Doing the Masters in style

By |  April 7, 2016 0 Comments
Lance and Tyler modeling the Masters hand bags

Lance Rogers, CGCS, Colonia CC, Robbinsville, N.J., and Tyler Otero, North Jersey CC, Wayne, N.J., show off their attractive Masters handbags.

I just got back to Cleveland following a quick (30-hour) trip to Augusta National and the Masters.

This year a group of three of us from Golfdom (North Coast Media CEO Kevin Stoltman, Publisher Pat Roberts and myself) joined a group of superintendents from New Jersey and a couple of the guys from the Plant Food Co. and chartered a plane to get us down and back, posthaste. It was a pretty cool way to get to Augusta National.

Walking up No. 4 at Augusta National

Not a bad group: Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy walking up No. 4 at Augusta National.

Every year I see more and more people I know while at Augusta National. The place is known for making memories, and for me it’s also for making new friends and contacts in the industry. Throw in Amen Corner and some egg salad sandwiches and it’s always one of my favorite trips of the year (even when I’m flying commercial.)

Highlights this year include an amazing dinner out with our friends at E-Z-Go, the Jacobsen house, seeing Tom Watson play in his last practice round and reconnecting with John Daly for the first time in several years.

Augusta Air crew

A group photo before the flight back home.

We’ll have a photo parade posted soon. One word of warning: it lacks maintenance photos this year. I expected to be on the course Wednesday late into the afternoon, when they shut the course down and all the equipment rolls out. But Mike the Pilot and the guys were ready to roll out of Augusta at 4 p.m. yesterday, and I wasn’t going to be the one to hold up the flight. (If you want to see photos of the mowers in action, I’d encourage you to click here and see my photo parade from last year.)

Another observation… this year’s Wednesday practice round was the richest its been in several years. I caught up with some friends of mine who were trying to buy tickets on Wednesday morning, and the price was in the $2,000 to $2,500 range for each ticket… and a lot of the scalpers didn’t even have tickets to sell.

One guy we caught up with said he has gone to the Wednesday Par 3 tournament every year for the past six years… and he usually hopes to pay about $300 to get in. This year, the cheapest ticket he heard was $1,500 — too rich for his blood, so they (and my friends) decided to sit out the Wednesday round this year and put that money toward cold beers and a barstool viewing area from one of Augusta’s sports bars.

As I left Augusta on Wednesday, I had several people offer to buy my ticket from me. One person even offered $1,000. (A little class I took years ago called journalism ethics meant that of course I didn’t sell it.)

So I’m trying to figure out why this year’s ticket was so hot… sure, it’s the Masters, but if what the one guy was telling me was true (about typically getting in for $300) then I wonder what has prompted tickets to escalate to five times that price this year? I find it interesting.

I’ll have a more complete report on the trip — who I met, what I learned, etc. — either on the website or in the magazine soon.

Photos: Golfdom

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About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 18-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at

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