putting the 20 vomit-covered pieces back together, he took photos and explained the situation to the Augusta National Golf Club as “my dog ate my Masters tickets!” Fortunately, they reprinted Berkman’s tickets and had them waiting for him in Georgia. If a willingness to reconstruct the vomit-soaked remains of your ticket doesn’t show you just what a hot commodity these things are, then nothing’ll convince you.

But let’s say that you’re one of a select few of lucky golf enthusiasts to land a ticket to this season’s hottest show. Getting the most out of your time requires careful planning and a familiarity with the rules and regulations that you’ll be expected to uphold while you are in attendance at Augusta. First off, there are a few things that you won’t be allowed to bring. Prohibited items include cell phones, alcohol, folding armchairs, strollers, and bags of any kind. Cameras are also only allowed on Practice Round days – Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. So while you think it’d be super neat to Tweet about how close you are to your favorite golf superstar, leave your phone back in the car. Besides, anyone who would care enough about your Masters post on Twitter is probably already watching the tournament streaming live (technology sure is amazin’ these days). Thinkin’ about getting an autograph from your favorite champion? Well too bad. There’s a strict no autograph policy that is rigidly enforced on the golf course for both practice and Tournament days. Autograph seekers have gotta vie for their prized signatures in the parking lot side of the Clubhouse.

While you’re actually watching the tournament, it’s important to plan ahead. Do your best to figure out who it is you want to watch. Figure out on what the tee times are for Friday (they’ll be listed ahead of time) and use the PGA Tour website to track what holes those players are on during the round. To be sure to catch ’em, skip ahead 2-3 holes and wait for them to come up. To get the most out of your day, watch a variety of shots. See some from the tee-box, spy on a couple of approach shots from green-sides, and take a gander at some iron strokes from the fairway. Depending on who you’re interested in watching, keep in mind that the crowds can be pretty big. Tiger’s going to be a hot-ticket player, so if you’ve got your heart set on watching him in action, it’d be a great idea to get there ahead of time. This tip may seem simple but it’s an important one. Y’know how they call golf “a good walk spoiled?” Well even though you aren’t actually playing golf in the Masters, chances are you’re still going to be walkin’ a lot, so bring a really comfortable pair of shoes with ya! More tips and tricks to getting’ the most out of your day at the Masters can be found here.

I’ve gotta admit, Rockheads, I’m pretty jealous of the lucky few who get to see the greats in action. I’ve been around since the Stone Age and I’m still scourin’ for a ticket. If you have any advice of your own about attendin’ the Masters or just want to add your own personal story of watchin’ a Tour event, be sure to leave it in the comment section!

 
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