Get the most out of your US Masters trip with some insider tips from our Travel Expert and Consultant, Dave Morey!
Dave has recently come back from a week-long US Master’s trip and described it as “the best sporting experience of his life”. As a golfing enthusiast, check out his top tips on maximising your time at the US Masters.
- ESTABLISH YOUR BEARINGS ON THE WEDNESDAY
The Par 3 Tournament / Practice Day on Wednesday is the traditional warm-up event and last day of practice before the tournament starts on Thursday. I highly recommend attending the Wednesday Par 3 Tournament / Practice Day, not only because you get to see the players completing their final preparations and witness the fabulous Par 3 Tournament itself, but because it gives you the opportunity to familiarise yourself with the course. The Augusta National layout is vast and when it comes to tournament time, you want to know your way around the course to ensure that you do not waste any precious time.
2. SEE THE LEGENDS PLAY AT THE PAR 3 TOURNAMENT
I absolutely love the Par 3 Tournament because it has such a different vibe to the rest of the tournament. It’s more relaxed but the atmosphere is just incredible, and it is definitely a fun and exciting Masters experience that’s not to be missed.
You get to see the world’s greatest players with their families caddying as they compete in the traditional Par 3 tournament on the adjacent course. It’s especially cute to see all the player’s kids dressed up in the traditional white boiler jumpsuits and even having a shot or two themselves.
It’s also an amazing opportunity to witness some of the greatest golfing legends of all time in action. I was lucky enough to catch Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Gary Player playing all in the same group, which was truly an unforgettable and emotional ‘once in a lifetime’ experience for a tragic golf fan like me.
3. SNAP ALL YOUR PHOTOS AT THE PAR 3 TOURNAMENT
Despite the majority of electronic devices being banned from Augusta National, digital cameras (not phones – digital cameras only) are allowed onto the course for practice rounds only and so the Wednesday is the perfect day to grab your shots of some of the world’s most famous and picturesque holes, Amen Corner, the big old-fashioned US Masters scoreboards and the traditional Augusta National club house.
4. RELAX WITH A $4 SCHOONER AND THEN KEEP THE CUP AS A PRICELESS SOUVENIR!
Augusta is famous for having the best value and quality food and drinks at any sporting event in the world. Having paid a premium price to get there, it is a relief to be paying 1970 prices for the food & drinks – it’s only $2 for freshly made sandwiches and $4 for a schooner of craft beer! The drinks come in US Masters branded solid plastic cups which makes for the perfect take-home souvenir to give to your jealous mates!
5. ORGANISE YOUR DAY TO CATCH THE BIG NAMES
When you walk in, keep an eye out for the letterboxes that have the groupings for the days play. Identify early the groups you want to target and plan your day accordingly to ensure you secure some good vantage points. It involves a bit of forward-thinking to coordinate it all, but worth it when you can follow your favourite players and have the opportunity to witness the world’s best up close.
6. BE PREPARED TO WALK A LOT AND TAKE COMFORTABLE SHOES
When walking around the course, you will most likely find yourself doing a cool 25km a day. That’s a lot of movement if you are not used to walking a half marathon every day, therefore I recommend investing in a comfortable pair of shoes with good grip before-hand. Augusta National is a lot more undulating than it appears on television and so be prepared for some hills. When the course is wet, you’ll thank me for the grippy shoes recommendation. That perfectly cut grass has one slippery downfall and I have seen a fair few people enjoying it a little closer than they’d rather be. To really maximise your experience and enjoyment, I recommend getting into shape before-hand to prepare the legs and lungs. Try doing some walks in the months leading up for it – your body will thank-you and you’ll get a lot more out of your Masters experience!
7. REST YOUR LEGS IN THE GRANDSTANDS
There are grandstands located all over the course and these are included as part of your Patron Badge admission. These grandstands are the perfect place to take a break and rest your legs and have some lunch, whilst still getting a great view of all the action. Although the seats are first-come, first-served, people pour in and out of them all day, and it’s not difficult to get a good spot.
8. CATCH ALL THE BIG-NAMES IN ONE PLACE AT THE RANGE
Early every morning, head over to the practice range, putting greens and chipping area to catch a lot of the golfing superstars up close and all in one place. Some put on quite a show and sometimes interact with the fans – we shared a few laughs with Gary Player on the Thursday morning which again was something I will never forget!
9. FIND THE FOUNDERS CIRCLE FOR YOUR FREE GIFT FROM THE MASTERS
Take a stroll around the front of the Augusta National clubhouse to find the famous Founders Circle! At the base of the flagpole you’ll discover a stunning garden with the Masters logo beautifully created out of flowers featuring two plaques dedicated to founding members Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts. Here, they have set up a professional photographer who will take your photo free of charge with the Founders Circle and provide instructions on how you can download the photo online as a free gift from the Masters.
10. MY PERSONAL TOP VANTAGE POINT
There are a lot of great vantage points across the course, but my personal favourite spot to watch the action is down at Amen Corner, right in front of the 12th tee. From this point you can watch the players finish up on the Par 4 11th green as well as watching them tee off and play in full the famous Par 3 12th as well as teeing-off the Par 5 13th. A great trifecta of action in the most famous corner of the course on the most renowned little parcel of golfing land anywhere in the world!
Experience the US Masters in 2020 with Keith Prowse Travel. We have a range of packages available, each featuring on ground support with our travel experts, who can give you more great tips just like these throughout your trip. Enquire now!