By Jessica Higdon
For his 74th birthday my husband and I bought my Dad a trip to The Masters.
In this post I will share our experience and some insights if you are planning a trip to The Masters.
Our Trip to the Masters!
This past weekend my dad and I went to the Masters in Augusta, GA thanks to our travel club. This was a very special event not only because it’s the biggest event in Golf, but also because Tiger Woods made his big comeback after having shoulder surgery AND the first guy to ever tie Tiger’s record won the tournament, Jordan Spieth! Not only that, but Jordan is only 21 years old which made the trip even more epic.
This was an incredible must do experience, however if you’re planning a trip to The Masters there’s a couple of things I learned that are must do’s and don’ts.
Where to Stay for the Masters
We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in Augusta. This hotel was less than 2 miles away from the course, was super quiet and a perfect place to get away from the craziness on the course.
The staff was extremely friendly as soon as we walked in. We were pre-checked into our rooms which was also really nice. The rooms are decent, (not 5 star) but clean and everything you could expect from a nice business like hotel. The beds had a control for the mattress to make it harder or softer which I thought was really cool!
The food was very good, and very reasonable. Overall I really liked this hotel, however one thing you should know about the Masters is that all of the surrounding hotels are extremely expensive that weekend because of the traffic, so being a member of a wholesale travel club definitely helped a TON with the price, but if that’s not an option there are other ways around these prices.
A lot of people tend to stay in houses surrounding the tournament which can save money if you have a big group or are going to stay for a week or more. People are able to rent out their homes during the tournament tax free (an IRS loophole) so there’s plenty of inventory to choose from. This may be a great option for you if you are planning a trip to the Masters.
Augusta National Golf Course
The Augusta National Golf Course is incredible to say the least. Unfortunately when you enter the tournament, they don’t allow you to have any cell phones or cameras so I couldn’t get a lot of pictures myself, but trust me when I say it’s absolutely breathtaking. I did manage a picture with me and the leaderboard (left).
TV just doesn’t do the course justice. There are so many hills and angles of the course that you just can’t see without being there in person. It makes you understand how difficult this course really is and how talented these pros really are. IF you are a big golf fan, do yourself a favor and splurge and do a trip to the Masters at least once. My husband and I went the Superbowl a few years ago but this was a totally different experience.
We sat at the famous “Amen’s Corner” the entire first day and saw pretty much every major player put and then tee off on the next hole. The flowers are pink, white and red. Mixed with the green and the pine trees Amen’s Corner is one of the most beautiful holes I’ve seen on a course.
Make sure if you ever go to check out hole number 16 as well. The green is surrounded by water and just beyond it are a few sand traps with the same amazing flowers.
One last thing I’ll mention that surprised me was how fast the greens are. The ball will just keep rolling and rolling, sometimes even in different directions. It was bizarre and very cool at the same time.
The Masters Tournament
Wow, is all I have to say about the way they run the tournament. Even though there are literally tens of thousands of people each day heading onto this course, they keep everything pristine! I did not see one piece of garbage on the floor, not one! And I definitely looked. The garbage cans were never full or overflowing either. They were always empty or half full like they had some little garbage fairy that knew as soon as a trash can was getting too much garbage in it! I’ve never seen an event like it.
When we arrived we wanted to go to the pro shop, the concession stand and the bathroom. We were very concerned about the lines but everything moves extremely quickly. Another thing that really impressed me. We didn’t wait more than 10-15 minutes for anything, no matter where we went. They have this tournament down to a science.
Every security guard said “Welcome to the Masters” as we walked in. They were very polite and treated you as a special guest rather than cattle they are trying to herd into place (unlike most events). If you haven’t make sure you check out some of the images on their site – The Masters.
The only thing that I didn’t like was that you’re not allowed to have cell phones or cameras at all and they are SUPER strict! These guys don’t mess around, so if you are planning to take pictures, forget it, not going to happen. The good thing about that is it forced me to be present instead of trying to capture the moments in a picture the entire time. They are very old school and traditional at this event.
I highly recommend buying a chair from the shop and putting it at the hole you want to spend a majority of your time at (maybe Amen’s Corner) early on. Then you’re free to walk around and know you always have a front row seat. Trust me, no one will move it or steal it. The etiquette and class people have at this event is unlike any I’ve ever seen. I felt as if I could leave my purse anywhere and it would be fine (although I don’t recommend that haha).
When we came in the second day we plopped our chairs down at hole 16 and went back to the practice tee. We got a seat right behind Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory Mcilroy! We watched them put and hit balls for a good hour. Their distance and accuracy in person is unbelievable. At one point I swear Tiger hit a drive over 350 yards. The practice tee is a great place to go if you want to see the players up close and personal.
The BEST PART – The Masters Hospitality Suite
One amazing perk included in our trip through our travel club (you have to be a platinum member to get this) was access to the 1018 Club Hospitality Suite. This is a MUST DO in my opinion. This club is like your safe haven away from miles of uphill walking and thousands of people. I honestly would suggest that this is a MUST HAVE if you are already going to spend the money on a trip to the Masters.
They had open bar the entire tournament, breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks catered by Iron Chef winner Kevin Rathbun who made an appearance several times, Big Screen TV’s AND a Masseuse!
The great thing about this venue is not only the perks, but the fact that they have a shuttle to and from the tournament so you don’t need to worry about fighting the crowd. I HIGHLY recommend getting Masters hospitality access with your package.
When we first arrived there was a full breakfast buffet with eggs, meats, fruits, hashbrowns, anything you can think of breakfast wise they had it! When we came back in the afternoon they had dinner waiting with prime rib, filet, bbq pork, chicken, salads, all kinds of sides and amazing dessert. All 100% complimentary!
We spent just as much time in the hospitality suite as we did on the course because let’s face it, the best seat in the house is on your television ;).
I’ve got to say, I initially didn’t expect much because I’m not a fan of crowds or big events in general, but this is a MUST SEE tournament at least once in your life. We had a blast!
IF you enjoyed my trip to the Masters review, feel free to comment below and share on Social Media!
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