Every golf-lover wants tickets to this elusive event. The Masters is the pinnacle for golf aficionados, and it is on many bucket lists. The tickets for this event are considered the “golden ticket” of the sporting world.
Bobby Jones, golf legend and prodigy, was the spark for the Masters. He and his investment partner and dear friend, Clifford Roberts, set out to build a dream course. Augusta National Golf Club was the result, and his knowledge acted as a catalyst for this venture. Jones poured his heart and soul into this project as a co-designer with Alister MacKenzie.
This new club opened in early 1933. Roberts and Jones wanted to have a tournament in 1934, and it was the “Augusta National Invitation Tournament.” It was set to be played the first full week of April, and Bobby Jones came out of retirement for exhibition play. It was a huge success and drew many top golfers from around the world.
Initially Roberts, aware of the potential success of this event, had pushed to call it the Masters, but Jones, who was well known for his lack of pretentiousness, disagreed. It is unknown why Roberts prevailed, but eventually after 5 years the name Masters was cemented, and the tradition was born.
It is a little-known fact that prior to 1995 anyone could walk up to the gate and attend one of the first three days on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. These days are the practice rounds of the tournament. As reported by the Augusta Chronicle, the Tuesday crowd of April 5, 1994 had an estimated 80,000 in attendance. These numbers caused major issues with extremely long lines for restrooms and concessions. Additionally, it made it difficult for patrons to view the game.
Immediately following these reports of attendance, Augusta National addressed the problem. In May 1994, the lottery was announced to the public as a way to deal with the growing number of golf fans interested in attending the days of practice leading up to the tournament. This first year, it was reported by the club that 250,000 requests were received, and 50,000 fortunate applicants were selected to purchase the tickets.
At this point, the lottery has evolved in that there is now an application for each day of the week, both the practice rounds and the tournament rounds. There are different limits for each day. This year’s limit for $75 tickets for practice rounds on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday was four, and the limit for $115 tickets for tournament rounds on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday was two.
Be aware of the following when trying to qualify. You can apply for all days, but you will only be chosen to win one. Only put in one application per address, and you must be 21 or older to apply. Entry is only on the Augusta National website, and you will need to sign in with an existing account or create an account. It will likely be easier for you to create this account in advance. The ticket lottery sign ups begin in June.
All potential patrons will find out via an email, likely in September, as to whether they were one of the fortunate few who will be able to purchase tickets for the following Masters next April. Best of luck to you, and I hope this helps you on your path to gaining your own golden ticket!