Perennial Events

9 Things You Don’t Know About Augusta National and The Masters

Published 2 months ago

9 Things You Don’t Know About Augusta National and The Masters
9 Things You Don’t Know About Augusta National and The Masters

An invitation to the Masters Tournament, along with Augusta National Golf Club, is the most coveted of any invitation in the golfing world by PGA Tour pros and wide-eyed patrons alike. It’s a week and a place steeped in tradition with plenty of history, nuance, and lesser-known facts that further cement it as golf’s indisputable standard. Discover nine things you don’t know about Augusta National.

1. Pristine Preparation Leads to Pristine Conditions

Golf divots
Golf divots

If you’ve watched even one rendition of the Masters, you’ve likely thought to yourself, “every blade of grass from the first hole to the last seems perfectly placed.” And while that’s true, it may be even more true than you previously thought.

Preparing Augusta National for the Masters starts the day after last year’s champion is crowned. It’s a year-round effort by an elite group of grounds crew members sworn to secrecy about the practices and techniques that go into making it one of the greenest place on Earth. Of course, Augusta National Golf Club (ANGC) has a grounds crew in-residence. But leading up to the ceremonial first tee shot, superintendents and maintenance crew members fly in from courses all around the world to lend a hand. 

Each grounds crew volunteer is assigned a very specific job for the week. It can be as pivotal as cutting pins or as seemingly mundane as raking bunkers for one hole, all week. But one job will likely explain some of the magic behind the sheer amount of green you see. There’s a grounds crew member designated to replace all tee box divots after each competitive round. We don’t mean replace the exact slice of turf the pros carved out, either. 

Each night, footprint-sized chunks of Augusta National turf is cut and placed where every divot was made that day so as to appear as if nothing even happened the day prior. Talk about a clean slate! 

2. The Event Before the Event

Most Masters fans know the Par-3 Contest exists but few give the details of it a second thought. In true Augusta National fashion, though, nothing is done to mediocrity. The Par-3 course is a full 9-hole track on property, separate from Amen Corner and the 15 other holes. The holes range in distance from 70-140 yards, complete with handicaps and an official scorecard. 

Course designer George Cobb worked with Augusta National co-founder Clifford Roberts on the design, which Roberts had in mind from the very beginning. Routed around and over two ponds, Ike’s Pond DeSoto Springs Pond, the course opened in 1958, and crowned Sam Snead as the contest’s inaugural winner in 1960. 

While the Par-3 Contest is not a major championship and there’s no green jacket granted to the winner, a crystal goblet awaits the champion. However, affectionately referred to as “The Masters jinx,” participants should proceed with caution. No Par-3 contest winner has ever gone on to win the main event that same year! 

3. Bucket-List Experiences at Bottom-of-the-Bucket Prices

Enjoying an egg salad sandwich is a must at the Masters
Enjoying an egg salad sandwich is a must at the Masters

If you’re an avid sports fan, you’ve likely spent more money than you’d like to admit at least once in your life. Whether it was March Madness, the Super Bowl, or the Stanley Cup, big ticket events usually come with big ticket prices. Not the Masters. 

While it’s true that grounds tickets have increased with the times (to see Jack Nicklaus receive any one of his six green jackets you’d have paid a whopping $12.50 per ticket) they haven’t gone off the deep end. Today, if you snag tickets via the lottery process, you can anticipate paying $75 per practice round ticket and $115 per competition round. And no, even the final round on Sunday does not come with an inflated value. (Learn more about getting tickets to the Masters.) 

Your next assumption is likely, “so they just get you once you’ve entered the gates, right?” Actually, still no. Even after they’ve gotten you under their Magnolia Lane spell, Augusta National makes it very easy to enjoy your time strolling the fairways. Food and beverage prices are nearly identical to those of the first Masters. This is likely one of the top things you don’t know about Augusta National. 

To put it into perspective: no beer will cost you more than $5. That alone should raise the eyebrows of golfers everywhere. Furthermore, you could buy one of every sandwich on the menu for less than $15. ANGC doesn’t even set a premium on their two best-selling sammies: pimento cheese and egg salad. 

If this still isn’t blowing you away, you can order one of absolutely everything on 
the Masters’ food menu and not spend $60. The bottom line? You can enjoy a full Masters week and bring away memories that will last you a lifetime without having to spend that lifetime earning back what you spent. 

4. Historic Home Base

While all golf course clubhouses are unique in their own way, none likely draw as much intrigue as that of Augusta National. It’s the historic home base for golf’s only constant major venue. The U.S. Open, British Open, and PGA Championship all rotate to different courses year in and year out. But not the Masters. 

Accordingly, the clubhouse includes more history than we can cover. Outfitted with a Grille Room, Library, Trophy Room, and Champions’ Locker Room, it’s a living, breathing museum that still functions as a respite for tour pros and caddies during tournament week. 

Less known to the casual golf fan, the clubhouse is also an historic living quarters for the five amateurs lucky enough to participate each year. The Crow’s Nest, as it’s known, may not provide a Four Seasons ambiance, but it’s an opportunity passed up by very few. While no amateur has ever gone on to win the Masters, it can hardly be counted a loss to share the same bed cubicles (seriously, they are separated by partitions not walls) with the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw, and Tiger Woods. 

Located right above the Grille Room, the Crow’s Nest also provides easy access to one of Augusta National’s best kept secrets: the endless menu. Adding to the anomaly that is Masters week, the clubhouse Grille Room asks one question of guests, “What would you like to eat?” There are no wrong answers. If you’re craving it, the kitchen makes it happen.


Speaking of menus, there is one menu that is as much a tradition as anything during Augusta National’s premier event: the Champion’s Dinner. Hosted by last year’s green jacket recipient, all previous champions are invited to come together for a meal that hits home for the defending champion while swapping stories with other members of golf’s most elite group. 

While it might strike you as the perfect excuse to put filet mignon on the menu, like in the Grille Room, nothing is off limits. In 1998, at the ripe age of 22, Tiger Woods defended his first Masters title by serving cheeseburgers, french fries, chicken sandwiches, and strawberry milkshakes! At the other end of the spectrum, the 2022 dinner, hosted by Hideki Matsuyama, featured Japanese Wagyu steak and miso glazed fish. 


5. A Feast Fit for a King

Wagyu beef
Wagyu beef
Speaking of menus, there is one menu that is as much a tradition as anything during Augusta National’s premier event: the Champion’s Dinner. Hosted by last year’s green jacket recipient, all previous champions are invited to come together for a meal that hits home for the defending champion while swapping stories with other members of golf’s most elite group. 

While it might strike you as the perfect excuse to put filet mignon on the menu, like in the Grille Room, nothing is off limits. In 1998, at the ripe age of 22, Tiger Woods defended his first Masters title by serving cheeseburgers, french fries, chicken sandwiches, and strawberry milkshakes! At the other end of the spectrum, the 2022 dinner, hosted by Hideki Matsuyama, featured Japanese Wagyu steak and miso glazed fish.

6. Eye on the Prize

Contrary to what you might assume, the green jacket hasn’t been given to every Masters champion ever. As you might notice during the television broadcasts, there are many ANGC members roaming inside the ropes and on the range wearing green jackets of their own. However, they’ve never competed in a single Masters tournament, let alone won one. That’s because the green jacket started as an identifier for visitors to know where to ask their questions when arriving to witness Masters week. 

Augusta National members have worn a green jacket on the premises since 1934, but Sam Sneed was the first Masters champion to have one bestowed upon him, and that wasn’t until 1949. Don’t worry though, it’s also reported that Augusta sent 1934-1948 winners a jacket of their own so no one felt left out of this historic tradition.
 

7. Green: More Than a Theme

By now, you get it. Green is a theme at Augusta National. The golf course is exceptionally green, the winning jackets are also green. But one of the things you don’t know about Augusta National: the food packaging is green. 

The Masters is known for its killer pimento cheese and egg salad sandwiches but have you ever noticed that they’re wrapped in a familiar shade of green? This may just seem like a good way to inundate the place with one color but there’s also a very practical reason for the packaging. 

If any cups or wrappers are dropped on the grounds, they are far less likely to show up on television because of the blending of the grass with the shade of green chosen for the packaging. Talk about attention to detail!
 

8. Green: Not the Only Theme

Azaleas in bloom
Azaleas in bloom
Almost everything about Augusta National is green. But there’s another important aspect to the history of the golf course — as well as at the center of each CBS broadcast — that makes Augusta so special. Trees and flowers are innately part of the discussion whether you realize it or not. 

The land on which Augusta National is built was purchased from the former Fruitland Nurseries, which previously used the land as a horticultural site. As an ode to that humble beginning, each hole on the golf course is named for a different tree or flower. Most notably to the casual golf fan are the entrance road (Magnolia Lane) and hole #13, Azalea. There are over 30 varieties of azaleas found on the golf course and 1,600 of the flowers on the 13th hole. Here’s a quick look at the flora at Augusta National Golf Club

  • #1 — Tea Olive
  • #2 — Pink Dogwood
  • #3 — Flowering Peach
  • #4 — Flowering Crab Apple
  • #5 — Magnolia
  • #6 — Juniper
  • #7 — Pampas
  • #8 — Yellow Jasmine
  • #9 — Caroline Cherry
  • #10 — Camellia
  • #11 — White Dogwood
  • #12 — Golden Bell
  • #13 — Azalea
  • #14 — Chinese Fir
  • #15 — Firethorn
  • #16 — Redbud
  • #17 — Nadina
  • #18 — Holly
 

9. Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden

Like so many areas of our society, Augusta National Golf Club did not hold space for females for decades. Shockingly, it wasn’t until 2012 that this Georgia country club allowed women into its membership for the first time. 

ANGC has made up for lost time in the 10 years since, though. Former Secretary of State and avid golfer Condoleezza Rice was the Masters venue’s first female member. In 2019, ANGC also added what’s now considered the most prestigious women’s amateur golf event in the world: The Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship. 

The venue and competition alone make this event one for the record books. These women get the opportunity to play the final round of the golf tournament on Augusta National during the week before that year’s Masters.
 

9 Things You Don’t Know About Augusta National? Not Anymore 

Now that you’ve learned more about Augusta National, you probably want to visit this iconic venue more than ever. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for one of our ticketing packages so you can witness the Augusta National magic for yourself.

With Perennial Events, you can leave the planning to us so you can focus on noticing the little things you know about this place now: marvel at the pristine conditions, enjoy lunch from the esteemed Grille Room, recycle your green wrapper, balk (in a good way) at the concession stand pricing, and be proud to take the special women in your life because it’s now a place they belong too! Chances are, you’ll walk away from the experience with many more than these nine things you didn’t (but now do) know about Augusta National Golf Club.
 
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