The annual pursuit of the Green Jacket attracts the eyes of the world to Augusta, and rightfully so: The Masters is the single most revered golf tournament of them all.
Originally opened in 1933 by Bobby Jones, the most famous golfer at the time, and Clifford Roberts, the course began hosting the Masters Tournament the next year and has never looked back. Holes have undergone renovations and changes to keep players always guessing, with some of the most challenging greens and iconic natural features in all of golf. From Rae’s Creek to Amen Corner, there is always a sight to behold – and often, it’s a player battling after missing a green.
There are also established rules to keep things as enjoyable as possible for all patrons of the Tournament, as well as some suggestions for maximizing your time on the course. Below are some dos and don’t, all to help you plan and enjoy your Masters experience even more. We hope they’re helpful!
Gates open at 8:00 a.m. each morning, though we recommend arriving early if looking to reserve a space with a chair. Gates close 30 minutes after play has ended for the day.
The Par 3 Contest begins at noon.
The Masters Tournament is the first full week of April every year.
Monday and Tuesday: Practice Rounds. Players choose who they want to practice with, so you can see legends and current stars along with the next generation of golf names to know playing and sharing wisdom and laughter throughout the day. You’ll see some practice shots that expose small, hidden parts of the green you otherwise wouldn’t notice, providing a look at the course you simply can’t find on Tournament days. The relaxed atmosphere makes for a great time – and don’t forget to stop by hole No. 16 for few skips across the pond, a crowd favorite!
Wednesday: Practice Round and Par 3 Content. Along with the fun of the Practice Rounds comes the legendary Par 3 Contest, played on a course built just for the event. Lots of laughs and smiles for all who attend – and you’ll see golfers past and present taking part, often with family members in tow or even sinking a putt. Hopefully you’ll be the lucky one to witness a hole in one!
Thursday – Sunday: Rounds 1-4. Finally, it’s time for the pursuit of the Green Jacket.
Arrive early. Gates tend to be packed with patrons ready to get on the course before it opens, so arriving up to an hour before they open will allow you to claim the spot you want.
Buy a Masters chair. Once you set it down in an approved spot near a hole, it’s yours – everyone knows not to move them, per Masters etiquette. If you have a prime spot in mind, then make sure to place your chairs there first before going elsewhere on the course.
Wear sunscreen. The weather is typically sunny, so stay cooler and safer with it!
Pace yourself. The course is long, and there are a fair amount of hills and slopes to walk across as you go through the course. It can be easy to wear yourself out too quickly – make sure to enjoy the experience!
Try new foods. They’re all cheap to try – you can eat a decent lunch for less than $5. Egg salad, pimento cheese, and more!
Enjoy a grandstand seat. They can have great views across multiple holes, and give your feet a break. These seats aren’t reserved, so don’t be afraid to walk up there! You may be asked to wait during a player’s shot, but then you’ll be welcomed by an attendant.
Walk the course. Every hole has a unique history, layout, and challenge for players. It’s truly worth seeing them all!
Take a camera on practice round days. Keep it small enough to fit a small bag – the course’s majestic beauty is worth reliving again and again! Be sure to focus on enjoying the course and not too much on taking the perfect shot, though!
Go by No. 16 for a while on a practice round. Players typically will skip a ball across the pond to the par-3 green, a fan favorite!
Plan ahead to catch your favorite golfer. Chances are, he has a following moving with him hole to hole. If you show up a hole or two in advance, you’ll have prime seating.
Ask Tournament staff questions. They’re quite friendly and helpful!
Run. You’ll be asked to stop – power walking is okay, but the game of golf is meant to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace. Why rush it?
Take your cell phone. They’re explicitly prohibited, and it makes for a unique experience walking among so many without their phones. Fortunately, we provide secure drop-offs for your electronics and keep them locked away for you during the day. When you come back, it’s easy and fast to get them back!
Wear shoes made for the beach. The course is big, and there’s plenty of walking to do. Keep your feet as comfortable as possible all day long.
Try to keep your badge. We ask you please turn it back in at the end of the day, and to prevent the unauthorized resale of any badge, as it is illegal to sell them near Augusta National.
Forget the history of the winners. One of the greatest things about The Masters is the invitation to past champions to play in as many Masters Tournaments as they wish. You’ll see some legends in person you may not expect – get to know their stories and how they earned their Green Jacket!