Meet at the Masters

By |  March 11, 2020 0 Comments
Shot of Augusta National during Masters (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

Complimentary daily admission to the Masters is extended to GCSAA Class A members. (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

It’s a bucket list item for golf fans around the world. Smelling the azaleas in person, taking in the beauty of Amen Corner with a pimento cheese sandwich, then quietly making the long uphill walk to No. 18 to see where the Green Jacket is awarded each year.

Attending the Masters, whether that’s the Sunday final round, the Wednesday par-3 tournament — any day at all — is a dream that sadly, many people will take to the grave unfulfilled. It’s simply one of the toughest tickets to obtain in all of professional sports.

As dark as that thought is, here’s a lighter one: If you’re reading this magazine, there’s a good chance you already have a free ticket to attend any day of the tournament you want (see below.) If you haven’t gone already, is 2020 the year you make the trip?

Nate Watkin, superintendent of golf course and grounds at The Seagate CC in Lake Worth, Fla., and a group of friends traveled together in an RV and then rented a house last year to attend the Masters for a few days.

Turf pros at The Masters (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

Attending the Masters allows superintendents to cultivate friendships and make meaningful connections. (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

“Coming here and cultivating my relationships with my friends, becoming better friends on a deeper level, has really become the pinnacle of (the trip),” Watkin says. “It’s well worth the trip to come here, as far as being a Class A superintendent, just for the experience and to see what golf course maintenance is at the highest level.”

Fellow traveler Ryan Swilley, superintendent at Gulf Stream (Fla.) GC, was attending his third consecutive Masters and said he hoped to keep his streak going for a long time.

“It’s like your favorite old story; you always want to know where you were at when this happened,” Swilley says. “The past three years, the events that have happened at the Masters will stick with me for a lifetime.”

Garrett Luck, CGCS at Hidden Glen at Bentdale Farms in Cedarburg, Wis., attended last year with two fellow industry professionals. Luck said it was a simple process to enter the gates at Augusta National with his Class A membership.

“Everything about the Masters and Augusta National is top notch. Gaining admittance as a GCSAA member is very simple and streamlined,” Luck says. “As you approach the gate for general admission, simply veer to the right and continue moving to the right of the crowds. There you will find a gate that looks like a small house that is dedicated to the admittance of GCSAA and PGA members. Be sure to bring your current GCSAA golf card and valid photo ID. After verifying your information, you will be presented with your pass for the day.”

The policy

Complimentary daily admission is extended to all GCSAA Class A, A-Retired and AA Life members with a valid gold membership card. Members are required to present their membership card, along with their driver’s license, at the Will Call booth each day to gain admission.

Source: https://www.gcsaa.org/about-gcsaa/membership/membership-benefits/complimentary-tournament-admission

The place

On Wednesday, April 8, Golfdom will host its third annual Friends of Golfdom meetup at the Masters, but this time at a new location. At 10:30 a.m., we will be at the No. 12 concessions area, and at 11 a.m., we will take a group photo. Email sjones@northcoastmedia.net with any additional questions or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities.

The warning

A friendly reminder that you must be in the appropriate GCSAA member class and in good standing to take advantage of this benefit. And it’s nothing to be trifled with. There are currently 18 GCSAA members who are banned for life from Augusta National and the Masters. Don’t be No. 19!

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