First-timer’s guide to The Masters: What is it like to be at Augusta?
What is it like to have a phone-free sporting experience? How does Augusta National compare in person to TV? If Tiger Woods mania as busy as it looks? Three of Sky Sports News’ first-timers at The Masters share their experiences…
By Dharmesh Sheth, Andrew Hawkins and Ali Stafford at Augusta National
Last Updated: 08/04/22 7:14pm
The slogan of ‘a tradition unlike any other’ is synonymous with The Masters, although the catchphrase can only be truly appreciated once you’ve experienced Augusta National in person.
The tournament is one of the stand-out moments in the sporting calendar and the Georgia layout offers some of the most recognisable holes in golf, with almost every aspect of the opening men’s major of the year different to any other event in the calendar.
What’s it like to attend The Masters for the first time? Sky Sports News presenter Dharmesh Sheth, producer Andrew Hawkins and digital journalist Ali Stafford share their observations…
No phones allowed
Signs reading “no cell phones” are plastered across every car park and most entry points around the course, while even cameras are banned outside of practice days, with those caught with any offending items being asked to leave the course.
The Masters – Live
April 10, 2022, 3:00pm
In a world where people are constantly engaging with technology and keeping up to date with each other’s lives via social media, you can initially feel a little lost without a phone in your pocket.
The natural instinct when at an event is often to use a device to check scores, take photographs of whatever you’re watching and message all your friend groups about your experiences, although those options are immediately taken away from you with the requirement to leave them elsewhere
The rules also apply to the media, who have lockers to store their items in the Press Building or the Content Centre – depending on the area they’re working from. What started out as frustration soon became liberation, with the sight of patrons actually watching the action, rather than through a tiny screen often pointed at themselves, a pleasant experience.
What a view!
For a first-timer, Augusta National is a masterpiece. Before coming here, I kept hearing “you don’t realise how hilly and undulating the place is compared to watching on the television” from people who had been.
They had been very quick to regale stories and now I’m here, you realise what they mean.
One lovely spot is an amphitheatre between the 11th green and the 12th tee. The 12th is iconic – the 11th is underrated. The experience is unforgettable.
Dreams and nightmares are realised on the 18th, with one surprise being how it looked a lot smaller in person. Oh, and you don’t realise how hilly…
The Tiger frenzy is real
“Way to go Tiger!” and “Come on Tiger!” are two very common phrases around Augusta National, with the patrons paying homage to The Pied Piper of The Masters.
When he plays, everyone follows and the frenzy is definitely real. To coin a line from a 1983 classic, “every move you make, every step you take, I’ll be watching you”. And they do. If you want an obstructed view of the golf at Augusta, follow Tiger.
If you want to see the course and some others playing some mighty fine golf, follow the group behind Woods. You can still hear the roars and be part of the “way to go Tiger” brigade.
You’d be forgiven for thinking Woods was in the merchandise building, given how packed it has constantly been this week. The queues of people stretch hundreds of metres outside and zig-zag a similar distance once inside the building.
The Masters – Live
April 9, 2022, 9:00am
Once you weave through the hoards of patrons, the shop is so jammed that were would little chance of swinging a club in there! Whatever golf merchandise you can possibly think of, chances are you’ll be able to find it in there with The Masters logo on.
If you are after gifts for friends and family, my advice is head straight to the checkout area. There, you will find the flags, the towels, the pitch repairers, the balls, the markers – almost everything you can imagine. Job done.
Patrons take priority with pricing
Speaking of purchases, one thing the patrons aren’t short-changed by is the cost of food and drink when attending The Masters, with prices some of the cheapest I’ve ever seen at a sporting event.
The Pimento Cheese sandwich, a diet staple in this part of the world, costs just $1.50, with a variety of bread-based products being charged at a similar price and all coming in Masters-branded packaging. Where else would you find those prices?!
Watch The Masters this weekend exclusively live on Sky Sports Golf, with additional feeds and bonus action during all four rounds available via the red button.