Augusta National holds a special place in every golf player's heart, though few know much about it as few have ever walked its hallowed grounds. I've been lucky enough to attend the Masters Tournaments three times and was surprised at seemingly every picturesque turn. Here are the 9 most surprising things you probably don't know about The Masters and Augusta National.
9. Beer Isn't Sold on Sunday Until Church is Out
You can buy beer at Augusta on Thursday basically as soon as the gates open. On Sunday, you can't buy beer until church is out. What time is that? 12:30 pm. Get your prayers in.
8. There's No Trash At Augusta
At most sporting events, trash is prevalent. At Augusta, you'd be hard pressed to find even a gum wrapper on the ground. Augusta employees a massive liter crew that works tirelessly to keep the grounds impeccable. They are experts.
7. The Masters Parking Lot Used to Be a Neighborhood
When I first went to Augusta, there were homes lining Berkmans Road, which parallels Augusta National's west gate. When I next went, there was a grass-covered parking lot. The Club purchased the homes from the owners (at a much higher price than what they were worth) and turned the area into a sprawling parking lot that looks like it's been there for decades.
6. There's No Running At Augusta National
Fans at Augusta National are in a rush to get the best views of their favorite players. But you'll notice they never run, because running is not allowed at Augusta. Fans walk briskly, but never stretch to a full run.
5. The Front 9 Used to be the Back 9
Most golf fans anxiously wait an entire year for the back 9 on Sunday at Augusta. There's Amen Corner. The famed Par-5, 15th hole, the boom-or-bust Par-3, 16th, and of course, the finishing 18th. Well, that used to be the front nine, but after the inaugural Masters tournament in 1934, they switched things up, and the rest is history.
4. Concessions Are Cheap
At most sporting events they gouge you for food. Not at Augusta National. The famous pimento cheese sandwich is only $1.50. A bbq sandwich is $3. A master club is $2.50. The most expensive item is beer, and even that maxes at $4.
3. You Can't Buy Name-Brand Beer
At August, brands are a no-no. Instead of a bud or bud light, there’s regular and lite beer. If you want a Heineken, order an import beer.
2. Phones and Cameras are Strictly Prohibited During the Tournament
If you want to take pictures at Augusta National, you need tickets to the practice rounds, because cameras are not allowed when the tournament starts. Phones are not allowed at any time. If you break the rules and are caught, you will be escorted off the property.
1. There are Phone Booths
When was the last time you used a phone booth? When was the last time you saw one? At Augusta, if you want to make a phone call, that's what you'll have to do. It's another throwback in a place that values history.