Golf Balls and Green Grass

The Masters in Augusta

I have never seen such amazing green grass. Ever. Not at Disney not anywhere.
There was not one single yellow or brown blade even where we were walking. It looked like a fake carpet of grass. Even in the areas with pine needles, there were only pine needles no other debris. The massive amount of manpower it must take to keep this place in this condition is mind blowing.

But let me start at the beginning. To get tickets, or to get in the lottery to get tickets, unless you are fancy and not like the rest of us and are members or get tickets every year from a fancy friend or relative. So for us regular people to get tickets you have to go to the website and follow the instructions to request tickets for the next year. Once you request them during a specific time frame they will notify you in July of 2018 if you will get tickets for 2019. It took me 5 years to get practice round tickets. As soon as you find out you have tickets, book a room. The regular hotels will be already booked and crazy expensive. Even the basic nothing special Airbnb houses were expensive. I was able to find a tiny house about 15 minutes from the tournament. But don’t mess around, find a place. So once you have your place to stay and your tickets you are set.

Tiny house in the woods

It was cute and worked for what we needed. We weren’t ever there. This was our first tiny house, it was very much like staying in a camper. Chemical toilet and a tiny hot water heater, hot water lasted maybe 30 seconds. So yeah, lather up, turn on the water and rinse quick. But it had an ample kitchen and A/C so we were fine.

The day before our tickets for the practice round we drove around a little to get a better idea of how to get to the event. They give you a map that shows you were parking will be and how to get there, but obviously everyone will be going that way. Here’s how we got there from our tiny house. We also got there at 7am, an hour before the gates opened. They let you into the area where they sell food and merchandise so you can do that while you are waiting for the gates to the course to open. All the notes I read online said to buy your stuff as soon as you can because when it’s gone it’s gone.

Our tiny house was up by the French Market Grille in the upper left corner of the map. So we took 28/Washington Road south (stopped at the Starbucks – the green circle just before crossing under I-20 then immediate right on Boy Scout. There will be a little backed up traffic exiting I-20 but they are all going down further to Berkman’s Road which is where the Master’s people route them. We turned early onto Boy Scout Road, left onto Ingleside Drive then left onto Berkman’s Road so we were coming from the opposite direction as everyone else. Also, the parking for the south gate (the red x at the bottom) was much closer than the north gate compared to the parking. So it was a really short walk from our lot to the south gate. Of course, we were there an hour early too. The dark green area is the parking. And it’s free.

The tickets might be pricey – $75 each but once you get there everything is cheap. Sandwiches are $1.50, beer $2.50 and like I said, parking is free. Even the merchandise was priced well. 2 magnetized coozies – $10.

When you leave take Berkman’s to Riverwatch Parkway – we didn’t have any trouble. Just try to stay away from the route’s they have marked on the map they send you.

The food was basic but good and fresh. Pimento cheese, egg salad, smoked turkey and cheese, fried chicken with a pickle. The club however – was turkey and ham and that’s it. No cheese, no bacon, no condiments, just turkey and ham. So if there was anything disappointing it was that. There are not sponsor advertising anywhere. The packaging on all the food is green (so if some crazy person actually littered it wouldn’t show up very well on the grass) and it all just says the Masters. You can’t even wear clothes with big logos or carry umbrellas with large logos.

There are lots of rules and lots and lots of people to make sure you are following them. Surprising people followed the rules. I guess when it’s that hard to get tickets you sure don’t want to be thrown out because you wore something stupid. No chairs with arms, no cameras on tournament days, no phones – ever. Had to borrow a friends digital camera to get these shots and forgot about the dumb date stamp.

So here’s the pictures.

First thing, before people have trampled everything got this shot of footprints in the dew.

That amazing grass

Lots and lots of dogwoods, cherry trees and azaleas. Lots and lots.

And more pretty stuff

Got some great shots of players. Tiger, Bubba and Jordan. Because it’s a practice day the crowds were much smaller and the players were more relaxed.

Some other tips…

Get a camp style foldable stoop with a back. They sell them there at the Master’s that’s pretty much what everyone else had. We brought out own. I put a piece of green duck tape on the back and wrote our last name. The ones you buy there have a place to write your name. Find a spot at one of the holes and put your chair down. Then walk away. No one touches it. We set ours up at 6. You could see some of 16. The shot from the tee at 6 and they were right in front of us at the green on 6. Then behind us was the tee on 7. The famous holes like 12 and 16 will be crazy crowded. Even on the practice days. My only suggestion for where you put your seat is that if it’s hot and/or sunny find a spot in the shade. Otherwise it’s really more fun to walk around. I’m not sure how many times we walked the whole course looking at different players and the amazing landscaping. Most people will follow certain players but that’s kind of obnoxious because then you are stuck with a big crowd the whole time. We kind of did our own thing and it was much nicer.

The only time I saw long lines at the bathroom (for the guys there’s 20x more men then women at the event) or for food is if you walk up right after a large group has just passed through who were following certain players. And even then the huge staff is super efficient and moving everyone through with a smile and a “welcome to the masters”.

I don’t even watch golf. I know some of the players because my husband watches it. I don’t play it and don’t care at all about it and I had an awesome time. Friendly helpful staff, beautiful grounds, and for once crowds that weren’t so obnoxious you wanted to stab someone.

As far as the city of Augusta, meh. There are some nice old homes around the tournament. I think the neighborhood was called Summerville, they were around August University. But the downtown is mostly vacant which is unfortunate because the old buildings are amazing. Most of the city now is strip malls or regular malls and chains along the highways. We were able to find little pockets of cool local places but aside from going to the Masters there wasn’t much more. We ate at a delicious restaurant called Able Brown’s – it’s on the map above. Service was great and the food was mouthwatering.